The 72nd annual Tony Awards rewarded “The Band’s Visit” with best musical and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” with best play. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., gave a surprise performance of “Seasons of Love.” Robert De Niro began his introduction to Bruce Springsteen’s performance with a profane condemnation of President Trump. Read our TV critic’s response to the telecast. Andrew Garfield won one of the early acting prizes for “Angels in America” and dedicated his victory to the spirit of the L.G.B.T.Q. community.
Andrew Garfield Acceptance Speach at the 72nd Tony Awards
2018 Tony Nominations: ‘Mean Girls’ and ‘SpongeBob’ Lead the Way with 12 nominations each. The nominators also showered affection on five critically acclaimed productions: revivals of “Angels in America” and “Carousel,” as well as the new musical “The Band’s Visit,” got 11 nominations a piece.
In the shadow of fraying international alliances and pitched political and culture wars at home, the show as a whole offered hopefulness, nostalgia, self-deprecation and modest emotional catharsis — a three-hour vacation from what Nathan Lane called, in passing, the “political insanity” of the present moment.
The broadcast didn’t ignore the national unrest. Like Mr. De Niro, Tony Kushner, accepting best revival of a play for “Angels in America,” broke through the uniform politesse, offering a plea to “save our democracy and heal our country” by voting in the midterm elections. But the show’s overall tone was ingratiating and its words restrained. Andrew Garfield, in his acceptance speech for lead actor in a play, spoke of L.G.B.T.Q. rights in clear but careful terms, invoking the “America we all want to live in one day” and ending with a punch line about the recent Supreme Court decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case (“Let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked”).
"The Bands Visit" Cast Kristen Sieh - John Cariani - Alok Tewari - Andrew Polk - George Abud
Amy Schumer, framing “My Fair Lady” as an early example of feminism, called Henry Higgins a mansplainer but didn’t mention any living men, or the #MeToo movement. Tony Shalhoub, winner for actor in a play in “The Band’s Visit,” touchingly recalled his father’s arrival at Ellis Island a century ago without mentioning the current battles over immigration.
A performance of “Seasons of Love” from “Rent” by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 of their classmates and school staff were killed in a shooting in February, was a dramatic high point. Melody Herzfeld, the school’s drama director, received a theater education award. But no mention was made of guns or gun control. The most direct response to events outside Radio City came when David Cromer, director of “The Band’s Visit,” devoted most of his acceptance speech to a plea for people who are feeling troubled to reach out for help, without mentioning the suicides in the past week of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. The just-happy-to-be-here, can’t-we-all-get-along vibe was set by the opening song, a celebration of the ceremony’s also-rans — “This one’s for the loser inside of you” — sung by the hosts, Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, and a chorus made up of ensemble members from every Broadway musical. It was a charming, if not particularly memorable, number.
Several performers — John Leguizamo, who was born in Colombia; Ari’el Stachel, whose father came from Yemen; and Lindsay Mendez, whose father is Mexican-American — praised theater for providing a home for Americans of all heritages. “I am so proud to be part of a community that celebrates diversity,” said Ms. Mendez, who identifies herself as “a Mexican-Jewish girl,” and who said she had been advised to change her surname to Matthews when she first moved to New York — advice she ignored. Ms. Mendez won for playing Carrie Pipperidge, the same role that won Audra McDonald her first Tony in 1994.
Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban hostedthe 72nd annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 10 for the first time from Radio City Music Hall. The show aired live on the CBS network.
“The Band’s Visit,” a delicate musical that has been doing strong but not sell-out business at the box office, will face strengthened challenges from “Mean Girls” and “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical,” two titles that arrived with built-in fan bases, in the highest-stakes race in this year’s Tony Awards.
In something of a surprise, “Mean Girls,” Tina Fey’s musical adaptation of her 2004 film about high school social dynamics, and the eye-popping “SpongeBob,” based on the animated television series about underwater sea creatures, led the nominations, each earning 12 nods. Both are spearheaded by cultural powerhouses: Ms. Fey is one of the nation’s most well-liked comedic writers and performers, and “SpongeBob,” with a huge cult following, is the first Broadway venture led by Nickelodeon, the children’s cable network.
“The Band’s Visit,” by contrast, is adapted from a fictional 2007 Israeli film about what happens when an Egyptian police band gets stranded for a night in an Israeli desert town. It is a bit of an oddity on Broadway — more subtle than showy, long on loneliness and short on spectacle — with aching performances and unusually artful lyrics. But after a successful start at the Atlantic Theater Company Off Broadway, it moved to Broadway and earned superlative reviews.
