SPAMALOT WINS TONY FOR BEST MUSICAL
by Hans ten Cate
Sunday, 5 June 2005

The cast of Spamalot performed "Find Your Grail" live at the 59th Annual Tony Awards. Photo: Kathy Willens/AP

Monty Python's Spamalot picked up the Tony Award for Best Musical tonight. Along with Sara Ramirez for Best Featured Actress and Mike Nichols for Best Director, Spamalot won a total of three Tony Awards, making Spamalot an official Tony Award Winning Play.

Python fans wish it could have won more, of course, seeing how the show had been nominated for a total of 14 awards. Still, winning Best Musical, the evening's top award, is the kind of recognition that pushes the Pythons to ever-greater historic relevance.

Hank Azaria, Mike Nichols, and Tim Curry at the 2005 Tony Awards

Eric Idle, as well as as John Du Prez and the cast of Spamalot were on hand to accept the awards. The evening featured a live performance by the cast of the song Find Your Grail, which highlights the stunning vocals of Sara Ramirez. Sara accepted the award for Featured Actress with comedic grace, adjusting her revealing low-cut dress while climbing the stage. "I'd like to thank--oh Good Lord, Claritin, and all of my doctors," said Sara after a brief coughing fit before approaching the microphone.

In the show, Sara sings a Diva's Lament about the fact that she has no Tony Awards. So what will she sing now? "I don't know," she laughed in a post-show interview, "talk to Eric Idle, I'm sure he'll figure it out!"

Mike Nichols won the award for Best Direction of a Musical, making this his ninth Tony Award. "Above all, I have to thank Python and Eric Idle from whom all blessings flow," Nichols said on stage in his acceptance speech. "My love to those who have not won tonight," he also said, "I just want to remind you of my motto: Cheer up, life isn't everything."

Eric Idle rejoices on stage while the cast and producers of Spamalot accept the award for Best Musical. Photo: Kathy Willens/AP

For the final award of the evening, Best Musical, the producers, Eric Idle, and the entire cast came on stage to accept the award. "And now for something completely different ... let's not thank Eric Idle who was the genius behind it all," said the show's producer Bill Haber. Eric stepped forward and did a triumphant little jig. The acceptance speech was alas cut short to keep the show on schedule, but the evening was one that Eric Idle and the members of Spamalot will cherish for years.

Here is the list of winners in the categories that include Monty Python's Spamalot as a nominee.

Best Musical

  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • The Light in the Piazza
  • Monty Python's Spamalot [WINNER]
  • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical

  • Hank Azaria, Monty Python's Spamalot
  • Gary Beach, La Cage aux Folles
  • Norbert Leo Butz, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels [WINNER]
  • Tim Curry, Monty Python's Spamalot
  • John Lithgow, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical

  • Dan Fogler, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee [WINNER]
  • Marc Kudisch, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Michael McGrath, Monty Python's Spamalot
  • Matthew Morrison, The Light in the Piazza
  • Christopher Sieber, Monty Python's Spamalot
Sara Ramirez won a Tony for Featured Actress in a Musical

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical

  • Joanna Gleason, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Celia Keenan-Bolger, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
  • Jan Maxwell, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Kelli O'Hara, The Light in the Piazza
  • Sara Ramirez, Monty Python's Spamalot [WINNER]

Best Direction of a Musical

  • James Lapine, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
  • Mike Nichols, Monty Python's Spamalot [WINNER]
  • Jack O’Brien, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Bartlett Sher, The Light in the Piazza

Best Choreography

  • Wayne Cilento, Sweet Charity
  • Jerry Mitchell, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Jerry Mitchell, La Cage aux Folles [WINNER]
  • Casey Nicholaw, Monty Python's Spamalot

Best Orchestrations

  • Larry Hochman, Monty Python's Spamalot
  • Ted Sperling, Adam Guettel and Bruce Coughlin, The Light in the Piazza [WINNER]
  • Jonathan Tunick, Pacific Overtures
  • Harold Wheeler, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
John Du Prez and Eric Idle at the Sunday dress rehearsal for the 2005 Tony Awards

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek
  • The Light in the Piazza, Music & Lyrics: Adam Guettel [WINNER]
  • Monty Python's Spamalot, Music: John Du Prez and Eric Idle; Lyrics: Eric Idle
  • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Music & Lyrics: William Finn

 

 

Best Book of a Musical

  • Jeffrey Lane, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Craig Lucas, The Light in the Piazza
  • Eric Idle, Monty Python's Spamalot
  • Rachel Sheinkin, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee [WINNER]

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

  • Tim Hatley, Monty Python's Spamalot
  • Rumi Matsui, Pacific Overtures
  • Anthony Ward, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Michael Yeargan, The Light in the Piazza [WINNER]

Best Costume Design of a Musical

  • Tim Hatley, Monty Python's Spamalot
  • Junko Koshino, Pacific Overtures
  • William Ivey Long, La Cage aux Folles
  • Catherine Zuber, The Light in the Piazza [WINNER]

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

  • Christopher Akerlind, The Light in the Piazza [WINNER]
  • Mark Henderson, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Kenneth Posner, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Hugh Vanstone, Monty Python's Spamalot