This year’s Tony Awards went pretty much as predicted, save for a surprisingly strong showing for a revival of the play “A Raisin in the Sun.”
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” claimed Best Musical, Best Director (Musical) for Darko Tresnjak, Best Book and Best Costumes (Musical).
Past four-time Tonys host Neil Patrick Harris was back on stage to claim Best Actor (Musical) for his gender-bending performance in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” which also won Best Musical Revival, Featured Actress (Musical) for Lena Hall and Lighting Design (Musical).
The recently shuttered “Bridges of Madison County” prevailed in two of its three races, with Jason Robert Brown winning for both his score and orchestrations. However, leading lady Kelli O’Hara lost her fifth straight Tony race to “Beautiful” star Jessie Mueller. That tuneful telling of the life of songstress Carole King also won the Sound Design (Musical) award.
“All the Way,” Robert Schenkkan‘s stark look at the first year in the unexpected presidency of Lyndon Johnson, won both of its bids: Best Play and Best Actor (Play) for four-time Emmy champ Bryan Cranston who transformed himself into LBJ.
Mark Rylance may have lost his bid for “Richard III” to Cranston but he now has a Featured Actor (Play) prize to go with his two past wins for leading roles (“Boeing-Boeing,” 2008; “Jerusalem,” 2011). He claimed that award for his role in “Twelfth Night,” edging out two of his co-stars among others.
Audra McDonald made Tonys history twice Sunday by claiming the Actress (Play) prize for her performance as chanteuse Billie Holliday in the play “Lady Day at Emersons Bar and Grill.” She now has a record six Tonys and has won all four acting races.
After the Tonys snubbed “Raisin” leading man Denzel Washington, we had written off the chances for this remounting of Lorraine Hansberry‘s landmark 1959 work. But it won Best Play Revival, Director (Play) for Kenny Leon and Featured Actress (Play) for Sophie Okonedo. Leon had not been nominated for helming the 2004 revival, which won Tonys for leading lady Phylicia Rashad and featured player Audra McDonald in the role of the long-suffering wife played this time around by Okonedo.
“After Midnight” waltzed off with the choreography prize for Warren Carlyle‘s recreation of the Cotton Club revues of the Jazz Age. He also had a hand in that bouncy opening number for host Hugh Jackman.