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Monday
Jun092014

Tony Award Winners

Did you watch the Tony Awards last night? The evening began with Hugh Jackman proving his physical fitness -- his knees get such a workout -- by hopping through his entire continuous shot production number, basically a tour of the backstage and upcoming performers in costume.

That led to a night of high energy but strange and touristy musical number choices like numbers from ancient top-selling shows (Les Miz and Wicked) rather than new ones that need the sales help and non-Broadway celebrities like Sting and Jennifer Hudson taking up a lot of room to sell shows that aren't even open. It'd be a bit like the Oscars going "how about Interstellar?" while giving prizes to Gravity back in March. 

Hugh Jackman also rapped with LL Cool Jr via the famously chatty opening number of "The Music Man" Hugh Jackman has now spent 14 years of his career playing Wolverine and at this point he's really wasting his life (I mean once you have 100s of millions, what's 20 million more?). He needs to commit and make only movie musicals before he's too old.  

Highlights and winners of the night after the jump...

Jennifer Hudson doing a very generic anthem song from "Finding Neverland"

• Lena Hall's Anna Paquin like adorable hyperventilating acceptance speech for Hedwig and the Angry Inch

• Jonathan Groff's pitch perfect imitation of John Travolta (you knew it would happen) while introducing Idina Menzel

• Hugh Jackman's Best Actress presentations where he sang and danced with or embarrassed the divas

• Neil Patrick Harris's performance of "Sugar Daddy" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch

• Vera Farmiga looking hotter than she's looked since the 2009 or 2010 Oscars - whichever year she wore that fuchsia number

Bomer and Quinto

• Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer presenting together in veritably matching glasses wreaking hormonal havoc on twitter - gay nerd fiery explosions of lust.

• and the most historic moment of the night was Audra McDonald's SIXTH Tony win. She has now won the most Tonys of any actor, male or female, and in every category an actress can win in: Best Actress in a Play, Best Actress in  a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Play and Best Featured Actress in a Musical. If some movie producer doesn't try to bring her Billie Holiday to the big screen they are insane. And I still have no idea why some producer didn't try to transfer her Porgy & Bess to the bigscreen either. It's not like we couldn't use a new movie version of that one with her once in a generation voice. Other adaptations that would suit her on the bigscreen Caroline or Change or this new play right here; Oscar loves a biopic.

And also my friends and I went to college with her husband Will Swenson #namedropping #gag

THE WINNERS

Best Musical "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical Neil Patrick Harris, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Jesse Mueller, "Beautiful -- The Carole King Musical"

Best Play "All the Way"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play Audra McDonald, "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill"


amazing how she subsumes her own giant voice to do Billie's much different one

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play Bryan Cranston, "All the Way"

Best Revival of a Musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"

Best Revival of a Play "A Raisin in the Sun"
(I swear this wins Tonys every time it's revived. And it's revived ALL THE TIME) 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play Mark Rylance, "Twelfth Night"
(He's returning to movie screens soon. It's been a long time.)  

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical Lena Hall, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"

Best Book of a Musical Robert L. Friedman, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"

Best Direction of a Musical Darko Tresnjak, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"

Best Direction of a Play Kenny Leon, "A Raisin in the Sun"

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater "The Bridges of Madison County"
(Strange that this one two music awards and still wasn't nominated for Original Musical) 

The Genie beat Aladdin's Abs as "Best Featured Actor in a Musical"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical James M. Iglehart, "Aladdin"

Best Choreography Warren Carlyle, "After Midnight"

Best Costume Design of a Musical Linda Cho, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"

Best Costume Design of a Play Jenny Tiramani, "Twelfth Night"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play Sophie Okonedo, "A Raisin in the Sun"
SOPHIE!!! 

Best Lighting Design of a Musical Kevin Adams, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"

Best Lighting Design of a Play Natasha Katz, "The Glass Menagerie"

Special Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Jane Greenwood

Tony Winner Sophie Okonedo! Alan Cumming. Vera Farmiga

Regional Theatre Award Signature Theatre

Isabelle Stevenson Award Rosie O'Donnell

Honors for Excellence in the Theatre Joseph P. Benincasa Joan Marcus Charlotte Wilcox

 

P.S. Here's a hopping number that surely inspired Hugh Jackman from adorable Bobby Van

 

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Reader Comments (39)

It was a decent show but I agree the numbers from shows that aren't open and the old chestnuts should have been replaced by numbers from current shows. Sure its an awards night but this is the best avenue Broadway has to acquaint the rest of America of things that are available and draw people to them.

