How Can You Have a Best Musical Without a Best Score?

By Robert Viagas
11 Jun 2014

1976 A Chorus Line sweeps Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book.

1977 Annie sweeps all three categories.

1978 Ain’t Misbehavin’ named Best Musical; On the 20th Century wins Score and Book.



1979 Sweeney Todd sweeps.

1980 Evita sweeps.

1981 42nd Street is Best Musical, but Score and Book go to Woman of the Year.

1982 Nine gets Best Musical and Best Score, but Dreamgirls takes Best Book.

1983 Cats sweeps.

1984 La Cage aux Folles sweeps all three categories, shutting out Sunday in the Park with George.

1985 Big River sweeps.

1986 The Mystery of Edwin Drood sweeps.

1987 Les Miserables sweeps.

1988 Phantom of the Opera wins Best Musical. Into the Woods takes Best Score and Best Book.

1989 In a uniquely dry season for new musicals, the categories of Best Score and Best Book are eliminated due to an absence of eligible shows. The revue Jerome Robbins’ Broadway is named Best Musical.

1990 City of Angels sweeps.

1991 The Will Rogers Follies takes Best Musical and Best Score, but Best Book goes to The Secret Garden.

1992 Crazy For You is deemed Best Musical, even though Falsettos wins Best Score and Book.

1993 Kiss of the Spider Woman wins all three categories, but with an asterisk. It ties for Best Score with The Who’s Tommy.

1994 Following complaints about 1993’s Tommy using existing music, the name of the Best Score category is tweaked to Best Original Score. The change is bad news for Disney’s first Broadway musical, Beauty and the Beast, which loses Best Original Score, along with Book and Musical, to Passion.

1995 Sunset Boulevard sweeps, but only because there is no eligible competition in the Book and Score categories, and those two awards go to the show by default.

1996 Rent sweeps.

1997 Titanic sweeps.

1998 The Lion King wins Best musical, but Ragtime wins Best Score and Best Book.

1999 Fosse is Best Musical, but Parade wins Best Score and Book.

2000 In a rare three-way split, Contact wins Best Musical; Best Original Score goes to Aida and Best Book goes to James Joyce’s The Dead.

2001 The Producers sweeps.

2002 Book and Score go to Urinetown, but Thoroughly Modern Millie is named Best Musical.

2003 Hairspray sweeps.

2004 In one of the great “are-you-sure?” years, Avenue Q sweeps, beating Wicked in all three of these categories.

2005 In another three-way split, Spamalot wins Best Musical while Best Score goes to Light in the Piazza and Best Book goes to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

2006 Jersey Boys is crowned Best Musical while The Drowsy Chaperone contents itself with Best Score and Book.

2007 Spring Awakening sweeps.

2008 In the Heights wins Best Musical and Best Score, while Passing Strange is chosen for Best Book.

2009 Billy Elliott wins Musical and Book, but Score goes to Next to Normal.

2010 Memphis sweeps.

2011 Book of Mormon sweeps.

2012 Once wins Best Musical and Best Book, but Newsies, which augments its movie score with many new Alan Menken and Jack Feldman songs, snags Best Original Score.

2013 Kinky Boots wins Best Musical and Score, but Matilda takes Best Book in a tight race.

2014 A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder takes Best Musical and Best Book, while The Bridges of Madison County, which was not nominated for Best Musical, goes home with Best Original Score.