Broadway's best recognized at Tony AwardsBy Luke Haynes | 06/19/2015 12:14pm
The stars aligned this past Sunday night as Broadway’s best and brightest gathered for the 69th Annual Tony Awards. In a night filled with laughter and tears, we saw Nostradamus predict the world’s first musical, Josh Groban belt a Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway standard, and Kristin Chenoweth dress up in a giant E.T. costume. But between all of the fun, we also saw dreams come true and history made. While it was a great night for all of Broadway, there were six shows that came out as major winners.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
It wasn’t a surprise that this import from London’s National Theatre was one of the biggest winners of the evening. Not only did this crowd pleaser win Best Play, its sensational scenic design and innovative lighting design earned it two more trophies. Another coveted award went to leading actor Alex Sharp, who in his Broadway debut and first professional job out of college, gave a transformative and moving performance as the play’s socially challenged protagonist. These, combined with Marianne Elliot’s visionary direction being recognized, made “Curious Incident” one of the winningest plays of the evening.
The King and I
The Golden Age of Broadway was well represented in this year’s musical revivals, but none fared so well as the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, The King and I. Not only did it take home the trophy for Best Revival of a Musical, it also won the prize for Costume Design. Additionally, Kelli O’Hara, a Broadway veteran with five previous nominations, finally earned her first well-deserved win, and in one of the biggest upsets of the night, Ruthie Ann Miles won Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.
Although it received multiple nominations this year, David Hare’s clever drama only received one award. That being said, it did win the big one, Best Revival of a Play. This brilliantly crafted masterpiece distinctly proves that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. While not award-winning, the stunning design, layered performances and inspired direction worked in perfect synergy to earn Skylight its big award.
While Fun Home was considered a dark horse early in the season, it quickly became a favorite of critics and audiences alike. It was no surprise, then, when it won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Not only did it take home the big prize, its leading actor Michael Cerveris won his second Tony, and director Sam Gold earned his first. But perhaps the most exciting and monumental victory of the evening was when Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron made history by winning the Tony for Best Book and Best Original Score, making them the first ever all-female writing team to do so.
An American in Paris
While it didn’t win Best Musical, this dazzling spectacle built on classic Gershwin songs and gorgeous choreography still walked away with a handful of statues. In what had to be the least surprising win of the evening, the show’s breathtaking dancing earned choreographer Christopher Wheeldon a Tony. The design team also proved themselves to be big winners as both lighting designer Natasha Katz and scenic designer Bob Crowley earned Tony Awards for the show. And while the show wasn’t eligible for Best Original Score, it did prove that it was just as pretty to listen to as it was to watch by winning the Tony for Best Orchestrations.
Surprisingly, only one other show earned multiple awards this year, and it wasn’t the musical comedy Something Rotten! (which had 10 nominations) or the two-part behemoth Wolf Hall Parts One & Two (which had 8 nominations), but instead was the thrice nominated Peter Morgan play, The Audience. What was not surprising was that one of the awards went to British star of stage and screen, Dame Helen Mirren. Reprising the role that won her an Oscar in The Queen (also penned by Peter Morgan), Mirren, along with co-star Richard McCabe, both won Tony awards for their performances as Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Harold Wilson respectively.