After five also-rans, Kelli O’Hara finally won a Tony Award Sunday night as best actress in a musical, upsetting sentimental favorite Chita Rivera in The Visit and assuring that The Visit was shut out of the win column. (One of the producers is Dallasite Terry D. Loftis.)
O’Hara won for The King and I, which also took prizes for best revival of a musical, best costume design (musical) and best featured actress (musical) for Ruthie Ann Miles. The King and I‘s four wins was indicative of the sweeps that dominated most categories, with a few shows tacking the majority of wins.
The biggest musical winner was Fun Home, the memoir about lesbian illustrator Allison Bechdel’s childhood, which won best musical, best director (musical), actor (musical) for Michael Cerveris, best book and best score — which, going to the team of Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, makes the first-ever scoring Tony to an all-female team. An American in Paris took best choreography (Christopher Wheeldon), lighting design, set design and orchestrations. The only lone winner was for Christian Borle, who won featured actor (musical) for the tongue-in-cheek show Something Rotten!
On the dramatic side, the big winner was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, about a savant who is accused of a crime. It won best play, best director (play), best actor (play) for Alex Sharp in his B’way debut, set design (play) and lighting design (play). The other winners were more spread out: Skylight took best revival of a play; Helen Mirren won for best actress (play) as Queen Elizabeth II and Richard McCabe (featured actor in a play) as her P.M. Harold Wilson in The Audience; Annaleigh Ashford for featured actress (play) for the revival of You Can’t Take It With You; and Wolf Hall (parts 1 and 2) for costume design (play).
As always, it was a terribly gay affair, with bisexual actor Alan Cumming and outspoken ally Kristin Chenoweth hosting, with Cumming making numerous sex jokes about going both ways. Skylight producer Scott Rudin thanked his partner, and Cerveris gave a shout-out to marriage equality in his acceptance speech; and special awards were presented to out directors Tommy Tune and John Cameron Mitchell.