Hugh was charming and an very effective host, the beard could have used a trim.

I usually hate when people pull out lists but Lena Hall was so unnerved with hers it became charming.

Vera Farmiga looked amazing!! There were a lot of misses fashion wise, Audra MacDonald's beach cover-up gown, Alan Cumming's Rorschach test suit, whatever the hell it was that Maggie Gyllenhall was wearing, but Vera was spot on.

The ending with all the winners on stage dancing around was a messy way to wrap things up.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

"If some movie producer doesn't try to bring her Billie Holiday to the big screen they are insane."

If they ever make a film of 'Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill,' you know they're just going to get Meryl to play Billie Holiday.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Great show overall. The hopping Hugh didn't make any sense at first (only die-hard Broadway-in-film fans would get the reference) but he's perfect, so who cares. I HATED the fact that they cut the technical awards; couldn't the network spare another half hour?

Highlights for me were: Sophie's win, Audra's speech, the numbers from A Gentleman's Guide, Beautiful, and After Midnight, James Inglehart's praise dance, the Music Man rap (probably in the minority here!), and Sutton Foster w/o makeup

Lows: playing out NPH during his acceptance speech (foul!), commercials for upcoming shows (I agree with you, Nathaniel! I don't think Sting will need any help selling tickets.), the Wicked number, and the Cabaret number, even thought I appreciate Alan Cumming's talents (man, this show seems so dated)

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPam

This probably makes me a bad gay, but I don't share the love for Neil Patrick Harris. I find him to be rather overrated as an actor, and he seems so smugly enthralled with his domestic life.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Whew, Vera Farmiga looking fine as hell.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

I can only assume that Audra doesn't have a film career because she doesn't want one. Her legend has been secured since winning three Tonys before age 30, not to mention that her theatre and television followings have to be sizable enough for someone to bankroll a substantial cinema project without fear that it won't be profitable.

I wonder how many blacktresses will clamor to play Ruth Younger in the next inevitable revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" considering how the role has won the Tony for the last two actresses who played her on Broadway (Audra exactly ten years ago in a stroke of coincidence).

Jennifer Hudson looked and sounded absolutely fantastic, but I doubt that I would ever see that musical or Sting's for that matter (wake me when it's over...😴...). In fact, other than "Beautiful" I can't say I'd want to pay to see any of the musicals from which their were performances last night, especially "If/Then." I'm sorry, but I just don't get Idina Menzel with that unpleasant voice and her facial contortions.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I could have watched a whole hour of Hugh Jackman dancing and joking with the actresses in the audience. Each of those moments were too brief but absolutely wonderful. I love everything Kelli O'hara does, let's put her in a movie musical with Hugh. I do wish he would trim his beard though. As for the show, it would have been a really good show, except for those ridiculous musical numbers (Three!!!!) for shows that haven't opened. I don't want to see Sting, or Jennifer Hudson, I want to see Broadway stars. That's what the Tony's are for.
Thank God we got to see Sutton Foster doing a number.
On a positive note, Jesse Mueller singing with Carole King was very special, Audra Macdonald winnng her 6th Tony were the high points.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

This was the worst Tony Awards in quite a while. Not that Hugh wasn't his usual impossibly charming self, but it didn't have the infectious energy the Tonys usually have.

Actually, Les Miz was presented as the currently running Broadway revival, so it did make sense.

And interestingly enough, this is the first time A Raisin in the sun has ever won the top Play award - it didn't win in its original run (The Miracle Worker did), nor for the only other revival in 2004 (Henry IV) - although the musical version, Raisin, won Best Musical in 1974. The actresses in the 2004 revival, Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald, did win, though - Audra for the same part Sophie played. OMG I HOPE THEY TALKED ABOUT IT BACKSTAGE OR IN THE AUDIENCE!

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Hugh Jackman is a great host, so overflowing with energy and enthusiasm and love for the Broadway stage. Yes, it does seem perplexing that he doesn't do more musicals or work that makes use of his gifts.

But it's Audra McDonald who needs to be given movie roles that bring her to a wider audience. She was so great in the TV Sound of Music, and people who had never heard of her before liked her. Why couldn't she have played the Witch in Into The Woods?

