The Tonys are upon us once again. If you’re excited to for this annual tribute to the best of the best in theater, you’ve probably been watching for years. Before this years’ winners are announced, we’ve paired some of the winners of Best Musical from the last few years with a book.
If you loved the 2018 winner, The Band’s Visit, read The Frontman by Ron Bahar
The Band’s Visit is about an Egyptian band that ends up in the wrong town in Israel and the forbidden love that comes up because of it. If you love stories about music, forbidden love, and Israeli culture, The Frontman should be at the top of your reading list. Ron Bahar is a teen who loves music. His parents are Israeli immigrants, and they forbid his romance with a goy*.
If you loved the 2017 winner, Dear Evan Hansen, read Love Reconsidered by Phyllis Piano
While Dear Evan Hansen’s titular character may have lied about being friends with the recently deceased Connor, the ordeal he puts everyone through brings the Murphy family back together. In Love Reconsidered, those who loved the deceased, Stu Hammond, also find hope and comfort in each other. His girlfriend, her mother, and his father must unite to redefine life without him.
If you loved the 2016 winner, Hamilton, read Sarah’s War by Eugenia Lovett West
While Hamilton was Washington’s right-hand man, they had a number of spies—like Hercules Mulligan. However, not all of these spies were men. Sarah’s War captures what the life of a female spy during the American Revolutionary War might have been like. She attempts to flirt information out of British officers.
If you loved the 2015 winner, Fun Home, read The Leaving Year by Pam McGaffin
The protagonists of these two stories are both women, spurred on by their father’s death, as they explore who he was and find themselves. Allison Bechdel explores his past by drawing comics of her childhood memories with him, while Ida Petrovich runs away to Alaska to find out more about him. As young women, both find love in a relationship that many at the time considered taboo.
If you loved the 2014 winner, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, read So Close by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murderfollows a poor man, Monty, who discovers that his mother was cast out of a noble family. Desperate to rise in station to where he feels he deserves to be, he kills off the members of his family above him in line to be earl. In So Close,Amanda Luker rides the coattails of Tom Davis, a man much like Monty, who rises his way into the political elite through a variety of moral indiscretions.
If you loved the 2013 winner, Kinky Boots, read Tree Dreams by Kristin Kaye
When Charlie inherits his father’s struggling shoe factory, he teams up with Lola, the drag queen, to design a women’s heel that can support a man’s weight. There are initially some clashes between Charlie and Lola, and between the workers and the new management, but they learn to work with someone very different than themselves. Similarly, when Jade runs away from her logger town after witnessing a violent clash between a logger and a protesting tree-sitter, she finds herself surrounded by radical slackers, environmentalists, and anarchists, and must learn to work with them.
*Yiddish slang for non-Jewish person