The neon lights were bright on Broadway as it celebrated the 64th annual Tony Awards from Radio City Music Hall. Hosted by stage actor Sean Hayes, (Promises, Promises), the show commenced with flashy, musical numbers accompanied by lively dancers presenting songs from the nominated plays.This year’s awards feature lots of first time nominees.
The stage exploded with a musical extravaganza of hits from well-known artists Dionne Warwick, Frank Sinatra, Green Day, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Supremes, and more. View video of opening here.
Last year’s Broadway babes Daniel Radcliffe and Katie Holmes had the honor of presenting the first award of the night to Scarlett Johansson, Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role in A View From the Bridge. This is Johansson’s first time on the stage of the Great White Way, playing Catherine in the revival of the Arthur Miller drama. See presentation here.
Excited about her win, she said, “I don’t know what to say. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be on Broadway.” She went on to thank many people who made her dream possible, including her husband, actor Ryan Reynolds.
Other ladies who captured the coveted award: Katie Finneran, for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, Promises, Promises, and Viola Davis, Best Performance By A Leading Actress in the revival, Fences. See Best Actress award here.
Catherine Zeta-Jones caused a few eyebrows to rise when she gave her acceptance speech for Best leading Actress in a Musical for A Little Night Music. Pointing to Michael Douglas as Zeta-Jones finished her “thank-you’s,” she exclaimed, “See that man there? He’s a movie star and I get to sleep with him every night.” She said she later regrets the crass statement.
Finneran had inspiring words to all Broadway hopefuls, when she advised, “Focus on what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else. One day you will meet the person that will share that love with you.”
In attendance very notably were Beyonce and native New Yorker, Jay Z, and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, producers of the play Fela! and evening presenters.
Winners among the men include Brit Eddie Redmayne, for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in Red, Levi Kreis, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical, for the production Million Dollar Quartet, and Douglas Hodge, Best Performance By a Leading Actor in a Musical for another revival, La Cage aux Folles.
Denzel Washington crossed over from Hollywood to the stage earning a Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in the August Wilson play, Fences. He thanked everyone and relished his win saying he felt “so much love.” Washington continued saying, “I’m amazed. Honored. Blessed.” See Washington’s win here.
Additional category winners were Bill T. Jones as Best Choreography for Fela!, the biographical story of dynamic Nigerian musician Fela Kuti. Singing music and making a stand for human rights for his people, Fela proclaimed, “Music is the weapon- music is the weapon of the future.” See footage here.
Best Direction of a Play went to Michael Grandage, another Brit, for Red. Best Musical of the season was Memphis, and Red took the honors as Best Play on Broadway. See more on Memphis here.
Jon Bon Jovi was present via satellite from the O2 Arena in London to support fellow band mate, keyboardist David Bryan. Broadway production Memphis was co-written by Bryan and stage veteran Joe DiPietro. Bryan took the Tony home for Best Orchestrations, along with co-writer Daryl Waters, missing his first Bon Jovi concert in 23 years.
Stanley Tucci, (Lend Me a Tenor), paid tribute to stage actors who recently passed away: Lynn Redgrave, Rue McClanahan, Dixie Carter, Lena Horne, Doris Eastman, the last surviving Ziegfeld Follies girl, and more.
To see a list of all the winners, go to the Tony Awards official website, or click here.
For Broadway shows, dates and ticket purchases, click here.
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