The 73rd annual Tony Awards were held Sunday night and aired live on CBS from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. James Corden, a Tony winner himself, took on the m.c. duties for a (slightly more than) three hour show that mixed Hollywood razzle-dazzle with the Great White Way’s high drama, all while championing inclusivity and diversity.
Ferryman nabbed Best Play and Hadestown was recognized as the Best Musical for its contemporary take on mythology and doomed romance, while alluding to climate change and the fallout from industrialization.
In all, Hadestown snags eight awards. While accepting Best Musical, producer Mara Isaacs summarizes the spirit of the evening, which contains many implicit political references: “Change is possible, in dark times, spring will come again.”
Ali Stroker made history by becoming the first wheelchair user to win a Tony for her role in Oklahoma!
Before the show even kicked off, the Tony’s made headlines by paying tribute to Pride Month with a rainbow floral wall that lined the red carpet outside of Radio City Music Hall. The vibrant display injected a sense of joy and spirit to a fun-filled night.
The awards show, the results of which are considered the biggest driver of ticket purchases, comes at a time of record attendance on Broadway. 14,768,254 seats were filled during the season that just ended, with the box office bringing in over $1.8 billion.
Highlights From the Show:
Corden opens the show in a hoodie from a sad apartment couch—which then transforms into a live set onstage—with a ditty that pitched the excitement of live performances versus boring old streaming TV. He was joined by a team of backup dancers and he pulled off a costume change by ripping off his sweats and revealing a maroon tuxedo.
The stars of Ain’t Too Proud bring The Temptations to the stage in a rollicking performance.
Celia Keenan-Bolger, 41, wins best featured actress in a play for her performance as Scout in Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. She praises Lee for “making the greatest literary heroine of all time.”
Elaine May made a memorable, heartwarming speech accepting what she said was her “first” major award for acting. She won for her performance for Best Actress in The Waverly Gallery.
The company of Tootsie performs—and embodies—”Unstoppable.”
Andre De Shields, a winner for best actor in Hadestown, shares his three rules for “sustainability” in his 50-year career. “Number one – surround yourself with people whose eyes light up when they see you. Two, slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be. And three, the top of one mountain is the bottom of the next. So keep climbing.”
The company of Oklahoma! injected a note of hilarity and slap-happy over-the-top Americana with Ali Stroker belting out “I Can’t Say No,” and Damon Daunno leading “Oklahoma!”
Rachel Chavkin gives a rousing “thank you” speech when accepting a Tony for Best Direction of a Musical; she calls for more diversity and racial and gender inclusion onstage and behind stage.
Alex Brightman growling his way through Beetljuice, and even managing to work in an Adam Driverreference.
Mart Crowley, while accepting a Tony for Best Revival for Boys in the Band, praising the cast of the Off Broadway production 50 years ago for ignoring the advice of their agents and having the bravery to sign on for a performance they were told would ruin their careers.
A memorable performance from Choir Boy, one of two featuring actor Jeremy Pope (he also hit the stage for Ain’t Too Proud).
Corden’s comedic nod to “Be More Chill’s” “Michael in the Bathroom.”
The company of Hadestown—including Andre De Sheilds, Amber Gray and Patrick Page, with Reeve Carneyand Eva Noblezada—brings the audience of the Tony’s to hell, and they love it.
In a desperate bid for ratings, Corden jokingly tries to stir up some Cardi B-style beefs, and while Ben Platt and Rachel Brosnahan and Andrew Rannelsand Darren Criss do their best, it takes Laura Linneyand Audra McDonald to get ready to take off their earrings and duke it out, to Corden’s horror-delight.
The company of Kiss Me Kate performs “Too Darn Hot.”
Just in case anyone was getting drowsy, Stephanie J. Block and a team of disco diva back-up dancer and singers become “The Cher Show.”
Bryan Cranston gives a searing speech while accepting a Tony for Best Performance in a Leading Role for Network, and dedicates the award to journalists “who actually are in the live of fire in their pursuit of the truth – the media is not the enemy of the people, demagoguery is the enemy of the people.”
The Ferryman’s playwright Jez Butterworth dedicates the Best Play Tony to those who disappeared during Ireland’s Troubles. He then hands the award to his wife and the star of the play, Laura Donnelly, whose uncle inspired the story.
Stephanie J. Block thanking the God of Cher while accepting her Tony for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.
Best Musical: Hadestown
Best Play: The Ferryman
Best Revival of a Play:The Boys in the Band
Best Revival of a Musical: Oklahoma!
Best Director for a Play: Sam Mendes, The Ferryman
Best Director for a Musical: Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown
Featured Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Elaine May for The Waverly Gallery
Featured Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Stephanie J. Block for The Cher Show
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Santino Fantina for Tootsie
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in Play: Bryan Cranston, Network
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Ali Stroker, Oklahoma
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Bertie Carvel for Ink
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Andre De Shields for Hadestown
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Celia Keenan-Bulger for To Kill a Mockingbird
Best Original Score: Anais Mitchell, Hadestown
Best Book of a Musical: Robert Horn for Tootsie
Best Scenic Design of a Play: Rob Howell for The Ferryman
Best Scenic Design of a Musical: Hauck for Hadestown
Best Costume Design of a Play: Rob Howell for The Ferryman
Best Costume Design of a Musical: Bob Mackie for The Cher Show
Best Lighting Design of a Play: Neil Austin for Ink
Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Bradley King for Hadestown
Best Sound Design in a Play: Fitz Patton for Choir Boy
Best Sound Design in a Musical: Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz for Hadestown
Best Choreography: Sergio Trujillo for Ain’t Too Proud
Best Orchestrations: Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose for Hadestown
Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater Rosemary Harris Terrence McNally Harold Wheeler
Isabelle Stevenson Award Judith Light
Regional Theater Tony Award TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Special Tony Award Marin Mazzie Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company Jason Michael Webb
Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theater Broadway Inspirational Voices – Michael McElroy, Founder Peter Entin FDNY Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 Joseph Blakely Forbes