The 73rd Tony Awards were held on Sunday (June 9) and were hosted by James Corden (“The Late, Late Show”), who won an Emmy for emceeing the 2016 Tonys. The CBS telecast from New York’s Radio City Music Hall aired live in the Eastern and Central time zones while those in the Mountain and Pacific time zones had a three-hour tape delay. Scroll down for our live updating report and analysis of the winners as they happened.
OF the 34 productions eligible, an even two dozen reaped at least one bid across the 26 Tony Awards categories. Leading the way were two new tuners — “Hadestown” and “Ain’t Too Proud” — which earned 14 and 12 bids respectively including in the all-important category of Best Musical. Among new plays, the British import “The Ferryman” and Aaron Sorkin‘s adaptation of Harper Lee‘s classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” earned nine nominations apiece; however, the latter was snubbed for the top prize. The two new productions of classic musicals did well: Rodgers and Hammerstein‘s “Oklahoma” has eight nominations while Cole Porter‘s “Kiss Me Kate” has four. Among the revivals of plays,”All My Sons” and “Burn This” did the best with three bids each.
While these nominations were determined by 48 theater professionals, winners were decided by 831 members of the Broadway community. So what happened on Tonys night, and how can we make sense of it all? Follow along below for our live report on who won, who lost and what it all means as it happens. (All times listed are Eastern.)
7:45: “Hadestown” won Best Orchestrations as well as three of the four design awards for musicals (lighting, scenic, sound) while “The Cher Show” took the costume prize. On the play side, “The Ferryman” won for its costumes and scenery with “ink” taking the lighting prize and “Choir Boy” the sound award.
8:00; Host James Corden opened the broadcast with a lavish production number extolling the virtues of live theater that showcased the nominated musicals.
8:10: Tina Fey and Jake Gyllenhaal present Best Featured Actress (Play) to Celia Keenan-Bolger (“To Kill a Mockingbird”), who finally took home a Tony after three previous bids for her winsome work as Scout.
8:15: “Ain’t Too Proud” showcased the history of The Temptations with a medley of their greatest hits that also highlighted the Tony-winning choreography by Sergio Trujillo.
8:20 – Corden makes merry with teaching nominees, such as Jeff Daniels, how to get their best losing face.
8:30: Samira Wiley and Abigail Breslin present Best Feature Actor (Play) to Bertie Carvel (“Ink”) for his riveting portrayal of Rupert Murdoch, which had already won him an Olivier.
8: 35: Samuel L. Jackson and Latanya Richardson Jackson reveal that the winner of Best Actress (Play) is theater veteran Elaine May (“The Waverly Gallery”), who gave a winning acceptance speech that paid tribute to playwright Kenneth Lonergan.
8:40: Two-time Tony champ Jane Krakowski introduces the company of “Tootsie” led by Best Actor (Musical) nominee Santino Fontana who perform “Unstoppable.” Earlier in the night, book writer Robert Horn had won for his adaptation of the Oscar-nominated screenplay.
8:45: Jez Butterworth, who wrote “The Ferryman,” saluted his partner Laura Donnelly who inspired him to create the piece celebrating her Irish family.
8:50: Sienna Miller and Darren Criss gave the Best Featured Actor (Musical) to Broadway veteran Andre De Shields (“Hadestown”), who delivered an inspirational acceptance speech.
8:55: Shirley Jones and Assif Mandvi, who both share a connection with the show, introduced the company of “Oklahoma!” which is tipped to take Best Musical Revival.
9:00: Taylor Mac, author of “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus,” stole the show as he gave a brief synopsis of show while glammed out in drag.
9:05: Christopher Jackson and Danai Gurira announced that Rachel Chavkin won Best Director (Musical) for her helming of “Hadestown” and she used her time to plead that Broadway give more directing opportunities to women and people of color.
9:10: “Beetlejuice” scene-stealer Catherine O’Hara introduced an excerpt from the musical version that gave Alex Brightman a chance to give life to a song about death.
9:20: Laura Benanti and Anthony Ramos revealed that the Best Featured Actress (Musical) winner was Ali Stroker, who had stolen the show earlier that night with her spirited rendition of “I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No.” She spoke movingly of her struggle and celebrated her success.
9:25: Kristen Chenoweth was a delight as she introduced the company of “The Prom.”
9:30: Marisa Tomei and Michael Shannon announced that the Best Play (Revival) prize went, in an upset, to “The Boys in the Band.” Author Mart Crowley credited producer Ryan Murphy for bringing this production to Broadway.
9:35: Oscar-winning writer Tarell Alvin McCraney spoke movingly of the black queers that inspired “Choir Boy,” as seen in a rousing scene.
9:45: James Graham gave a wry recap of his political play “Ink.”
9:50: Rachel Brosnahan and Jesse Tyler Ferguson accepted the Best Director (Play) prize on behalf of the absent Sam Mendes (“The Ferryman”).
9:55 Andre De Shields led the company of “Hadestown” in a haunting number, which then won Best Original Score for Anais Mitchell.
10:15: Leading lady Kelli O’Hara introduces the company of “Kiss Me Kate,” who deliver a scorching performance of “Too Darn Hot.”
10:20: Heidi Schreck explained the poignant and powerfuls originations of her play “What the Constitution Means to Me.”
10:25: Andrew Rannells and Sutton Foster presented the Best Musical (Revival) award to “Oklahoma!” The original predated the Tonys by four years.
10:30: Stephanie J. Block led the company of “The Cher Show” in a spirited rendition of “Believe.”
10:40 Regina King and Laura Linney handed the Best Actor (Play) award to Bryan Cranston (“Network”), who dared to take on the iconic role that won Peter Finch an Oscar.
10:45: Judith Light revealed that “The Ferryman” won Best Play, bringing its total haul to four Tony Awards.
10:50 Cynthia Erivo sang “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” to underscore the “In Memoriam” segment.
10:55: Ben Platt, a past Best Actor (Musical) winner handed the trophy to Santino Fontana (“Tootsie”).
11:00: Six-time Tony champ Audra MacDonald handed Stephanie J. Block (“The Cher Show”) her first.
11:10: Last year’s Tonys hosts, Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, revealed that the Best Musical was “Hadestown,” which won a leading eight awards.