The 72nd edition of the annual Tony Awards held Sunday night at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, honored the best of the best across the Great White Way, with “The Band’s Visit” sweeping the awards with 10 trophies, including the Best Musical.
Hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, the show kicked off with the two musicians-turned-Broadway stars performing a self-deprecating piano duet about them never having won a Tony or a Grammy.
“So it begins, these are the Tonys, a theater tournament, find out who wins, who gets to go home with that sang ornament. We are your hosts, and we’re perfectly suited to be because — did you know, neither one of us has ever won anything?” went the lyrics.
“This one’s for the loser inside of you,
“The lack of top honor won’t make you a goner, it might even make you a host,” sang the two co-hosts.
‘Best Actor in a Play’ award goes to Andrew Garfield for playing Prior Walters in “Angels in America”
Kerry Washington, who is due to become part of the “American Son” cast this coming October, was welcomed onstage by Bareilles and Groban to present the Best Actor award won by Andrew Garfield for his superlative performance in “Angels in America.”
“The most important thing we remember right now is the sanctity of the human spirit,” Garfield said in his acceptance speech, going on to say that it was an honor for him to portray Prior Walter’s character.
Praising the LGBTQ community, he said, “It is a spirit that says no to oppression. It is a spirit that says no to bigotry, no to exclusion.”
Garfield made it a point to allude to a recent case involving a Colorado baker who refused to bake the wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
“We are all sacred and we all belong,” he said. “So, let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked.”
Laurie Metcalf takes home the ‘Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Play’ award
Before presenting the ‘Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Play’ award, English actress and singer Carey Mulligan gushed over the fact that this past Broadway season had created a record of sorts by becoming the most well-attended season in Broadway’s history.
Laurie Metcalf thanked her director, Joe Mantello, and cast mates for the honor, as she received the award for her part in Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women.”
Bruce Springsteen honored with a ‘Special Tony Award’
“Piano Man” Billy Joel was called onstage to present the award to none other than “The Boss” himself.
Yes, it’s Bruce Springsteen who took home the special Tony, which includes the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Theater, as well.
The singer-songwriter superstar, who is currently featuring in “Springsteen on Broadway,” said that receiving the award was “one of the most exciting things that I have ever experienced.”
Lindsay Mendez bags ‘Best Featured Actress in a Musical’ award for her role in “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”
Tituss Burgess was at his humorous best as he came onstage to give away the ‘Best Featured Actress in a Musical’ award to Lindsay Mendez for her performance in “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel.”
“To present best-featured actress in a musical, a category in which I have been snubbed many times, is both painful and courageous on my part, to say the least,” quipped Burgess.
“I was told to change my last name from Mendez to Matthews or I wouldn’t work,” Mendez said, recalling the start of her distinguished career.
“I just want to say how proud I am to be a part of a community that celebrates diversity and individuality,” she said. “Just be your true self and the world will take note.”
Nathan Lane wins ‘Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play’ award for playing Roy Cohn in “Angels in America”
Nathan Lane thanked all of his colleagues after Tatiana Maslany presented him with the ‘Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play’ award for playing Roy Cohn in “Angels in America.”
He attributed his achievement to hard work and dedication and was particularly praiseworthy of playwright Tony Kushner for writing “one of the greatest plays of the 20th century,” which is “still speaking to us as powerfully as ever in the midst of political insanity.”
“To my dear husband, Devlin Elliott, the greatest blessing in my life,” said an emotional Lane.
“About eight years ago I decided I need to shake things up, I decided I need to challenge myself more again as an actor,” he said
Glenda Jackson walks away with the ‘Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play’ award
British actress and former Labor Party politician Glenda Jackson received her Tony for the ‘Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play’ from Claire Danes for playing “A” in the play “Three Tall Women” by Edward Albee.
Tony Shalhoub wins the Tony for ‘Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical’
Tony Shalhoub was honored with one of the ten awards that “The Band’s Visit” won Sunday night.
He got his Tony for ‘Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical’ from Kelli O’Hara for his portrayal of Tewfiq Zakaria’s character in the Musical.
“May we, their descendants, never lose sight of what they taught us,” he said in reference to the immigrants whose legacy still exists.
Katrina Lenk snaps up ‘Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical’ award for doing Dina in “The Band’s Visit”
“Our whole ‘Band’s Visit’ family is full of people who are so generous and so supportive with me and with each other,” Katrina Lenk said in her acceptance speech after she was awarded the Tony for ‘Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical’ award for her part as Dina in “The Band’s Visit”
And, the ‘BEST MUSICAL’ Tony award goes to “The Band’s Visit.”
Actress, singer and children’s book author Bernadette Peters got the honor to present one of the biggest and the most prestigious Tonys – the ‘Best Musical’ award – which was accepted by, who else but, Producer Orin Wolf for, what else but, “The Band’s Visit.”
“In ‘The Band’s Visit,’ music gives people hope and makes borders disappear. Although the characters are strangers to each other with great political divide, our show offers a message of unity in a world that more and more seems bent on amplifying our differences. In the end, we are more alike than we are different,” Wolf said in his acceptance speech.
The 72nd Tony Awards ended with a rendition from the two hosts of the ceremony – Bareilles, and Groban – who were at their wonderful best all through the evening.