It’s that time of year again, as theatre fans watch the Antoinette Perry, or Tony, Awards! While past years have been exceptional, this year the nominees, productions, and guests are extraordinary. After all, Audra McDonald could possibly break a record by being the first performer to win six Tonys for active performance, the category for Leading Actress in a Musical is filled with iconic Broadway performers (and no matter who wins, the award will be well-deserved), the performances that are about to come will be show-stopping, Neil Patrick Harris will not be able to resist getting up on stage in an attempt to host, attendees will look drop-dead gorgeous on the red carpet, and someone will make the one-millionth reference to Adele Dazeem.
Here we go!
This year, the awards were hosted by Hugh Jackman, having taken to the stage for the fourth time. My only question…why the hopping? It’s impressive that you can get dressed and move around while doing so, but there is a point when it needs to stop.
The interaction between Neil and Hugh in the elevator was awkward but expected, but the hopping continued once he left the elevator. However, the use of different characters from the nominated shows was well-done. Not much singing though, which is a stark contrast to the opening numbers of previous years. The cast of After Midnight was joined by Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight and Fantasia for a great performance. At the end of the performance, Hugh joined them onstage to finish the dance routine, coming back to give his opening monologue.
The award for Featured Actor in a Play went to Mark Rylance for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which is the actor’s third Tony.
Emmy Rossum, Christine Daae in the film adaptation of Phantom of the Opera, introduced former Phantom Ramin Karimloo and the revival cast of Les Miserables. I’m sure most everyone on tumblr was disappointed that Ramin didn’t show off his famous abs.
The award for Featured Actress in a Musical went to Lena Hall for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, marking her first Tony win. Neil and the rest of the Hedwig family could not have been any more happy for her as she accepted the win.
Lucy Liu introduced the show-stopping performance from Disney’s Alladin. James Monroe Iglehart, playing the role of Genie, performed some iconic numbers from Disney during his dance break in “Friend Like Me.”
Jonathan Groff introduced Idina Menzel’s performance “Always Starting Over” from If/Then, having starred with her in Disney’s Frozen. He brought back the moment from the Oscars, when he quoted John Travolta by calling her “the Wicked-ly talented, one and only IDINA MENZEL.” Her performance was incredible, and fans are proud of her success and support her faithfully.
Clint Eastwood, director of Jersey Boys the movie (which, who else is excited?), presented the awards for Direction of a Musical and Direction of a Play. The award for Musical went to Darko Tresnjak for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which is also his directoral debut. Direction of a Play went to Kenny Leon for Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.
Samuel L. Jackson introduced the performance of Rocky. Andy Karl and company brought the iconic film to life, with snapshots of “Eye of the Tiger” and the fight scene. Of course, the performance would not have been complete without the famous yell for “Adrian!”
Fran Drescher and Zachary Levi presented the awards for Featured Role in a Musical, which went to James Monroe Iglehart for Aladdin. As he accepted, he channelled his former Memphis character Bobby with a praise shout.
Alan Cumming and the company of Cabaret gave a brilliant rendition of “Wilkommen.” The performance was a big flashback to Alan’s previous runs in the show. He even performed the opening number (“Wilkommen”) at the Tonys in 1998, when he won the Tony for his performance as the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret.
Vera Farmiga and Ethan Hawke presented the award for Featured Actress in a Play, which went to Sophie Okenedo for her performance in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.
Jefferson Mays came out in full costume(s) to introduce the performance from A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, showing off some of his characters that he brings to life on stage eight times a week. Their performance of “I’ve Decided to Marry You” was spot-on!
Audra McDonald made Tony history when she won the award for Leading Actress in a Play for Lady Day. She now has the record for winning six Tonys for active performances.
Bryan Cranston won the award for Leading Actor in a Play for his performance in All the Way.
RuPaul, of course, introduced the exciting and long-awaited performance of Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. “Sugar Daddy” was electrifying. There are some attendees in the audience who are probably scarred for life, having been visited by Hedwig during the performance. (Aside: “Sugar Daddy” is now available for purchase on iTunes).
The nominees for Best Play were presented by their authors, followed by short clips of each production. The award went to All the Way.
Wayne Brady introduced the performance from the revival of Violet. Sutton Foster, Joshua Henry and company performed a medley of “On My Way” and “Raise Me Up,” demonstrating the many talents within the company.
The Last Ship, a new musical by Sting, was introduced by the Estefans. The musical is inspired by Sting’s experiences, and the composer performed the title track.
Judith Light and Patrick Wilson presented the award for Best Revival of a Play, which went to Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.
Hugh Jackman introduced the performance of Wicked, celebrating ten years on Broadway. Jenni Barber and Christine Dwyer were brilliant! “For Good” was a fitting choice to honor the ongoing legacy and impact that Wicked has had. The only thing that would have made the performance more special? Idina and Kristin joining the current Galinda and Elphaba duo on stage. But that fantasy will have to remain in our hearts and minds.
Hugh Jackman, LL Cool J and TI performed a rap song. The catch? It was the opening number from The Music Man. I don’t know whether to cringe or be impressed… However, James Monroe Iglehart seemed excited by the performance.
Audra McDonald returned to the stage to present the award for Leading Actor in a Musical. The award went to former Tony host Neil Patrick Harris for his role as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. As Neil said, “This is crazy pants!”
Carole King introduced Beautiful, the show that has brought her early life to audiences. Jessie Mueller and cast performed the “before and after” versions of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” Jessie and company were incredible! However, Jessie’s performance of “I Feel the Earth Move,” during which Carole King joined her, was spectacular!
Kevin Bacon and Kate Mara presented the award for Best Revival of a Musical. The award went to Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Zach Braff introduced Bullets Over Broadway, which is the show in which Zach made his Broadway debut. The company showed off their incredible choreography and the show really gave tribute to its creators, Woody Allen and Susan Stroman.
The award for Leading Actress in a Musical was presented by Hugh Jackman by a wonderful song and dance number. He introduced each nominee and serenaded each individually. The long-awaited and much anticipated award went to Jessie Mueller for her portrayal of Carole King in Beautiful.
Tina Fey introduced the upcoming musical Finding Neverland, with a debut performance of “Neverland” by Jennifer Hudson. And OH MY GOODNESS, it was amazing!
Rosie O’Donnell, who won the Isabelle Stephenson award for humanitarian efforts earlier tonight, presented the award for Best Musical. The award, which has been center of speculation, went to A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
The show ended with a riveting performance of “On Broadway,” with all the winners returning to the stage to dance and sing along. Whether winners or not, everyone that was nominated deserved recognition for their hard work and dedication to the theatre.
Full Winners List
Full Winners List
Photos courtesy of Broadway.com, tumblr and the official Tony Award twitter.