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Nine shows you won't believe lost out on a Best Musical Tony

It just proves that missing out on the major award doesn't necessarily mean curtains

Sophie Evans and Alice Fearn in Wicked
© Matt Crockett

We'll soon find out the winners for the 2018 Tony Awards, which are being announced on Sunday 10 June, with four shows in the running for a Best New Musical nod: The Band's Visit, SpongeBob SquarePants, Frozen and Mean Girls.

It got us thinking about how many classic long-running musicals must have missed out on the top accolade throughout the ages.

So below we take a look at some of shows that didn't take home the statuette. Other shows that didn't make the list below include Hair, Sunday in the Park with George and Blood Brothers.


9. West Side Story (1957 Broadway, 1958 West End)

West Side Story

Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set in the Upper West Side of New York remains in the hearts of many theatre lovers almost 60 years after its Broadway premiere. But it lost out on the Tony Award to Meredith Willson's The Music Man in 1958 - the Olivier Awards were not founded until 18 years after its West End premiere.



8. Gypsy (1959 Broadway, 1973 West End)

Imelda Staunton in Gypsy
© Johan Persson

Another Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents work - this time with Jule Styne - to make the list is the recently revived classic, Gypsy. The world premiere production on Broadway received eight Tony nominations but failed to win any, losing out on Best Musical to joint winners The Sound of Music and Fiorello!. Angela Lansbury starred in the West End premiere some 14 years later.



7. Oliver! (1960 West End, 1962 Broadway)

Ron Moody as Fagin in Oliver!
© Columbia Pictures

Although the 1968 film adaptation of Lionel Bart's most notable work went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, the 1963 Broadway premiere lost out on the top gong to Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.



6. Funny Girl (1964 Broadway, 1966 West End)

Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl
© Marc Brenner

Not even a 22-year-old Barbra Streisand could help Isobel Lennart and Jule Styne's semi-biographical musical which was beaten to Best Musical by Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman's Hello Dolly. Funny Girl was nominated for a further seven awards but lost in all categories. Streisand went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for the 1968 big screen adaptation.



5. Grease (1972 Broadway, 1973 West End)

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in the 1978 film adaptation
© Paramount Pictures

Another musical whose film adaptation received more acclaim than its stage debut is Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's Grease. The Pink Ladies and T-Birds lost out to John Guare and Mel Shapiro's Two Gentlemen of Verona.



4. Chicago (1975 Broadway, 1979 West End)

Catherine Zeta-Jones in the 2002 film adaptation of Chicago

Poor Kander and Ebb, their Prohibition-era musical missed out on the Tony to A Chorus Line and the Olivier to Songbook. However, in what is becoming a regular theme, the 2002 film adaptation starring Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta-Jones went on to win six Academy Awards including the top honour of Best Picture.



3. Dreamgirls (1981 Broadway, 2016 West End)

Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce Knowles and Anika Noni Rose in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls

Whilst it won five Tony Awards including Best Actress for Jennifer Holliday, Dreamgirls was pipped to the top spot by Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston's Nine. Another surprising runner up from that year was Andrew Lloyd Webber's debut show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.



2. Miss Saigon (1989 West End, 1991 Broadway)

Miss Saigon

Perhaps one of the biggest shocks on this list, Boublil and Schönberg's take on Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly set during the Vietnam War has gone on to enjoy worldwide success. Its West End premiere went on to run for 10 years and 4,264 performances, the Broadway production also ran for a decade. But neither won the top accolade, being beaten to the Olivier by Return to the Forbidden Planet and the Tony by The Will Rogers Follies. But hey, the 2014 West End revival won nine WhatsOnStage Awards so, every cloud...



1. Wicked (2003 Broadway, 2006 West End)

Savannah Stevenson and Oliver Savile
© Matt Crockett

With multiple productions around the world, Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz's musical based on Gregory Maguire's novel may well be one of the biggest success stories of contemporary musical theatre. But, as the list above shows, longevity does not correlate with awards success - Glinda and Elphaba were beaten to the Tony by Trekkie Monster and Co. in Avenue Q, Amazingly, the show wasn't even nominated for Best Musical in the 2007 Oliviers, which was won by Caroline, Or Change.

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