Bette Midler won her first competitive Tony Award on Sunday for her triumphant return to Broadway in a revival of “Hello, Dolly!” She was the clear frontrunner and had prepared a lengthy acceptance speech. When the orchestra tried to play her off, the Divine Miss M was having none of it. “Shut that crap off,” she demanded and the conductor complied. (Watch her five-minute acceptance speech above).
Midler was handed her Best Actress (Musical) Tony by Glenn Close, who won the same award back in 1995 for “Sunset Boulevard.” She has returned to the rialto in an acclaimed revival of this Andrew Lloyd Webber tuner. But Tony rules don’t allow for a performer to contend twice for the same rule. Close also won on the play side for her leading roles in “The Real Thing” (1984) and “Death and the Maiden” (1992).