Last week, Some Like It Hot became the most Tony nominated musical of this season, bringing in an impressive 13 nominations. If everything falls into place, that number could result in Some Like It Hot becoming the most awarded production in Tonys history.
Currently, the record for most Tony wins by a single production is held by The Producers, Mel Brooks and Susan Stroman's irreverent comedy which took home 12 statues in 2001 out of their 15 nominations. If the stars align on Tony night, it is possible for Some Like It Hot to narrowly beat that record, provided they take home every single statue they're nominated for.
In order to to break the record, Some Like It Hot would have to pull off a creative triple crown, rolling through the musical design categories to bring home Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical, and Best Scenic Design of a Musical. (Some Like It Hot was not nominated Best Sound Design of a Musical, preventing a total sweep from occurring.)
Additionally, the Tony voting committee would certainly need to like their jazz hot, pulling in Best Orchestrations and Best Original Score, alongside Best Book of a Musical. To pull off the creative categories sweep would require wins for Casey Nicholaw as both a director and a choreographer. Fun fact: While Nicholaw has had Broadway tapping its toes for well over a decade, his only Tony win so far is for direction!
And, of course, the night's often most anticipated award, Best Musical, would have to go home with Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopators.
However, it is the performance categories that would have to be precedent-setting in order to clinch the record. The Featured performance categories are somewhat straightforward, with NaTasha Yvette Williams (Sweet Sue) and Kevin Del Aguila (Osgood) needing to win their respective categories.
What makes things particularly interesting is the category Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. Both Christian Borle and J. Harrison Ghee are nominated in the Leading category for their performances as a tap-dancing duo on the run from the mob. In order for Some Like It Hot to surpass The Producers, they would have to tie for the honor.
This is possible. Ties have happened ten times in Broadway history, ranging from dual winners in creative disciplines to even a split Best Musical statue. The most recent tie in Tony Awards history was in 2009, when Next To Normal tied with Billy Elliot for Best Orchestrations, but a performance tie has not happened since 1979.
If Ghee and Borle manage to obtain the majority of votes from the Tony committee, split evenly between them, it would be a historic event: of the ten ties that have happened in Tony history, only one resulted in a tie between artists involved in the same production (Gwen Verdon and Thelma Ritter in New Girl in Town).
This is an incredibly tricky balance to strike: historically, a production having double nominations in a single category can be an impediment, with votes for the production split between the performers, opening up space for a third performer from a different production to take the win. This isn't a kiss of death for either Borle or Ghee, however. There are plenty of instances where a performer has overcome the impediment, including when Nathan Lane beat Matthew Broderick (both nominated for The Producers) to the Tony win in the same category Borle and Ghee now share.
It was the lack of performance ties that kept Hamilton from besting The Producers Tony-winning record. With two nominees in the Leading Actor category and three in the Featured Actor, Hamilton's nomination count skyrocketed to a record 16 nominations. But without a tie, they had to lose three of their nominations in order for two performers to win. Those three losses prevented Hamilton from besting The Producers record, finishing with 11 Tony wins.
Will Some Like It Hot overcome the odds and break the record? Tune in to Broadway’s top honors at the starry June 11 ceremony at United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights. The evening will kick off with The Tony Awards: Act One, a 90-minute pre-show of live and exclusive content set to stream for free on Pluto TV beginning at 6:30 PM ET. Hosts and further details are to be announced. The main awards ceremony, hosted by West Side Story Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, will follow beginning at 8 PM ET, broadcasting live on CBS (check local listings) and streaming live (for premium-level subscribers) via Paramount+. All Paramount+ subscribers will have on demand access to the broadcast beginning June 12.