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13 Memorable Tonys Dresses, From the Divine to the Disastrous

We all know why you tune into awards shows: It’s for the moving acceptance speeches!

Lies. It’s for the DRESSES. When it comes to insane glamour and outrageous fashionality, the Oscars and the Golden Globes have historically trounced their more blue-collar cousin, the Tonys. But in recent years, the ladies of Broadway have brought it on Tony night. And sometimes, they’ve accidentally dropped it down the toilet.

Here are some dresses from recent years that we loved. And some that… we loved to make fun of.

The Loved

Laura Benanti (’08)

If Laura Benanti’s shoulder could talk, it would say, “I am swooning in ecstacy to be lovingly cradled within the asymmetrical, crimson confines of this lavishly beaded dress.”

Lea Michele (’10)

Beautiful bodice, sick color, amazing train. And for the men in the audience, the promise that if Ms. Michele stands up straight, there will be nipples.

Katie Holmes (’10)

Katie Holmes likely doesn’t know what day it is, but her styling team has always known what’s what. Behold this perfection, from 2010.

Patina Miller (’11)

Patina went with backless, 100% spangled, rococo-pseudo-snake-print and we’re seething with jealousy. Mostly over her actual back, though.

Scarlett Johansson (’10)

Leading with her breast best assets and spangling them with sequins. Fine, ScarJo. You win. You always do.

Jenn Damiano (’11)

Jenn is an understated, sparkly, golden ballerina. Absolutely timeless. Now quick, show her leaping into Reeve Carney’s arms!

Sara Ramirez (’05)

When Sara Ramirez won in 2005, the story wasn’t really about the dress, but about the girl inside it. Whoever tailored it to fit Sara the way it does — that person deserves a Tony, too.

Idina Menzel (’04)

The perfect dress? Maybe. The perfect color to offset Indina’s dark locks and fair skin? Absolutely. And you knew she wasn’t going to turn up in green.

The… Unloved

Sutton Foster (’11)

Sutton is ferocious and magical, and this dress is still the color of poop.

Kristin Chenoweth (’10)

That’s not a dress, Kristin. It’s a bedazzled piece of Scotch tape.

Frances McDormand (’11)

You know, Frances. No one forces you to do these things.

Aretha Franklin (’10)

Aretha is a legend. This dress… came with a porcupine.

Whoopi Goldberg (’11)

I mean…

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Tyler June 7, 2012, 9:02 pm

    Whoopi *IS* the Motherfucker with the Hat.

  • jan@broadwayandme June 8, 2012, 6:47 am

    This post wins my heart! The absolutely best Tony walk-up piece of the season!!

  • dlevy June 8, 2012, 12:39 pm

    If your poop is coming out that color, you might want to see a physician…

  • Anna August 8, 2012, 11:37 pm

    Love this. You and Joan Rivers need a show.

    Except WHAT are Jenn Damiano’s shoes? She was SO CLOSE to landing the only successful incidence of a yellow dress since Kate Hudson since How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and she puts those sad bricks on her pretty feet! Honey, honey honey honey. Beautiful dress, though.

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