The fourth contender for best musical was Disney’s “Frozen,” based on the enormously popular animated film, which was not embraced by critics. The show didn’t get nominations for its performers or much of its creative team, although it did score nods for its book and score. Even seasoned entertainers said the nominations were a thrill. “I cannot lie — I cried a little bit in the middle of Equinox this morning, and not because my workout was too hard,” Ms. Fey said in an interview. “It’s such a childhood dream. You go back to when you were a kid and going to see shows — getting a Playbill, dreaming of being in a Playbill some day.”
A panel of 43 theater experts who saw all 30 eligible shows over the last year voted on the nominations. The voters are not allowed to have any financial relationship with any of the eligible shows. “SpongeBob,” “Mean Girls” and “Frozen” are among numerous big brands that have dominated a season whose new shows have also included “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Escape to Margaritaville” and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.” There were also solo shows by Bruce Springsteen, Michael Moore, John Lithgow and John Leguizamo, and star turns by Amy Schumer, Denzel Washington, Chris Evans, Uma Thurman, Andrew Garfield and Clive Owen.
Jamie Parker as Harry Potter in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” at the Lyric Theater. The play — with an enormous budget (its capitalization was $35.5 million) and cast (40 performers) — won nearly unanimous praise from critics.
The two most-nominated play productions — “Angels in America” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” — are long (each is staged in two parts), big (large casts, giant sets) and British (each transferred to Broadway from the West End). And both feature wings (don’t ask). They are competing in different categories. The 11 nominations for the revival of “Angels” make that the most-nominated production of a play in Broadway history. The seven-and-a-half-hour drama, written by Tony Kushner, is a searing, sometimes surreal tale set in the Reagan era during the onset of the AIDS crisis; the original, staged a quarter century ago as two plays over two seasons, won a Pulitzer and many Tonys. “I’m enormously happy, and very moved,” Mr. Kushner said on Tuesday. “Being on Broadway is always exciting — there’s a feeling of an immediate and a lively connection to American theater history, and to the extent the Tonys are a celebration of theater in the United States, it’s great to know that the play still has a place and that people are still excited about it.”
“Angels” is now the leading contender for best play revival, but the category is extraordinarily strong, and includes new productions of “Three Tall Women,” by Edward Albee; “The Iceman Cometh,” by Eugene O’Neill; “Lobby Hero,” by Kenneth Lonergan; and “Travesties,” by Tom Stoppard.
At nearly four hours long, “Iceman” (like “Angels” and “Cursed Child”) is not for those with short attention spans, though it is swifter than earlier productions of the play. “Three Tall Women” and “Lobby Hero” share a different distinction — they are on Broadway for the first time, but are considered revivals because they have been widely staged since their Off Broadway debuts decades ago. Among new plays, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is the overwhelming favorite. A sequel to the seven novels, it depicts a time when Harry and his friends are parents of Hogwarts students, and grappling simultaneously with ominous signs in the wizarding world and the ordinary challenges of raising adolescents. “Cursed Child” is the only one of the nominated new plays still running. The others are “The Children,” by Lucy Kirkwood; “Farinelli and the King,” by Claire van Kampen; “Junk,” by Ayad Akhtar; and “Latin History for Morons,” by John Leguizamo.
Hailey Kilgore, 19, was Nominated for her Broadway Debut, in “Once on This Island”
Probably the surest shot in the whole Tonys derby is Glenda Jackson, who at 81 and after two decades in British Parliament, has returned to the stage and is up for leading actress in a play. Ms. Jackson, a two-time Oscar winner who last appeared on Broadway in 1988, portrays a formidable matriarch in “Three Tall Women.”
Another veteran getting notice: Diana Rigg, a beloved British actress who won a Tony in 1994 for “Medea,” now back on Broadway at 79 with a fierce, funny and feminist take on Mrs. Higgins in a heralded revival of “My Fair Lady.” Ten other performers were nominated for their Broadway debuts, dazzling audiences with unexpected gifts. Among them: The 19-year-old Hailey Kilgore, for her breakout performance as Ti Moune, the self-sacrificing girl at the heart of “Once on This Island”; Ari’el Stachel, who had to audition seven times before landing the role as Haled, an amorous Egyptian trumpeter, in “The Band’s Visit”; Lauren Ridloff, a onetime Miss Deaf America who unexpectedly landed the starring role of Sarah Norman in a revival of “Children of a Lesser God”; and Ethan Slater, who used lessons learned as a high school wrestler to develop a physical language for SpongeBob SquarePants. Another nominated debut is for an actress with a high profile already: the comedian Amy Schumer. The writer Steve Martin approached Ms. Schumer at a starry party and asked her to read the script of a play he was working on. She agreed, and that led to the production of “Meteor Shower” on Broadway.
