Calling all Broadway buffs! We’re live blogging the Tony Awards tonight! Hugh Jackman will be hosting the event, which is easily one of the most entertaining awards shows on television. There’s lots of great performances from Broadway shows and stars coming up, so stay tuned.
American Idol alums will be representing tonight. Jennifer Hudson will perform “Neverland” from the upcoming musical and Fantasia will join Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight to sing songs from Around Midnight. Fantasia had returned to the Cotton Club era musical review in May and has just handed the reins off to Patti.
The telecast begins with Hugh Jackman on the red carpet outside. He takes off his jacket and his opening performance begins. He’s bouncing his way into the theater. A dancer, also hopping, helps him on with his tux jacket. He’s backstage, high fiving Sting, passing several casts. He ends up in an elevator with a wary Neil Patrick Harris whom he wishes good luck. He finally ends up on stage to sing how much he loves Broadway and is so happy to be the host of the show!
The “hopping” was an homage to an homage to a number called “Take Me to Broadway,” performed by dancer Bobby Van in Small Town Girl. Many know it from the dance compilation film, That’s Entertainment Part II.
Fantasia, Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight take the stage with the cast of “After Midnight.” Fantasia is SPECTACULAR. All three ladies are amazing. Tap dancers from the show take over. Dule Hill is part of the performance. This looks like a super entertaining show. Hugh Jackman joins the dancing throng!
Hugh Jackman’s monologue is short and sweet, he shouts out to Neil Patrick Harris in the audience, who has hosted the Tony’s 4 times. Neil tweeted “WTF” to Hugh when he heard the news he was hosting. Hugh is a little bit confused about what that means. Heh.
Anna Gunn and Orlando Bloom present Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play to Mark Rylance, for Twelfth Night. It’s his 3rd Tony. He dedicates his award to Sam Wanamaker.
Emmy Rossum introduces the company of Les Miserable, up for Best Musical Revival, to perform “One More Day.” That was stirring!
More shoutouts to Bryan Cranston and others as Hugh takes the stage after a break. He sings “Tony’s are Back in Town” to the tune of “Mack the Knife.” He shouts out to the camera guy who followed him during the opening number.
Tony Goldwyn and Leighton Meester present Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a musical to Lena Hall for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She completely loses her mind as she thanks everyone she can think of. She is literally hyperventilating. Deep breaths, girl!
Lucy Liu is next to introduce James Monroe Iglehart, Adam Jacobs and the company of Aladdin to sing “You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me.” James is nominated for a Tony! He also performs a medley of Disney musical hits as a little tag in the middle of the performance. Also. TAP DANCING! Dude’s a big guy and HE CAN MOVE. Adam Jacob. Only meant to stand there and look pretty as Aladdin.
It’s Jonathan Groff! He originated a role with Lea Michele in Spring Awakening, and then guest starred in Glee with her. He introduces ANOTHER Glee guest star, Idina Menzel. She sings. “Staring Over” from If Then. I’ll spare you the John Travolta jokes. Although, hilariously, Jonathan introduced her in EXACTLY the same way John did at the Oscars…except he got her name correct. This performance is packed with so much emotion. Idina is being flawless, as usual.
Clint Eastwood, the producer/director of the film version of Jersey Boys. His gives a rambly presentation for Best Director of A Musical. He really seems old. The Tony goes to Darko Tresnjak for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder. He thanks his husband and his mom, who was a paratrooper in Europe during WWII!
Best Director of a Play goes to Kenny Leon for Raisin in the Sun. He thanks the stars of the production, including Denzel Washington. And his mom, of course.
Samuel L Jackson is next. He introduces the musical version of Rocky. The cast takes the stage to sing “Eye of the Tiger!” Shades of the 80’s y’all. Apollo Creed fights Rocky in the 15th round. It’s super fake, as the ring rotates. Rocky wins and kisses his wife. Hm.
Fran Drescher presents Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical to James Monroe Iglehart in Aladdin. If you haven’t guessed already, he plays the magical genie. He thanks his wife, mom and fam, quickly to make way for the business thank yous. He ends with a PRAISE SHOUT. I want to hang with this guy at a party.
Maggie Gyllenhaal introduces Alan Cumming and the company of Cabaret. He sings “Willkommen.”
Ethan Hawk presents Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play to Sophie Okonedo for Raisin in the Sun
Jefferson Mays does some clever quick changes, with help, into costumes from A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder as he introduces a performance from the cast.
Back from break, Hugh sings a little ditty dedicated to the 5 actresses nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Play. And the Tony goes to Audra McDonald for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. It’s her 6th Tony, making Tony history! She is balling her eyes out! She thanks her late parents for introducing to her theater. She thanks her husband in the audience, who is also crying. Her smiling daughter is there too. Aw. She also thanks all of the great African American actresses who came before her, including Billie Holiday, the character she plays.
