top of page
  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Five Iconic TONY Awards Performances and One That Instantly Kills You If You Watch It

by Zach Raffio. @zachraffio.

Grab your tux and start drafting your acceptance speech: it’s TONYs week! While the annual ceremony is known for celebrating the very best in Broadway, theatre fans know the real treat comes in the form of show-stopping performances from each of the nominated musicals.

While you salivate over what’s sure to be an unforgettable evening of performances, we look back at five iconic TONY performance from years past, as well as one that instantly kills you if you watch it.

1. “Circle of Life”, The Lion King

The groundbreaking Disney adaptation brought its big opening number to Broadway’s biggest stage. The sheer power and massiveness of the staging doesn’t overshadow the cast’s brilliant vocals, allowing all of to be reminded of what show-stopping musical theatre - to some, life itself - is all about.

2. “Anything Goes”, Anything Goes

The title track from this multi-TONY winning musical is classic musical theatre done right. Tappin’ toes, old school wardrobe, and a magnetic Patti LuPone make this number one for the history books. Go? I hope it stays!

3. “Deux Deas Machelus,” Kevin, The Man Who Should Not Be

This is the one by the way. This is the one that kills you if you watch it. Less a musical theatre number and more a Latin chant directly to camera, this number from the early 1100s piece Kevin, The Man Who Should Not Be was accidentally performed at the 1974 ceremony after a group of Kevinites - those who devote their lives to summoning the spirit of this wicked text to our plane - snuck in and began to perform during the broadcast.

We cannot show you a clip, though, because many states would consider that manslaughter.

4. “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat”, Guys and Dolls

Big, brassy musical comedy at its finest. Shenanigans, tomfoolery and good old fashioned schtick abound, with a standout performance from a musical full of them.

5. “Waving Through a Window”, Dear Evan Hansen

Lukewarm film adaptation aside, Dear Evan Hansen brought an original musical to the 2017 season full of modern themes, a catchy score, and a powerful performance by TONY winner Ben Platt.

This number solidified his status of one of modern Broadway’s brightest young stars, and thank god he didn’t end up watching that clip of the Kevin performance before the show like his Hansen co-star Mike Faist dared him to. Close one, Ben!

Hey, sorry, one more thing about the performance that kills you. People say you have to physically watch it in order for the curse - we think it’s a curse - to work. If you close your eyes and just listen, it won’t kill you, but you will have visions for the rest of your life.

Every time we ask someone whose heard the performance what kind of visions they have, they get real serious and then we don’t hear from them for a while. So, probably bad ones, right?

6. “Let It Burn”, Paradise Square

TONY winner Joaquina Kalukango’s performance was one of the few bright spots behind the controversy-filled musical, with her shattering performance at the ceremony instantly solidifying its place in the top tier TONY canon.

Speaking of letting things burn - some say that one single film reel of the “Deux Deas Machelus” performance remains, and if you are to find it, you must burn it at once.

Don’t let it tempt you. You may hear whispers upon touching it - feel the promise of riches, power, beauty; all it asks in return is to press play.

Do not be seduced. There is no treasure at the end of this hunt - only horror, sickness, dread, and, if we’re being honest, a sublimely tender baritone performance. Those are kind of rare these days so honestly this is really refresh-


bottom of page