Tony Clip 1: "Welcome to the Theatre" (1970)

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What better way to kick off our journey through Tony Awards history than with a spotlight-mad invocation from Lauren Bacall, in all her smokestack-voiced glamour? In 1970, just three productions were up for Best Musical, and all three were granted long segments of show-off time. The eventual winner, the All About Eve adaptation Applause, split its time into two parts: an eight-minute dance number led by future One Day at a Time star Bonnie Franklin, which has been widely played since; and a very grand finale featuring Bacall and the company, which has largely fallen into obscurity. Here it is now, still beaming with divine Theater People pride. As Bacall memorably barks: Welcome to the theater! We’re fools! We love it so.—Adam Feldman


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