Hadestown and The Ferryman win big at The 73rd Annual Tony Awards
Hadestown takes home a grand total of 8 Tony Awards, whilst the most decorated play was The Ferryman with four Tony wins, at last night's ceremony.
Last night the Broadway community (and a host of high-profile guests) gathered together at Radio City Music Hall in the heart of New York City to celebrate the end of a fantastic 2018-2019 Broadway season. The ceremony was hosted by Tony and seven-time Emmy Award winner James Corden, who previously knocked it out of the park as host in 2016 (the year Hamilton made the predictable clean sweep at the Awards ceremony). Once again, the "Late Late Show" star proved an all-singing, all-dancing crowd pleaser with an avalanche of Tony nominees joining him in his opening number and last year's hosts, Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles, joining him during a cover version of the Be More Chill viral hit "Michael in the Bathroom"... entitled "James in the Bathroom" and performed in the men's room, of course, with a hilarious cameo by four-time Tony Awards host Neil Patrick Harris.
In addition, Tony and Grammy Award winner Cynthia Erivo gave a show-stealing performance of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" from Disney's The Lion King during the 'In Memoriam' section of the ceremony, which also honored Special Tony Award recipient, the late Marin Mazzie. And nine Broadway casts of Tony-nominated productions all strutted their stuff on the grand stage of Radio City Music Hall.
As for the winners last night, although Hadestown and The Ferryman were clear winners in their respective musical and play categories, interestingly this year's Tony Award-winning "Best Musical" and "Best Play" didn't quite make the clean sweep like previous winners such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Band's Visit, and, of course, Hamilton.
Whilst Hadestown managed to grab 8 Tonys, including "Best Musical," "Best Direction of a Musical" for Rachel Chavkin, "Best Original Score Written for the Theatre" for Anaïs Mitchell, and "Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical" for Broadway legend André De Shields, other new musicals didn't go home empty-handed as the Broadway premiere of Tootsie snatched the prizes for "Best Book of a Musical" for Robert Horn and "Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical" for the show's tour-de-force star, Santino Fontana, and The Cher Show took home the awards for "Best Costume Design of a Musical" for longtime Cher-collaborator, Bob Mackie, and "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical" for the leading lady herself, Stephanie J. Block, who gave one of the most emotionally-charged speeches of the night after her first-ever Tony win.
Another emotional climax of the night came when Ali Stroker won the Award for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical" for her celebrated turn as Ado Annie in the Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! (which also beat its rival, Kiss Me, Kate, to take home the prize for "Best Revival of a Musical"). The wheelchair-bound actress tearfully dedicated her award to all the youngsters living with a disability who always believed they were never represented on the mainstream stage.
Another hugely popular Broadway musical that managed to secure a Tony last night was Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations, as Sergio Trujillo was awarded "Best Choreography" for the 'smoothest moves in town'!
In terms of the play categories, the Tonys were also distributed fairly evenly last night. The Ferryman was the big winner this year with four awards, including "Best Play" and "Best Direction of a Play" for Sam Mendes (who sadly couldn't make it to the ceremony), but other big winners included Bryan Cranston, who added a Tony Award in the category of "Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play" to his previous Olivier Award for his portrayal of Howard Beale in Network, and the legendary Elaine May, who took home the prize for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play" for her heart-wrenching turn as Gladys Green in The Waverly Gallery.
Manhattan Theatre Club also had a successful night with two Tony wins for their current production of Ink - "Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play" for Matilda star Bertie Carvel and "Best Lighting Design of a Play" - and a win for their Broadway premiere of Choir Boy for "Best Sound Design of a Play."
The box office smash that is To Kill a Mockingbird took home just one Tony Award last night, as Broadway favorite Celia Keenan-Bolger won her first Tony for her portrayal of Scout Finch for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play." And, finally, on a year that marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and a month that sees New York City hosting World Pride, it was rather fitting and sentimental to see the 50th Anniversary production of The Boys in the Band, with its starry cast of openly gay actors, be awarded the Tony for "Best Revival of a Play."
Check out the full list of 2019 Tony Award winners here.
Hadestown Tickets are available now for performances through January 5, 2020.
The Ferryman Tickets are available now for performances through July 7, 2019.
(Hadestown photo by Matthew Murphy / The Ferryman photo by Joan Marcus)