Tony Wrap Up

The 2012 Tony Awards have been handed out! It was a great, permformance-filled broadcast, with host Neil Patrick Harris once again proving what an affable and versatile performer he is. I loved his effusive praise of the Broadway community, and the way he made Ted Chapin and Angela Lansbury's American Theater Wing speech watchable! (I also loved Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin's intro to the Best Revival category - now that's an intro!)

There were definitely some surprises throughout the night, which makes any award more fun to watch. So, without any further ado, here is the full list of winners. (Winners are notated with an asterisk and bold type. Pictures to be added throughout the day.)

Best Play 
Of course I wanted Starcatcher to win, but this is extremely well-deserved. Clybourne Park is a fantastic, classic, funny and extremely well written play. And, because there isn't an award for Best Written Play (like at the Oscars, where there's a Best Screenplay award as well as Best Movie award), I think that this went to a play that excites and translates just as well on the page as it does on the stage. Bravo.

Best Musical 
I'm actually really glad about this win. There is so much I like about Once, even if I can't listen to the score all together. (I've been listening to certain songs on their own, and I'm obsessing over "Gold," which the extremely talented company performed on the broadcast.) I'm glad that art won over commerce. I'm glad that a show with heart and integrity won over glossy, over-produced, paint-by-numbers fodder. I'm glad that a small, intimate musical will now be in the pantheon of those few musicals considered "the best."

Best Book of a Musical 
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre


Best Revival of a Play 
Though I enjoyed The Best Man more - mainly because it's funny and expressly political - Salesman was phenomenal. There's a reason this play is a classic. Attention was paid.

Best Revival of a Musical 
Whoa! Big surprise. With all the controversy, I thought for sure Follies would win. But, I guess when producer Jeff Richards is campaigning, the fantastic Diane Paulus is at the helm and Audra McDonald is your Bess... I should have seen this coming. In truth, it's a great feat that Paulus and company have brought this classic opera to modern Broadway audiences.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play 
Another big surprise here. Many prognosticators thought Hoffman had a lock on this category, but in the end, comedy beat drama, which doesn't usually happen. I like what Corden said in his speech, about there really being no such thing as "the best." It's true - how do you compare what all these actors did and declare one better than the other?

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play 
Yay!!!!!!! Hail Nina! This category was a toss up for most, with strong performances from all (or so I hear, in the case of Bennett). But I am so glad Nina won. Just as Thomas can't seem to find the right person to play Vanda in his adaptation, I'm certain it was a near impossible task to find the right person to play her in David Ives's provocative play. Bravo, Nina. (And, contrary to what you said in your speech (after you flirted with Christopher Plummer!), I think you will be up there again!)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical 
This is a good win. Kazee pours his heart and soul into this role - this broken musician - and he blessedly pulls back when others might go for flash. And what a lovely, heartfelt speech, recognizing his company and creative team and honoring his mother in such a sweet and thoughtful way.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical 
I'll be honest: I really wanted Jan Maxwell to win. But, if it wasn't going to be Maxwell, I'm quite glad it was McDonald. It almost seems like she was born to play this role, and now the always impressive McDonald joins the ranks of just two other women who have won five Tony awards. (It's notable, though, that this was McDonald's first for a leading role.)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This category is officially stached!!!!!!!!!!!! And I particularly liked that his acceptance speech was made with respect to the ensemble theme of the show. Believe in starstuff!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Congratulations, Ms. Light. She gives a phenomenal performance, definitely one of the highlights of the play.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Um, what?!? I think this is a win by default. Granted, I haven't seen Nice Work, but I think what happened here is that Boykin and Grier, the two strongest contenders, split votes, and McGrath picked up a plurality. This was definitely a big surprise.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Based on all the prognostications I'd read, this wasn't a surprise, but it's not who I wanted to win. I was rooting for Mueller, who gave an a-star-is-born performance in On Clear Day. Oh well...if Thespis has taste, Mueller will have a long career, starting with Into the Woods in Shakespeare in the Park at the end of July. I did like, however, that during Kaye's acceptance speech, a woman sitting behind Nice Work director Kathleen Marshall was caught yawning!

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Yay!!!!!!!!!! Believe in starstuff! I love the worlds Werle created, both aboard the ships and on Mollusk Island. "To have faith, is to have wings!"

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
I was hoping Ghost would get a little love in the technical categories, since it's such an extraordinary technical achievement, but Tony voters seemed to be on board the Once train.

Best Costume Design of a Play
Yay, starstuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best Costume Design of a Musical
These costumes were gorgeous, so this was my pick. (And, if memory serves, Ben Brantley even mentioned, while comparing this Broadway version to the Kennedy Center one, what a difference a different dress makes.)

Best Lighting Design of a Play
"Starstuff, it makes you what you want to be!"

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Agan, I really wanted Ghost to win this, but, again, voters were set on Once.

Best Sound Design of a Play
Believe in starstuff!

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Best Direction of a Play
Okay. Mike Nichols is a legend and he directed a great play. But that's just it - he had a great play to begin with. Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, as directed by a mediocre director, is still going to be Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, i.e., it's still going to be exceptional and powerful. Not to take anything away from Rick Elice and his beautiful script for Starcatcher, but so much of the magic and excitement of the play comes from it's directors, Rees and Timbers.

Best Direction of a Musical
Kudos to Tiffany for taking an intimate, very un-Broadway musical movie and turning it into an intimate, Broadway musical.

Best Choreography
  • Rob Ashford, Evita
  • Christopher Gatelli, Newsies*
  • Steven Hoggett, Once
  • Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work if You Can Get It 
While I would have liked to see Hoggett win for his subtle and wonderfully effective movement in Once, it's no surprise that Gatelli won for his super athletic choreography.

Best Orchestrations
  • William David Brohn and Christopher Jahnke, Porgy and Bess
  • Bill Elliott, Nice Work if You Can Get It
  • Martin Lowe, Once*
  • Danny Troob, Newsies
Special Awards
  • Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre: Emanuel Azenberg
  • Regional Theatre Award: The Shakespeare Company, Washington, DC
  • Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre: Freddie Gershon, Artie Siccardi and TDF Open Doors
  • Bernadette Peters received the Isabelle Stevenson Award
  • Special Tony Awards were presented to Actors' Equity Association and Hugh Jackman. 
And there you have it, the 66th annual Tony Awards. Now, go see a Broadway show!

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