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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tony Awards Flashback #2: Angela & Bea's "Bosom Buddies" and other musical numbers

In honor of the 67th Tony Awards this Sunday (June 9), I thought it would be fun to look back at some past opening/closing numbers, special musical tributes and memorable duets, including (of course) Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur's 1987 performance of "Bosom Buddies":

The 30th Annual Tony Awards on April 18, 1976, with Hal Linden, Leslie Uggams, Clifton Davis and Michele Lee performing "The Ones That Got Away", a medley of memorable songs from past musicals that did not win the Tony.

The 36th Annual Tony Awards on June 6, 1982, with Rex Smith, Pam Dawber, Robert Preston, Inga Swenson, Michele Lee, Ben Vereen, Gary Sandy, Robert Goulet, Beth Howland, Hal Linden, Leslie Uggams, Cher and Ann Miller performing "The Imperial Medley" of songs from musicals that opened at the Imperial Theatre (where the ceremony was broadcast from). Featured songs included Cher's rendition of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" (from 1938's Leave It to Me!).

The 37th Annual Tony Awards on June 5, 1983, included a special medley of George Gershwin songs (at the end of the ceremony the Uris Theatre was renamed the Gershwin Theatre, where the show was broadcast from). Featured songs included Dorothy Loudon's rendition of "Vodka".

The 38th Annual Tony Awards on June 3, 1984, featured a special salute to the songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb, Jerry Herman and Stephen Sondheim. The Kander and Ebb tribute included performances by Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon and Raquel Welch. The Sondheim tribute included performances by Dorothy Loudon, co-host Julie Andrews, Tony Roberts and Robert Guillaume. And the Jerry Herman tribute included performances by Robert Goulet, Carol Channing, Nancy Dussault, Leslie Uggams, Dorothy Loudon, co-host Robert Preston, Bernadette Peters, Gene Barry, the Cagelles (from La Cage aux Folles) and George Hearn.

The 39th Annual Tony Awards on June 2, 1985, featured a special tribute to the songs of Cy Coleman and Andrew Lloyd Webber, featuring Stefanie Powers, Jim Dale, George Hearn, Chita Rivera, Juliet Prowse, Tom Wopat, Rex Smith, Hinton Battle, Leslie Uggams, Maureen McGovern, Dick Van Dyke and Susan Anton.

The 40th Annual Tony Awards on June 1, 1986, featured a special number, "Forty Years of Broadway Show Music", featuring Ann Reinking, Juliet Prowse, Sandy Duncan, Bea Arthur, Stefanie Powers, Cleo Laine, Leslie Uggams, Tom Wopat, Lee Roy Reams, Rex Smith, Hal Linden, Karen Morrow, Susan Anton, Lee Remick, Bernadette Peters, Dorothy Loudon and Nell Carter.

The 41st Annual Tony Awards on June 7, 1987, featured host Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur's performance of "Bosom Buddies" from Mame, a special salute to Robert Preston (who died in March 1987) with Bernadette Peters, Barbara Cook and Mary Martin, and a tribute to George Abbott (who turned 100 in 1987) with everyone singing "Heart" from Damn Yankees during the closing credits.

The 43rd Annual Tony Awards on June 4, 1989, featured a special salute to "The Eleven O'Clock Number" with Betty Buckley, Larry Kert and host Angela Lansbury (she also sang "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from Gypsy at the beginning and end of the show).

The 47th Annual Tony Awards on June 6, 1993, opened with a new song, "Celebrate Broadway", featuring Barry Bostwick and host Liza Minnelli (the theme of the ceremony was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of theatre in Times Square). Liza and her sister, Lorna Luft, also performed a "Sisters Medley".

The 49th Annual Tony Awards on June 4, 1995, featured co-hosts Gregory Hines and Nathan Lane performing the musical sequence, "Broadway Songs We've Never Done, and Never Will".

The 52nd Annual Tony Awards on June 7, 1998, featured the opening number, "Broadway Divas", with host Rosie O'Donnell, Patti LuPone, Jennifer Holliday and Betty Buckley.

The 56th Annual Tony Awards on June 2, 2002, opened with a tribute to Richard Rodgers, featuring a medley of his songs performed by Marvin Hamlisch, Harry Connick Jr, Michele Lee, Mos Def, Lea Salonga, Peter Gallagher, John Raitt, co-hosts Bernadette Peters and Gregory Hines, and the company of Oklahoma! Peter and Hines later performed a Broadway/New York medley together.

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