I didn't know before, but was glad to see, that Andy Mientus, so carelessly used in Smash, has a good role in the Les Mis revival. And that one of my favorites, Frederick Weller, is Tyne Daly's co-star in Mothers and Sons.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteradri

I'm sure that Hugh's knees always get a proper workout.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNelson

@Troy H

Let's not pretend Hollywood is interested in non-white female talent. Film is death for diversity. You can praise it as the highest visual medium for story telling and performance. But in the end it isn't interested in the bigger picture despite the width of an anamorphic widescreen.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

That Aladdin inspires way too much lust to be appropriate.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBD

Is Neil Patrick Harris not allowed to be enthralled his domestic life now? What kind of complaint is that?

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDanny

Audra looks terrible in that pic! Was she attacked on stage? Is it an exaggeration to say that the Comittee considered the play a drama just to break her record?

I don't believe in the accumulation of trophies.

P.S. Well done, Sophie Okonedo.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

That pic of Adam's torso is preventing me from working or focusing on anything else today.

YEAH!

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Sophie Okonedo, holla!

To sideswipe someone else's joke from weeks ago, now she's only an EGO away from an EGOT.

Audra on the big screen needs to happen, like, ten years ago. I would die for her in Caroline or Change. Don't even tempt my emotions, Nathaniel. If it were up to me, she would've been the ONLY choice for The Witch in Marshall's upcoming Into The Woods.

Hedwig was the best performance by a county mile but it still didn't compare to some other years. And they should've done "Wig in a Box", honestly.

I kinda thought Kelli O'Hara might come in there and spoil her category since her show was winning these key awards earlier in the night and she got raves for that performance. Ah, well. 0/5 and there's always The King and I.

Glad Gentlemen's Guide won what it did, I would not have been a happy camper with another jukebox stealing more major awards over original superior work.

This was a really glaring Tony telecast for me in that I thought nearly all except maybe a small handful of the performances were straight-up baaaaad.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

The In Memoriam being done during the commercial break was bullshit.

Why wasn't Idina Menzel introducing "For Good?" And where was Kristin Chenoweth?

Audra McDonald winning her sixth Tony gave me life. I can't for the life of me figure out why she hasn't broken out into film either. Clearly her heart is in Broadway, but Oscars and Emmys are waiting to be won gurl! No reason why she couldn't at least bring this Billie Holiday story or something to HBO at least. Nice to see so many minority nominees get their due. Sophie Okonedo!!, Audra!!!, JMI, Kenny Leon (whoa!), and "A Raisin in the Sun" in Revival!

Loved the numbers to "Beautiful" (Carole King is a goddess), "Les Miserables" ("One Day More" and Ramin Karimloo! Good heavens), Neil Patrick Harris (Miss Thing turned "Sugar Daddy" OUT! get that damn Tony!!!!), and Jennifer Hudson's number (I really hate it when nonnominees do songs on the TONYs, but she was giving me everything with that insane voice of hers, gorgeous dress, and fierce haircut! Yes, bitch! I see you! Fantasia who lol?). Sting put me to sleep. How did they find some time for TI and LL Cool J to do some inane rapping with Hugh, but there was no time to present Book, Score, or Orchestrations on the telecast? Musicals just write and score themselves now? And what was the rule that only musical and revival nominees perform? I counted nonsense from "Rocky" (ummm, how about singing a song in a damn musical number), "If/Then" (Oh Idina), "Finding Neverland," "The Last Ship," "Bullets Over Broadway" (ugh), and "Wicked"? But poor Kelli O'Hara had to sit in the nosebleeds and no "Bridges of Madison County"? Just awful no matter how you look at it.

Hugh was okay as host. Lively and enthusiastic, but not nearly on the same level as Neil Patrick Harris was last year.

Part of me wouldn't mind getting Rosie back to host. I know, I know. I'm really not high right now lol.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDorian

adri - i love frederick weller, too! did you see him in "Take Me out"?

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Is it an exaggeration to say that the Comittee considered the play a drama just to break her record?
Yes.

I don't believe in the accumulation of trophies.

Why? Unlike the Academy Awards where you win in either Lead or Supporting depending on your gender. The Tony Awards, Golden Globes, SAG, Emmy Awards, have several categories for actors to win repeatedly. In awards bodies where there are many options and places to recognize talent winning often doesn't have the same weight as it does for the more restrictive process of the Oscars.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I knew Kelli O'Hara was doomed since she was seated a mile away from the stage and Hugh had to walk a lifetime to get to her at one point. I mean she was even seated behind the Janis Joplin lady.