Bradley Cooper and Patricia Clarkson present Best Performance by an Actor in a Lead Actor in a Play to Bryan Cranston, who plays LBJ in All the Way. He’s a little overwhelmed!
RuPaul introduces Neil Patrick Harris and the company of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. RuPaul introduces Hedwig as trangendered and forgotten (transgender is actually the proper word. You’ll get it right eventually, Ru!)
Neil is dressed in drag, fronting a 70’s glam style rock band. He’s so thin, but rock stars were gaunt in those days. During the performance, Neil is out in the audience, basically giving people lap dances! Wow. He’s amazing in this role. What a transformation. LOL THE LOOK ON STINGS FACE WHEN HE BOUNCES ON HIS LAP. The “angry inch” refers to Hedwig’s botched sex change operation. He kisses a dude in the audience. Pretty sure that’s Neil’s boyfriend, David.
Alan Cumming is back to pimp the American Theater Wing.
Kenneth Branagh introduces the playwrights of the Best Play nominees, who talk about their works. Oh wow. A clip of Bryan Cranston as LBJ. So good! The clips from the plays make me want to see every one of them. And the Tony goes to All the Way. The producer and playwright accept the award with the entire cast.
Wayne Brady introduces Sutton Foster and Joshua Henry who sing “On My Way” from the musical Violet. It’s a tent revival! Sutton has an amazing range and such a beautiful tone. I love her voice. The gospel choir is over the top in the best way.
Gloria and Emilio Estefan introduce Sting who sings the title song from The Last Ship. He composed the songs for the new musical, which is headed to Broadway this fall. That weird Northern accent? Nope.
Matt Bomer and Zachary Quinto are Carnegie Mellon University alums. It’s the 100th anniversary of the drama department. They introduce a higher education award in a partnership between the school and the Tonys. PITTSBURGH REPRSENTING. Next, a series of single honors are introduced, including a speech from Rosie O’Donnell.
Judith Light presents the Best Revival of a Play to A Raisin in the Sun. Director Kenny Leon accepts the award.
Jenny Barber and Christine Gwyer, the current leads in Wicked, perform “For Good” to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the musical. Hugh mentions that when he hosted the Tonys in 2004, the production was all the rage. Oh. Goosebumps.
LL Cool J. and TI join Hugh to sing a hip hop version of “Music Man.” Well. That was different! Quest Love from The Roots came up with the beat.
Audra McDonald is next to present Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical. It goes to Neil Patrick Harris. DID ANYONE DOUBT? “Last year I was hosting the Tonys…This is crazy pants!” he says. He thanks his boyfriend and his kids. It’s his parents anniversary. They’re playing him off! Let Neil speak!
The legendary Carole King is here! She was involved with the musical, Beautiful, at first. But when it became too tough emotionally, she left. She even missed the opening performance. But once she finally saw it, she loved it. Now it’s her favorite musical. Jessie Mueller and Jesse Epstein sing “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” It’s a before/after thing, starting at the Brill Building. Eventually, the Shirelles, who made the song a hit, take over the song. The performance ends with “I Fell the Earth Move” portraying the singer in the 70’s as a curly haired singer songwriter. Carole joins her on stage for a duet with the cast! That was pretty cool.
Kevin Bacon and Kate Mara present Best Revival of a Musical to Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Zach Braff from Bullets over Broadway introduces a performance by Nick Cordero and the cast of the musical.
Hugh also sings the nominees for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. How did the guys get off the hook? He sits on Idina Menzel’s lap! The Tony goes to Jesse Mueller for playing Carole King in Beautiful. Her thank you speech is quite hysterical! Not funny, ha ha, but really super-emotional.
Tina Fey introduces Jennifer Hudson with the 4 boys from the Darling family and Peter Pan (played by SYTYCD alum, Melanie Moore) to preview “Neverland” from the upcoming musical. So she’s singing with members of the cast? But she’s not in the cast. Hm. I love Jennifer Hudson, but I would have preferred the actress who was cast in the part, Laura Michelle Kelly, to perform with her fellow cast members.
