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THE WINNERS' WINNERS [[image: black and white photograph of Phyllis Newman on stage]] [[caption]] Adolph Green's vote goes to this wife, Phyllis Newman (Subways Are for Sleeping) [[/caption]] [[image: black and white photograph of Chita Rivera on stage]] [[credit]] KEN HOWARD [[/credit]] [[caption]] Chita Rivera's Tony for The Rink was considered by many "the most deserved" [[/caption]] the towel, in Subways Are for Sleeping. "Her competition was staggering enough to discourage a Candide at his most euphoric," he says, not underestimating the case a whit (Barbra Streisand in I Can Get It for You Wholesale and Barbara Harris for From the Second City). "Phyllis sat through dinner with a relentless, if not hopeful, smile pasted on her face. She's had the devil's own time getting into the show at all. Our producer was dead set against her being in it. She was suspect of thumb-gouging, pushy support as the wife of one of the authors of the show, and she was declared untalented - and unsexy - until she auditioned at least eight times. She opened in Philadelphia and New York to outstanding notices and had happily played the role for six or seven months when she was nominated. Finally came the miraculous winning announcement - 'Phyllis Newman' - and she sprang up joyously, disbelievingly. As she arrived at the podium, a public-appearance freak of that time (now long-forgotten) jumped up ahead of her, grabbed the Tony and started leaving with it. Phyllis literally wrenched it out of his hands and said, half-crying and laughing,"You're not going to take my big moment away from me!' We could have half-cried and laughed all night - and did." Another wordsmith, Sheldon Harnick, would pin "the most satisfying Tony" on a performer he first encountered 30 years ago in The Shoestring Revue. He especially "relished a hilarious dance she performed in a section of my song, 'Garbage,' and I have remained captivated by her talent ever since. I have watched her generate her special kind of electricity in show after show, and yet, at Tony time, there always seemed to be someone in her category with a plummier role. So, when the envelope was opened and Chita Rivera's name was finally inside, my wife Margie and I literally jumped up and down and danced around our living room ecstatically! Satisfying, deeply satisfying." Composer Charles Strouse, for whom Chita twice gave her Tony-nominated all (Bye, Bye Birdie and Bring Back Birdie), [[box]] MASTER THEATRE QUIZ - #2 Stephen Sondheim's 1976 musical Pacific Overtures won a Tony in the category of (a) Best Score (b) Best Direction (c) Best Costumes [[/box]] 12 [[end page]] [[start page]] [[advertisement]] [[image: color photograph of a glamorous woman wearing evening gown; a bottle of Lutèce perfume in the foreground]] The perfume for days of gold and sapphire nights. Lutèce Houbigant [[/advertisement]]
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