Tony Awards 2015 announced
- Alex Johnston
- 8 June 2015
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Fun Home take major awards
The 2015 Tony Awards were handed out last night in New York's Radio City Music Hall, in a ceremony presented by two previous winners, the all-acting, all-singing, one-quarter Cherokee Kristin Chenoweth and Perthshire's own Alan Cumming, a man who could and did launch a perfume line named after himself and made it sound exciting (and no, it wasn't called 'Alan'). The Tonys are presented jointly by the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League to the Broadway productions and performances they regard as being supremely excellent.
The front-running shows of the season were both adaptations. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was adapted by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon's bestselling novel about a young mathematician with some behavioural problems, and took home Best Play, Best Leading Actor in a Play for newcomer Alex Sharp (beating Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man), Best Direction of a Play for Marianne Elliott, and the Scenic and Lighting Design for a Play awards. The National Theatre, which originated the show, is still touring its own production around the UK, and if you missed it in Edinburgh it's currently running at London's Gielgud Theatre and will be at the King's in Glasgow in August.
Fun Home, which won Best Musical, is based on cartoonist Alison Bechdel's superb graphic memoir of her relationship with her late father, and made theatre history in that not only is it the first Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist, it's the first time the Tony for Best Original Score has been won by a female writing team, composer Jeanine Tesori and writer Lisa Kron. Kron also won for Best Book; the show's director Sam Gold won Best Direction of a Musical, and Michael Cerveris – who you might remember as the mysterious September in the cult sci-fi show Fringe – won Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance as the heroine's closeted gay father. Bechdel, who codified the so-called 'Bechdel test' in her much-loved comic Dykes to Watch Out For, is riding high at the moment, having last year become the first woman cartoonist to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the 'Genius Grant'. Another LGBTQ high point of the awards was the Special Award, given to John Cameron Mitchell for his triumphant return to the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, 17 years after he and composer Stephen Trask debuted the legendary punk musical off-Broadway.
Helen Mirren won Best Leading Actress in a Play for her performance as Elizabeth 2 in The Audience, meaning that she's now only a Grammy away from becoming one of the elite group of EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) performers; Richard McCabe won Best Featured Actor for his much-praised turn as Harold Wilson in the same show. For actresses in musicals it was a night for The King and I, with Ruthie Ann Miles winning Best Featured Actress and, a popular choice, Kelli O'Hara winning Best Leading Actress. O'Hara, who had been nominated for a Tony five times previously but had never won, got a standing ovation and joked to her parents in her touching acceptance speech: 'You don't have to pretend it's OK this time.'
Best Featured Actress in a Play went to Annaleigh Ashford for the revival of You Can't Take It With You, and Best Featured Actor in a Musical was given to Christopher Borle for his performance of William Shakespeare as a glam-rock-tinged egomaniac in Something Rotten!
The full list of winners is below.
The National Theatre touring production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is at the King's Theatre, Glasgow from Tue 18–Sat 22 Aug.
Tony Award Winners 2015:
Best musical: Fun Home
Best play: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Best revival of a play: Skylight
Best revival of a musical: The King and I
Best leading actor in a musical: Michael Cerveris, Fun Home
Best leading actress in a musical: Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
Best leading actor in a play: Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Best leading actress in a play: Helen Mirren, The Audience
Best featured actor in a musical: Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
Best featured actress in a musical: Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I
Best featured actor in a play: Richard McCabe, The Audience
Best featured actress in a play: Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With You
Best book of a musical: Fun Home, Lisa Kron
Best original score (music and/or lyrics) for the theatre: Fun Home, Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: Lisa Kron
Best director of a play: Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Best director of a musical: Sam Gold, Fun Home
Best scenic design of a play: Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Best scenic design of a musical: Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris
Best costume design of a play: Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Best costume design of a musical: Catherine Zuber, The King and I
Best lighting design of a play: Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Best lighting design of a musical: Natasha Katz, An American in Paris
Best choreography: Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris
Best orchestration: Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, An American in Paris
Lifetime achievement in the theatre: Tommy Tune
Special Tony award: John Cameron Mitchell
Regional theatre award: Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio
Isabelle Stevenson award: Stephen Schwartz
Tony honors for excellence in the theatre: Arnold Abramson, Adrian Bryan-Brown, Gene O’Donovan