Tony Awards: Cyndi Lauper could be the first woman to win Best Score

The Tony Awards are on Sunday, June 9, and I want Cyndi Lauper to win Best Original Score. I don’t want Cyndi Lauper to win because I think the music from Kinky Boots is incredible. Actually, I haven’t heard more than a few snippets of it. I want Cyndi Lauper to win simply because she’d be the first woman to win the Tony Award for Best Original Score without a partner.

I was annoyed when I heard there was a stage musical under development based on the movie Kinky Boots. First, I love the movie of Kinky Boots, so I didn’t want anyone messing with it. More generally though, I’m tired of stage musicals based on movies (like three of the four best musical nominations this year are).

I don’t even like musicals. Okay. To be honest I don’t like musicals except for the musicals that I really like, which are too numerous to mention. Regardless, I’m not the type to run out and listen to the score of a new musical especially if it was written by a pop icon for musical based on one of my favorite films.

Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots
Cydni Lauper performs a song from the musical “Kinky Boots” during the Broadway in Chicago Summer concert in Millennium Park in 2012. (Brent Lewis, Chicago Tribune)

Still, I am rooting for Cyndi Lauper, and I fully admit that it’s mostly because she would be the first woman to win Best Original Score without a partner.

Other than the male acting awards and a Best Sound Designer (which has only been awarded since 2008), Best Original Score is the only major Tony Award that an individual can win that has not been won by a solo woman. Women are not well represented in the winners lists of most of the other awards either.

Not so fun fact: Rachel Sheinkin, the only woman to win Best Book of a Musical without a writing partner, doesn’t even merit her own Wikipedia page.

The oft-cited number is that only 1 in 5 theatre professionals is a woman. Just as in STEM fields, aspiring female theatre professionals need role models and not just the mothers, ingenues and whores that dominate the on stage roles for women. We need to see more women succeeding as composers, directors, designers and playwrights.

I do hope that the Tony Award voters are not as glib as I’m being in this post. I hope that they judge all the nominated musical scores by the merits of the music not the gender of the person who composed them.

I just hope that the girl wins.

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