And as much as everyone is loving on Sophie today (even if it is just to be ironic), Celia Keenan-Bolger deserved that prize like none other, especially considering how this production completely reinvented the Gentleman Caller scene. It was so dispiriting to see The Glass Menagerie go home basically empty-handed.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Hugh Jackman singing the nominated names was probably his best moment.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Awwww Neil was kissing his hubby in his song! I thought it was Jonathan Groff. Haha!

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobb

I think I just fell in love:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQv_hZwyz5Q

Jonathan Groff doing Sutton Foster's Anything Goes number.

I would've preferred him as Bruce in Normal Heart, but this will do by now.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

@Jay - I thought I was only person not head-over-heels in love with NPH. I like him just fine, but there is a sense of self-satisfaction that I get from him that turns me off at times.

And that video of Audra McDonald is great. I couldn't wrap my head around her playing/singing Billie Holiday and now I feel stupid for ever doubting her.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Danny, I just find NPH and his incessant references to his husband and children to be a bit too precious. I don't care for it when heterosexual couples do it, either.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJay

@ Jay: Well, I find that particular criticism of Neil Patrick Harris both obnoxious and petty, but to each his own.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDanny

IGGY -- omg. I'd never scene that. love. that number must be so exhausting.

June 9, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Yeah, right? One thing is doing it after months of rehearsals, and still must be incredbly exhausting, but for one night only? That's insane. Had never seen it either, and I watch Sutton Foster's video every now and then. I found it searching for his appearance at the Tonys, and I've alreadly seen it three times ;)

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

Jay: I thought I was the only person left on the planet who hadn't bought into NPH, The Consummate Entertainer. For me it's the annoying way he seems to always be aiming for the title of the coolest kid in the room, and it was so obvious that he was panini pressed to win last night. It read all over his face in the worst way. I know that all celebrities ingratiate themselves to an extent, but he seems to work harder at it, and it always shows.

3rtful: Though your point undoubtedly has validity, I do believe that if Audra were to say aloud today, "Hey, I really wanna make a movie," someone would move on that with the quickness. Her reputation as Broadway's reigning queen has been intact for nearly twenty years, and she's found a modicum of success on the small screen (with two Emmy noms to support that). Despite her being an actress of color, those things have to count for something. How many stage actors with lesser careers have gone on to movies in the time she's been Broadway's biggest thing? My sincere hunch is that she does not want to do movies.

Peggy Sue: Categorizing "Lady Day" as a play was without question a purposeful fudging of the rules to give her a chance not only to break a record, but to also make history. The American Theatre plays politics as much as any awards-giving body. I'm sure Audra uses some of those awards as paper weights.

Nathaniel: I was front row center for "Take Me Out" with most of the original cast, including Weller. It was memorable for several reasons...

By the way, was that shade I detected in Kenny Leon's acceptance speech for best play revival? His lecturing about actors' listening to each other came off like a lesson to a bunch of novices. I felt like he was directing that to someone in that audience.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Very sad Kelli O'Hara lost. Jessie Mueller was great but can't hold a candle to Kelli's beautiful performance as Francesca. It's pretty obvious she'll be nominated next year, hope she takes it home!

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

"gay nerd fiery explosions of lust."
Hell yes indeed!

I simply can't believe Audra win her sixth tony! I was rooting for Cherri Jones to win. And the unlove for The Glass Menagerie is unfair.

They sure do love NPH in this business. I'm smelling also a last emmy nom for him in this last season of HIMYM. Poor that Kelli O'Hara lost again.

Oh god Vera is so damn good looking!

And I also agree that show that isn't even open yet shouldn't br having their songs sung in the Tonys.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercraver

Troy H, it might be purposeful fudging, but considering that they classified the Judy Garland musical biodrama as a play last year, there is precedent.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

It's great that she won, but please, let's not pretend it was spontaneous.

By the way, what does Kelli O'Hara need to do to finally get one?

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Meryl needs to give Audra a "someone give her a movie" shout out. It worked for Viola after all.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh

Wait, what? Will Swenson went to BYU?! If he grew up in Logan, Utah, with my mom's family, the SWENSONS, I'll knell. #namedropping #gag

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

^^^ Meryl was transfixed by Audra at the Kennedy Center Honors. It could very well happen! Queen Meryl does have a little clout, after all lol.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClyde

Mareko -- yes. he actually starred in one of those Mormon movies, too!

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Meryl gave Viola a "someone give her a movie shoutout" and then who stole Viola's Oscar for said movie? ... lol

So hopefully that won't happen with Audra ;)

June 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I'm late for the party, but... SOPHIE OKONEDO, BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's all!

June 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

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