Theater archives

Leap Of Faith Is Not The Shortest Running Best Musical Nominee Ever


Not by a long shot!

Leap is the musical about a con man who connects with his faith and makes a disabled kid walk (if not exactly making people run to the box office).

It just closed after a mere 44 performances on Broadway (including previews). But it’s nominated for the Tony for Best Musical, mainly because it’s not Spider Man: Turn off The Dark.

Shocking, right? Well, not really. In my research, I’ve found three shows that ran even shorter and got Best Musical nominations.

And they were all pitch dark.

*Quilters, a show about American pioneer women, which dealt with “girlhood, marriage, children, spinsterhood, twisters, fire, illness, and death.” Party! The result played all of 29 performances in 1984.

*Rags, a well regarded musical set on the Lower East Side in 1910, filled with singing immigrants working in sweatshops. Woo-hoo! It ran a total of 22 performances in ’86.

And the biggest winner for the floppiest Best Musical nominee of all:

*The Lieutenant, a rock opera about the My Lai massacre! This one racked up a staggeringly paltry 16 performances in 1975, thanks to tunes like “I Don’t Want To Go Over To Vietnam” and “On Trial For My Life.”

How off-the-radar was it?

Even I didn’t see it!

But the Tony committee did and they deemed it worthy of four nominations, including Best Musical, so The Lieutenant definitely was worth saluting on some level.