Tony Awards analysis: Shocking upsets explained, performances reviewed [WATCH]

Just after Kevin Spacey and Patti LuPone closed the 71st Tony Awards with a rendition of “The Curtain Falls,” Gold Derby’s executive editor Paul Sheehan and contributing writers David Buchanan and Sam Eckmann got together to analyze the show’s shocking upsets and review the best (and worst) moments of the show (watch above).

Of of the many surprises of the evening, all three find the shocking upsets in the Direction of a Musical and Play categories to be most confounding. While pundits thought either Rachel Chavkin (“Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812”) or Michael Greif (“Dear Evan Hansen”) would win, Christopher Ashley (“Come From Away”) prevailed in a victory Paul describes as “inexplicable.” Sam comments that the win speaks to the strength of the “really robust season.” On the play side, they originally narrowed down the contenders to either Bartlett Sher (“Oslo”) or Ruben Santiago-Hudson (“Jitney”), but Rebecca Taichman (“Indecent”) pulled off an upset for her inventive and haunting staging of Paula Vogel’s play.

All three give kudos to the producers of the telecast for inviting the playwrights of the Best Play nominees to speak about their works on stage, which Sam describes as “the best they ever had.” And they commend Spacey’s performance as host, especially his opening number that David applauds for its numerous “inside-baseball jokes” about this Broadway season, and weigh in on which of the musical performances shone and which fell flat.

Tony Awards: Full list of winners in all 24 categories

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