Rosie O’Donnell will finish things up by presenting Best Musical to a Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
Hugh invites all of the Tony winners on stage to perform “On Broadway” with him to close the awards. And we’re out. Another entertaining Tony Awards comes to a close.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Samuel Barnett, “Twelfth Night”
Bryan Cranston, “All the Way” – WINNER
Chris O’Dowd, “Of Mice and Men
Mark Rylance, “Richard III”
Tony Shalhoub, “Act One”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Tyne Daly, “Mothers and Sons”
Latasha Richardson-Jackson, “A Raisin in the Sun”
Cherry Jones, “The Glass Menagerie”
Audra McDonald, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” – WINNER
Estelle Parsons, “The Velocity of Autumn”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Neil Patrick Harris, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – WINNER
Ramin Karimloo, “Les Miserables”
Andy Karl, “Rocky”
Jefferson Mays, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”
Bryce Pinkham, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Mary Bridget Davies, “A Night With Janis Joplin”
Sutton Foster, “Violet”
Idina Menzel, “If/Then”
Jessie Mueller, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” – WINNER
Kelli O’Hara, “The Bridges of Madison County”
BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
“The Cripple of Inishmaan”
“The Glass Menagerie”
“A Raisin in the Sun” – WINNEr
BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – WINNER
“All the Way” – WINNER
“Mothers and Sons”
“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” – WINNER
BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
Chad Beguelin, “Aladdin”
Douglas McGrath, “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical”
Woody Allen, “Bullets Over Broadway”
Robert L. Freedman, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” – WINNER
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE
“Aladdin” Music: Alan Menken, Lyrics: Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin
“The Bridges of Madison County” Music & Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown – WINNER
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” Music: Steven Lutvak, Lyrics: Robert L. Freedman & Steven Lutvak
“If/Then” Music: Tom Kitt, Lyrics: Brian Yorkey
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Reed Birney, “Casa Valentina”
Paul Chahidi, “Twelfth Night”
Stephen Fry, “Twelfth Night”
Mark Rylance, “Twelfth Night” – WINNER
Brian J. Smith, “The Glass Menagerie”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Sarah Greene, “The Cripple of Inishmaan”
Celia Keenan-Bolger, “The Glass Menagerie”
Sophie Okonedo, “A Raisin in the Sun” – WINNER
Anika Noni Rose, “A Raisin in the Sun”
Mare Winningham, “Casa Valentina”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Danny Burstein, “Cabaret”
Nick Cordero, “Bullets Over Broadway”
Joshua Henry, “Violet”
James Monroe Iglehart, “Aladdin” – VIDEO
Jarrod Spector, “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Linda Emond, “Cabaret”
Lena Hall, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – WINNER
Anika Larsen, “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” – WINNER
Adriane Lenox, “After Midnight”
Lauren Worsham, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”
BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY
Beowulf Boritt, “Act One” – WINNER
Bob Crowley, “The Glass Menagerie”
Es Devlin, “Machinal”
Christopher Oram, “The Cripple of Inishmaan”
BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Christopher Barreca, “Rocky” – WINNER
Julian Crouch, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”
Alexander Dodge, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”
Santo Loquasto, “Bullets Over Broadway”
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY
Jane Greenwood, “Act One”
Michael Krass, “Machinal”
Rita Ryack, “Casa Valentina”
Jenny Tiramani, “Twelfth Night” – WINNER
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Linda Cho, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” – WINNER
William Ivey Long, “Bullets Over Broadway”
Arianne Phillips, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”
Isabel Toledo, “After Midnight”
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY
Paule Constable, “The Cripple of Inishmaan”
Jane Cox, “Machinal”
Natasha Katz, “The Glass Menagerie” – WINNER
Japhy Weideman, “Of Mice and Men”
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Kevin Adams, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – WINNER
Christopher Akerlind, “Rocky”
Howell Binkley, “After Midnight”
Donald Holder, “The Bridges of Madison County”
BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A PLAY
Alex Baranowski, “The Cripple of Inishmaan”
Steve Canyon Kennedy, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” – WINNER
Dan Moses Schreier, “Act One”
Matt Tierney, “Machinal”
BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Peter Hylenski, “After Midnight”
Tim O’Heir, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”
Mick Potter, “Les Miserables”
Brian Ronan, “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” – WINNER
BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Tim Carroll, “Twelfth Night”
Michael Grandage, “The Cripple of Inishmaan”
Kenny Leon, “A Raisin in the Sun” – WINNER
John Tiffany, “The Glass Menagerie”
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Warren Carlyle, “After Midnight”
Michael Mayer, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”
Leigh Silverman, “Violet”
Darko Tresnjak, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” – WINNER
Warren Carlyle, “After Midnight” – WINNER
Steven Hoggett & Kelly Devine, “Rocky”
Casey Nicholaw, “Aladdin”
Susan Stroman, “Bullets Over Broadway”
Doug Besterman, “Bullets Over Broadway”
Jason Robert Brown, “The Bridges of Madison County” WINNER
Steve Sidwell, “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical”
Jonathan Tunick, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”
RECIPIENTS OF AWARDS AND HONORS IN NON-COMPETITIVE CATEGORIES
SPECIAL TONY AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE THEATRE
REGIONAL THEATRE AWARD
Signature Theatre, New York, N.Y.
ISABELLE STEVENSON AWARD
TONY HONORS FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE THEATRE
Joseph P. Benincasa