A Bookish Tony Awards

The 71st annual Tony Awards were announced last night. It came as no surprise that Dear Evan Hansen won big, talking home Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Best Orchestrations, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score Written for a Musical.

What might be a surprise is how very bookish the evening was as many of the shows have either been published in book form, were already available as print plays, or are based on other books.

Rising on Amazon’s rankings, jumping from #1,868 to #128 is the book Dear Evan Hansen by Steven Levenson, composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Consortium Book Sales/Theatre Communications Group).

Fans have more to look forward to. In November a book about the making of the play will be published, Dear Evan Hansen by Steven Levenson (Hachette/Grand Central, cover not yet finalized).






Hello, Dolly!, which netted Bette Midler the Tony for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, is based on Thornton Wilder’s The Merchant of Yonkers (latter retitled The Matchmaker). It came out in a new edition this April, The Matchmaker: A Farce in Four Acts (HC/Harper Perennial; OverDrive Sample).

The Best Play winner, Oslo, has been published in book form: Oslo by J.T. Rogers (Consortium Book Sales/Theatre Communications Group), while the Best Revival of a Play, August Wilson’s Jitney, has a tie-in edition, Jitney: A Play – Broadway Tie-In Edition by August Wilson (The Overlook Press; OverDrive Sample).

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, which won 2 Tony awards, is based on a section of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. That section is out in Ebook format: Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy with a forward by the composer Dave Malloy (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample). There is also a “making of” book, The Great Comet: The Journey of a New Musical to Broadway edited by Steven Suskin with notes by Dave Malloy (Sterling).

While not released in book form itself, Doll’s House 2 picks up where Henrik Ibsen’s famous play left off.

Other winners in book form include Indecent, Play That Goes Wrong, The Little Foxes, and Present Laughter.

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