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Trans Rockers, English Gents and LBJ: 2014 Tony Awards Roundup

Hedwig

BY NAVEEN KUMAR

Between Hugh Jackman’s dance belt (or lack thereof) and a performance by Neil Patrick Harris in drag teasing everyone from Sting to Samuel L. Jackson, it was a mighty gay time at the Tony Awards Sunday night, which saw downtown cult favorite Hedwig and the Angry Inch win big for Best Revival of a Musical and collect acting prizes for its stars Mr. Harris and Lena Hall.

GGLMBway0858rComedic romp A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder was the evening’s other big musical winner, taking home both Best Musical and Best Director as well as awards for its book and costumes. Honors for the only nominated musical with an entirely original score proved affection among voters for well executed, traditional-leaning musical theatre.

Otherwise honors were mostly spread among a number of shows, with several big acting wins going to plays and musicals that were unrecognized in other categories. For her star-making turn as Carole King in Beautiful, Best Actress in a musical went to Jessie Mueller, who made history both by performing with Ms. King on stage and breaking into the running man with Mr. Jackman in the aisle. The Best Actress in a play award went to Audra McDonald, who also made history by becoming the first actress to win in all four acting categories, for her turn Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill.

A RAISIN IN THE SUN cap 1431_BThis spring’s acclaimed revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun was another big winner, taking home the award for Best Revival of a Play, plus nods to director Kenny Leon and featured actress Sophie Okonedo (though Denzel Washington, not nominated for his work in the show, was nowhere in sight). Raisin’s strongest competitor in the revival category, Shakespeare’s Globe production of Twelfth Night, took home a featured actor award for Mark Rylance as Lady Olivia.

Best Actor in the play category was another made famous on the small screen, Bryan Cranston for his portrayal of LBJ in political drama All the Way, which also took home the award for Best Play. A new approach to presenting that award, with each of the nominated playwrights introducing his work, inadvertently served to highlight the lack of diversity in the category. While women were underrepresented in creative categories across the board (particularly compared to last season), African American artists were very well recognized, including James Monroe Iglehart for his athletic performance as Aladdin’s genie.

After_Midnight3Tony host Hugh Jackman showcased his song and dance skills throughout, hoofing with the cast of nominated musical After Midnight (a winner for Best Choreography by Warren Carlyle), and heading into the audience to serenade the Best Actress nominees. But maybe his most rousing (and certainly most bizarre) number of the night teamed Mr. Jackman with T.I. and LL Cool J in a rap rendition of a song from The Music Man (maybe there’s a revival on the horizon?).

It was one of several attempts to draw more viewers to the telecast and potential ticket buyers to Broadway and future Broadway, including shows still in the works like Sting’s The Last Ship and a musical adaptation of Finding Neverland (which won’t be on Broadway for two years, and is not very likely to star Jennifer Hudson). Multiple shout-outs to leading regional theatres and about the importance of teachers, mentors and arts education also struck an inviting chord—though perhaps no one was more inviting than Alan Cumming singing the opening number to Cabaret. Hugh Jackman was really gunning for that nipple glitter trend.

Check out a list of all the winners HERE.

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Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos:joan marcus, matthew murphy, brigitte lacombe)

 


2014 Tony Awards Winners: FULL LIST

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[SPOILERS]

The 2014 Tony Awards happen tonight. We'll be posting the winners here, so for those of you on the West Coast (where the show is delayed until 8 pm) who don't want spoilers, check back later and don't continue with this post.

Winners (updating live), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "2014 Tony Awards Winners: FULL LIST" »


Hugh Jackman's Opening Number at the Tony Awards: VIDEO

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Was Hugh Jackman's opening number big, bold, and bouncy enough?

Find out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Rosie O'Donnell to Receive Special Tony Award

Rosie

Rosie O'Donnell is set to receive the Isabelle Stevenson Award at this year's Tony Awards, presented annually to a theater community member for humanitarian, social service or charitable contributions, according to the Hollywood Reporter:

O'Donnell was chosen for the 2014 award in recognition of her commitment to arts education for New York City public school children and her establishment of the nonprofit arts education foundation Rosie's Theater Kids (originally known as Rosie's Broadway Kids), which provides students with training in dance, music and drama, mentoring programs and exposure to professional theater.

"Rosie exemplifies the spirit and the generosity of the Broadway community through her "pay it forward" mentality within the arts community and beyond," said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, executive director of the American Theatre Wing.

Congrats!


Hugh Jackman to Host Tony Awards: VIDEO

Jackman

Yesterday afternoon, Hugh Jackman announced that he would be announcing the Tony Awards on June 8 at Radio City Music Hall.

Last year's host, Neil Patrick Harris, who is busy preparing for the leading role in the revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, took the news in stride, despite some taunting from Jackman.

Tweeted NPH: "I'm so proud of @RealHughJackman for hosting this year's Tony Awards and for calling me an hour ago to say, 'Suck it!'"

Watch Jackman's video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Hugh Jackman to Host Tony Awards: VIDEO" »


Here are All the Musical Numbers from the 2013 Tony Awards: VIDEO

Pippin

Last night we posted Neil Patrick Harris's showstopping opening number from the Tonys. Check it out here.

The show did go on, and the Oscars could learn a few things from how to entertain. Check out every performance from last night's show including Matilda, Kinky Boots, Pippin, Cinderella, Annie, Motown: The Musical, Bring It On, and Cyndi Lauper, AFTER THE JUMP...

And check out the complete winners' list HERE.

Continue reading "Here are All the Musical Numbers from the 2013 Tony Awards: VIDEO" »


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