The 68th annual Tony Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Sunday (8 June 2014).
This year’s glitzy awards, hosted again by Hugh Jackman, were an even-handed affair, spreading the love across a number of shows. Seven musicals and six plays won at least one award this year – with A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder and Hedwig and the Angry Inch both winning four each, and A Raisin in the Sun scoring three awards.
The stand-out winner of the night was Audra McDonald (43), who won the Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play award for her performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, and made history by becoming the first person to ever win six Tony awards and the first to win Tonys in all four acting categories.
Other big winners in the actress category last night included Jessie Mueller who won Best actress in a musical for playing Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and British actress Sophie Okonedo who scooped a best supporting actress award for Kenny Leon’s production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (Kenny also won for Best director).
The musical win of the night – scoring the Best Musical Award – was A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, which walked away with the award despite stiff competition from Aladdin, After Midnight, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. The show won four awards in total including Best director for Darko Tresnjak and Best book for Robert L. Freedman.
How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris won Best actor in a leading role in a musical for playing Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch – which also scored three other awards including Best musical revival. NPH performed one of the biggest numbers of the night, singing “Sugar Daddy” from the show.
Other big actor wins included Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), who proved a popular choice, winning Best actor for playing Lyndon B. Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s play All the Way – which also scooped the Best Play award.
Mark Rylance took home his third Tony, this time a Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play award for the Shakespeare’s Globe production of Twelfth Night, beating his fellow cast members Paul Chahidi and Stephen Fry. Jenny Tiramani also won best costume design of a play for Twelfth Night.
Twelfth Night’s Samuel Barnett was pipped to the Actor in a Leading Role gong by Bryan Cranston, which was probably fair enough.
Other Actor wins included James Monroe Iglehart, getting a best featured actor in a musical Tony for Aladdin.
Two shows were promoted at the Awards that haven’t actually opened yet: The Last Ship – which is Sting’s new musical, and he performed a song from the show; a forthcoming pop musical based on the lives of Gloria and Emilio Estefan; and Harvey Weinstein’s big-budget attempt to get Finding Neverland to Broadway, with Jennifer Hudson – who is not even in the out-of-town cast – singing a song from the show written by Take That’s Gary Barlow.