Plano native Brian J. Smith was the unfortunate runner-up to three-time winner Mark Rylance at the Tony Awards last night, but our disappointment is lessened slightly by some noteworthy victories.
Six plays and six musicals split the 15 awards handed out Sunday night, which failed to see a clear favorite: Two shows won four awards apiece, and two won three.
Rylance took the first award of the evening, for best featured actor in a play, for Twelfth Night, defeating Smith in The Glass Menagerie. Menagerie won only one award, for lighting of a play; Twelfth Night also won for best costume design of a play. Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way, a one-man show with Bryan Cranston playing Texan LBJ, won best play and best actor in a play.
Audra McDonald made history, winning her sixth acting Tony (she now has one in every female acting category, this time for lead actress in a play) playing Billie Holliday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.
The big winner for plays, though, was A Raisin in the Sun, which won revival of a play, director of a play (Kenny Leon) and featured actress in a play (Sophie Okonedo).
Gay fave Neil Patrick Harris, pictured, was a popular favorite when he won for best actor in a musical for his turn in the cross-dressing rock opera Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Hedwig won three other awards: best featured actress for Lena Hall, best lighting of a musical and best revival of a musical.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, the standout hit of the season, took the prizes for best musical, book of a musical, director of a musical and costumes for a musical. Beautiful, the musical based on the life of songwriter Carole King, won best actress in a musical (Jessie Mueller), best sound and set design for a musical. The score award went to The Bridges of Madison County, which also won for best orchestrations.
The show clocked in at just more than three hours, with Hugh Jackman as host. Many of the technical awards were presented off-camera and only announced during the broadcast, and there was no “in memoriam” for those theater folks who have died. There was, however, time for a performance of a musical about Peter Pan, Finding Neverland, which has not opened and has not even booked an opening date yet.
Featured actor in a musical: James Monroe Iglehart, Aladdin
Choreography: After Midnight
Set design of a play: Act One.
Sound design of a play: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.