Let’s go for the jugular and cut to window dressing afterwards, shall we?
Best in Show: Memphis (musical); Red (play); La Cage aux Folles (musical revival); Fences (play revival).
[FYI: I predicted the lot of them, with the exception of Memphis, which turned into the evening’s musical force majeure. My heart was rooting for American Idiot, but it’s a taste thing – and evidently a script thing, and American Idiot did come up short in that department. Still I do love a) Green Day’s edgy oeuvre and b) the blissfully sense-altering scenic design by Christine Jones (which, thankfully, did pick up the Tony).]
In the acting realm, Hollywood royalty reigned: Catherine Zeta-Jones – Best Actress in a Musical (A Little Night Music); Denzel Washington – Best Actor in Play (Fences); Viola Davis – Best Actress in a Play (Fences) [okay, not quite royalty yet, but known for film and well on her way to stardom]; Scarlett Johansson – Best Featured Actress in a Play (A View from the Bridge).
As for those best known for their Stage accomplishments: Douglas Hodges – Best Actor in a Musical (La Cage aux Folles); Katie Finneran – Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Promises, Promises); Eddie Rednayne – Best Featured Actor in a Play (Red); Levi Kreis – Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Million Dollar Quartet).
Notice anything interesting here? Well aside from Davis and Washington (the first African-American actors to take these awards in a single year), there are no duplications here: eight actors, seven different productions. All good choices (granted Zeta-Jones did scoop favorite Montego Glover in Memphis, but in the end Memphis cleaned everybody’s musical clock, Ms. Glover is young and will win a Tony sometime in the future, and Zeta-Jones is a lovely presence who had lovely things to say about Angela Lansbury (but then, who doesn’t?).
For more on Tony night, visit our theater blog here.
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