Tony Awards That Have Made History

Tony Awards
On Sunday, Jun. 7, 2015, Broadway celebrates the 69th annual Tony Awards. The awards have been polished and given to the most deserving of actors, musicians, choreographers, directors, and more. Live from New York City’s Radio City Music Hall on CBS. Hosts Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth, both Broadway pros and Tony Award winners, started off the live telecast with a musical number that included the Broadway hits: Wicked’s Popular, There Is Nothing Like a Dame, and  Willkommen from Cabaret. On Sunday, history will be made at the Tony Awards.

Tony Award winners were:

  • Best Play – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Best Leading Actress – Helen Mirren for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience

Fun Home that made history at the Tony Awards, but it happened during a commercial break. Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, songwriters, were the first female writing team to win a Tony Award for best musical score.

  • Best Book of a Musical went to Lisa Kron.
  • Sam Gold, the director of Fun Home, won his first Tony.
  • Best Featured Actor in a Musical went to Christian Borle for his role in Something Rotten.
  • Best Featured Actress in a Play went to Annaleigh Ashford for her role in You Can’t Take it With You.
  • Best Director of a Play was Marianne Elliott for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
  • Best Choreography was Christopher Wheeldon for An American in Paris.
  • An American in Paris and Fun Home both performed and were tied for the most nominations with 12 each.
  • Best Lighting Design of a Play went to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
  • Best Lighting Design of a Musical was An American in Paris.
  • Tommy Tune received a special Tony Award and even clicked his heels.

Tony Awards

There were performances from Finding Neverland with Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer, Gigi with Vanessa Hudgens, and It Shoulda Been You with Tyne Daly. Josh Groban also took the stage and sang, You Never Walk Alone from Carousel with 175 other performers, which is the most performers in a single number that made Tony Award history.

The telecast featured 11 musical performances and 24 awards were given. Nominees for the best play will have a showing of video clips. Those nominees are, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Hand to God, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two, and Disgraced.

Presenters of the Tony Awards included Rose Byrne, Jason Alexander, Anna Chlumsky, Bobby Cannavale, Misty Copeland, Bradley Cooper, Larry David, Bryan Cranston, Sutton Foster, Taye Diggs, Joe Manganiello, Marg Helgenberger, Jennifer Nettles, Debra Messing, David Hyde Pierce, Jim Parsons, Amanda Seyfried, Thomas Sadoski, Corey Stoll, Taylor Schilling, Sting, Kiefer Sutherland, Rita Wilson, Ashley Tisdale, and four-time Tony host, Neil Patrick Harris.

An American in Paris took four technical Tonys and Fun Home won awards for best score, direction, and book. Joel Grey, who had recently made the announcement that he is gay, introduced Fun Home with Jennifer Grey, his daughter. Jennifer joked that the play was about a complicated and brilliant father. Joel admitted that was something his daughter would know about.

In her Broadway debut, Ruthie Ann Miles won best-featured actress for The King and I . Her speech was read off her phone and she thanked her mom, husband, and a few others.

Last year, the Tony Awards averaged 7.02 million viewers, but it had to compete with Game 2 of the NBA Finals, which started at the same time. Nevertheless, the 69th annual Tony Awards that were given made history.

During the season, there were 37 shows opened and box offices reported a total gross of $1.36 billion. This is up from the $1.27 billion made last year.

By Jeanette Smith

Sources:

CBS News: Tony Awards Kick Off, Packed with Celebs and Songs
US News: Helen Mirren, ‘Fun Home’ Composers Are Early Tony Award Winners
NY Times: Welcome to the 2015 Tony Awards

Photos courtesy of:

Ed Schipul’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Phil Guest’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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