71st Tony Award Winners (2017)

The winners for the 71st annual Tony Awards have been announced and feted! The full list of winners is below, beginning with the big four categories. Thereafter are the winners in the play categories followed by the nominees in the musical categories. Winners are notated with bold typeface and an asterisk.

Best Musical
Hooray!!! Dear Evan Hansen had been the early frontrunner, but Come From Away was the horse that broke late, and made the category competitive. (I certainly don't mean that as a knock on Great Comet, which I've seen and loved, or Groundhog Day, which I haven't seen; that's just what the race, according to chatter, was.) I love this musical. It's raw, honest, and important. It worked so well off-Broadway, it works amazingly on Broadway, and you better look for it in your town because I have no doubt it will be incredible on tour.

Best Play
This wasn't my first choice, but it's a great choice. (There really weren't any bad choices in this slate.) I thought Oslo was terrific, I just preferred the energy, audacity, and direction of A Doll's House, Part 2. Still, this is a good choice. Possibly controversial side-note: I'm glad Sweat didn't win. I know it won the Pulitzer, but it wasn't a fantastic play. I think had the 2016 US election turned out differently, Sweat wouldn't be getting the attention it is getting, including the Pulitzer. That's a long way of saying that Oslo is the right choice over Sweat.

Best Revival of a Musical
Well, duh! I mean, the actual best revival, Sunday in the Park with George, withdrew itself from nomination. That was probably the best hope for giving the seemingly unstoppable Hello, Dolly a run for its money. I haven't seen Hello, Dolly in any iteration, but word on the street is that this is a great revival of the beloved musical.

Best Revival of a Play
Congratulations to the company of this production.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
This was as much of a sure thing as anything was this night, and I'm soooo happy about it. Kevin Kline has been a favorite for years, and the fact that he name-checked the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities in his speech is just icing on the cake. Get to the St. James before Present Laughter closes in July.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Yes. This is the right and the only choice to have made. This was Metcalf's fourth nomination, and she's one of the best actresses working today. She absolutely owns the stage in Lucas Hnath's play. She has incredible co-stars (all were nominated for Tonys), but it's her show. Bravo.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
  • Michael Aronov, Oslo*
  • Danny DeVito, The Price
  • Nathan Lane, The Front Page
  • Richard Thomas, The Little Foxes
  • John Douglas Thompson, Jitney
Yes!!! I was hoping Aronov would win! Danny DeVito had won some of the other awards this season, and I was nervous that he would take home the Tony, as well, even though he was the most detracting feature of a sub-par revival of a not great play. Anyway, Aronov is fantastic in Oslo, and I loved his speech, focusing on his parents, and what they sacrificed for him. Hooray for Aronov.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
This is the one performance in this category that I haven't seen, though we all know Cynthia Nixon can do no wrong on stage, so huzzah to the talented actress. I also like that she gave a politically timely speech without pontificating. An extra huzzah to Ms. Nixon.

Best Direction of a Play
This was unexpected. Not undeserving, to be sure, but unexpected. I was pulling for Sam Gold because I thought the direction of A Doll's House, Part 2 just pushed it from a good play to a great one, but Taichman did great work, and co-conceived the show with playwright Paula Vogel.

Best Scenic Design of a Play
This was my pick. In this farce, the set is another character, integral to the success of the play. Congratulations to (Captain?) Hook.

Best Costume Design of a Play
Congratulations, Jane Greenwood.
Best Lighting Design of a Play
I had guessed and hoped this would win. The lighting is as much a character in the play as any of the people portrayed on stage. Bravo, Mr. Akerlind.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
I had been Team Ben Platt all the way. What he does in that show—eight times a week—is nothing short of magic. And he's only 23! How lucky are we that Platt is going to be dazzling us for decades to come? And I love his line about being yourself, "The things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful." Amen, Ben.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Another foregone conclusion. What wasn't as predictable was Midler's (seemingly) never-ending speech. (You'd think that, knowing she'd win, she'd prepare something that wasn't as long-winded.) In any case, this was the first competitive Tony the Divine Ms. M won, and I hear it's well-deserved.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
This is actually the one performance in this category I haven't seen, but I will always love Gavin Creel, so I have nothing negative to say. (The theatre geek in me loved that Sutton Foster was one of the people who presented Gavin with this award. The two co-starred in Thoroughly Modern Mille, for which Creel earned his first Tony nomination.) What he had to say about arts scholarships was also noteworthy. Love you, Gavin! Congratulations!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
  • Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly
  • Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos
  • Jenn Colella, Come From Away
  • Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen*
  • Mary Beth Peil, Anastasia
Hooray for Rachel Bay Jones!!!!!! She has turned in honest and affecting work throughout her career, and she's wonderfully devastating as the frazzled mother in Dear Evan Hansen. I am SOOOO excited by this win. Jones is a delightful person and an unparalleled performer. I liked the moment in her speech when she gave a shout out to her daughter, who "sacrificed so many bed times with mom" so that Jones could pursue her passion. Bravo!

Best Direction of a Musical
What?!? What is this BS? This 100% should have gone to Rachel Chavkin. Anyone else think Ashley won because voters split on Chavkin and Greif, leaving Ashley with a plurality? What the what?

Best Score
Ahhh!!!! I'm so excited by and happy about this! I LOVE this score. The deceptive simplicity and emotional rawness make for an utterly compelling score. Pasek and Paul won an Oscar earlier this year, they just won a Tony, and might win a Grammy for the OBCR of Dear Evan Hansen. Anyone want to take bets on when they reach EGOT status?!?

Best Book of a Musical
Yes. Yes. Yes. With no hard feelings toward Malloy (who had the Herculean task of translating a portion of an epic novel to the stage - in musical form), Levenson wrote an original musical, and the book is solid. It's funny, heartfelt, and truly builds character and pathos, it doesn't just get you to the next song. What a well-deserved win.

Best Choreography
Congratulations to Andy Blankenbuehler.

Best Orchestrations
Congratulations to Alex Lacamoire.
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
This was really the only choice to make, right? Mimi Lien was able to translate a Russian supper club to a stodgy, stuffy, staid Broadway house, creating a thoroughly immersive experience that is felt no matter where you sit. That's badass.

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Congratulations, Santo Loquasto.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
When nominations came out, I was having trouble choosing between winner Bradley King and Japhy Weideman. I'm pleased as punch with this win. Let's hear it for the chandeliers!

And there you have it: The winners for the 71st annual Tony Awards. Congratulations to everyone!