The Broadway musical phenomenon Spring Awakening and the epic play trilogy The Coast of Utopia took the top prizes at the Tony Awards on Sunday night, as expected. Also unsurprising: Frank Langella taking the Best Actor in Play award for his masterful performance in Frost/Nixon, Christine Ebersole winning the Best Actress in a Musical award for playing two different characters in Grey Gardens, and John Gallagher Jr. grabbing Featured Actor in a Musical for his tortured teen in Spring Awakening. Company got Best Musical Revival and the marvelous Journey’s End (which sadly had its last Broadway performance just hours before the Tonys began) took Play Revival.
The only true “upset” came when dark horse David Hyde Pierce’s name was announced for Best Actor in a Musical rather than the favored Raul Esparza. Pierce’s warm-hearted acceptance speech was a highlight of the evening, as was Langella’s classy one. Manic Julie White, winner of Best Actress in a Play for her agent-from-hell in The Little Dog Laughed, was the comic highlight at the podium, followed closely by Mary Louise Wilson (Grey Gardens). The musical performances sandwiched in between the award presentations were less than thrilling this year, with the exceptions of the Chorus Line opener (performed on the street outside Radio City Music Hall) and the energetic Spring Awakening medley (which amply proved that Duncan Sheik deserved his Best Score award).
Don’t forget to tune into the 61st Annual Tony Awards show at 8pm tonight (Eastern Standard time) on CBS. Broadway’s best will be on display as they are honored for their achievements in the 2006-2007 Broadway season. If you’re in the New York area, also check out the “Red Carpet” pre-show on NY1 at 6pm.
In between musical numbers performed by the casts of nominated Broadway shows Curtains, Grey Gardens, Mary Poppins, Spring Awakening, 110 in the Shade, Company, and A Chorus Line, a starry line-up of actors and entertainers will be presenting this year’s Tony Awards on June 10. The list includes Harry Connick, Jr., Claire Danes, Brian Dennehy, Neil Patrick Harris, Anne Heche, Marg Helgenberger, Felicity Huffman, Eddie Izzard, Jane Krakowski, Angela Lansbury, Robert Sean Leonard, John Mahoney, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, Bernadette Peters, David Hyde Pierce, Christopher Plummer, Kevin Spacey, Usher, Sam Waterston, Vanessa Williams, Rainn Wilson, and more! There will also be a special performance by Fantasia, the former American Idol who is now starring in The Color Purple on Broadway.
The Drama Desk Awards will be handed out this Sunday, May 20 at the LaGuardia Concert Hall in New York City. Unlike the Tonys, the Drama Desk doesn’t only honor Broadway shows, but also includes Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. We’ll be sure to highlight the major winners here, but if you’d like to see the ceremony (which will be hosted by Kristin Chenoweth), NYC’s PBS station will be broadcasting it on May 27 at 12:30pm.
Shortly after Tom Stoppard’s trilogy The Coast of Utopia secured 10 Tony nominations comes the news that his latest play, Rock ‘n’ Roll, will open on Broadway on November 4. The cast of the London production, which includes Brian Cox, Rufus Sewell, and Sinead Cusack, will reprise their roles on Broadway. Rock ‘n’ Roll will begin preview performances on October 19 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater.
Sadly, the excellent Broadway revival of R.C. Sherriff’s WWI drama Journey’s End has just announced it will be closing on June 10. The acclaimed production, starring Hugh Dancy and Boyd Gaines, received critical accolades and several Tony nominations, but it just couldn’t find an audience.
Tony Awards 2007
The 2007 Tony nominations came out today, and it’s no surprise that the shows receiving top recognition were the epic Tom Stoppard play The Coast of Utopia and the hot new musical Spring Awakening, which have a total of 10 and 11 nominations, respectively. The real shock was what — and who — didn’t manage to make the cut this year. Legally Blonde failed to land a Best Musical nom (despite the fact that it got nominations for Book and Score), and both The Pirate Queen and the Les Miserables revival were completely shut out. Broadway darling Kristin Chenoweth did not snag an acting nom for her performance in The Apple Tree, and Oscar winner Kevin Spacey’s turn in A Moon for the Misbegotten was snubbed. Among those triumphant were Christopher Plummer (Inherit the Wind), Liev Schreiber (Talk Radio), Vanessa Redgrave (The Year of Magical Thinking), Angela Lansbury (Deuce), Audra McDonald (110 in the Shade), and David Hyde Pierce (Curtains). To see these heavy hitters, and many others, duking it out for the big prizes, tune into the Tony Awards on CBS on June 10.