Amanda Lawrence as The Angel in “Perestroika,” the second part of “Angels in America.” Marianne Elliott, who directed the play’s revival, is a strong contender for an award.
How did women fare in the #MeToo era? Women are dramatically underrepresented as decision makers on Broadway — particularly as producers, directors and writers. But several powerful women scored nods this year. J.K. Rowling and Sonia Friedman were nominated as two of the three lead producers of “Cursed Child” (the third is Colin Callender). Ms. Rowling is the author of the “Harry Potter” books, and Ms. Friedman is one of the most successful producers in London. Two female directors were nominated and are now strong contenders for awards: Marianne Elliott, who directed the “Angels in America” revival, and Tina Landau, who directed “SpongeBob SquarePants.” And despite some concern that their gender politics were dated, the lush musical revivals of “My Fair Lady” and “Carousel” scored well in the nominations, and are selling well at the box office. Several female writers were also singled out. The leading contender for best book of a musical is Ms. Fey, and Ms. Kirkwood and Ms. van Kampen were nominated their plays. (Ms. Rowling is not credited as the writer of “Cursed Child,” although she collaborated with the dramatist, Jack Thorne, and the director, John Tiffany, on creating the story.) Racial and ethnic diversity is always a big issue on Broadway. Of the 39 performers nominated for Tonys, 13 are black, Hispanic, Asian-American or Arab-American.
Bruce Springsteen's Show on Broadway has Been Consistently Sold Out
Awards administrators said Tuesday that they had decided to give the 68-year-old rock idol a special Tony Award in recognition of his ongoing song-and-storytelling show, “Springsteen on Broadway,” which has been running at the Walter Kerr Theater since October. The award, calling Mr. Springsteen’s show “a once-in-a-lifetime theater going experience for the Broadway stage, allowing fans an intimate look at a music idol,” is noncompetitive. Mr. Springsteen opted not to contend for competitive awards, disqualifying his show from consideration by declining to invite Tony voters to see it. Previous recipients of special Tonys have included Bette Midler, Lena Horne, John Cameron Mitchell and Dame Edna. The award makes it far more likely that Mr. Springsteen will perform on the Tony Awards, and that could help the show’s ratings. “Springsteen on Broadway” has been an enormous hit. It won rave reviews, and it has been consistently sold out; it has already grossed $55 million, and the most recent average ticket price was $508, which is quite high for Broadway. The last show is scheduled to be on Dec. 15, 2018.
The Tony administrators will also give a special Tony to Mr. Leguizamo, citing “his body of work and for his commitment to the theater, bringing diverse stories and audiences to Broadway for three decades.” Mr. Leguizamo’s fourth one-man show on Broadway, “Latin History for Morons,” ran this season and was nominated Tuesday for best play.
The Tony Awards Took Place on June 10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City
Jamie Parker Erika Kenningsen Caissie Levy Ethan Slater
There are 841 Tony voters — investors and producers, as well as actors, directors, designers, journalists and others — who are eligible to cast ballots for most categories. (This year, for the first time, a few categories — sound design and orchestration — will be decided by a subset of about half of the voters.) The voters now have about five weeks to finish seeing all the nominated shows, or to revisit shows they saw in the fall and want to see again, and then they have until noon on June 8 to submit ballots. This is the first year that the Tonys, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing, are using all electronic voting — each voter is to be tracking his or her show attendance on a website, and then is to submit votes using that site.
Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. and "Waitress" star Katharine McPhee announced the nominations for major categories of the 2018 Tony Awards on "CBS This Morning" from Lincoln Center on Tuesday. Productions derived from film and TV, like "Spongebob SquarePants," "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," "Frozen" and "Mean Girls" had a strong presence at this year's Tony Award nominations.
Full List of Winners and Nominees:
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Andrew Garfield, "Angels in America"
Tom Hollander, "Travesties"
Denzel Washington, "The Iceman Cometh"
Jamie Parker, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child"
Mark Rylance, "Farinelli and the King"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Glenda Jackson, "Edward Albee's Three Tall Women"
Condola Rashad, "Saint Joan"
Lauren Ridloff, "Children of a Lesser God"
Amy Schumer, "Meteor Shower"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Harry Hadden-Paton, "My Fair Lady"
Joshua Henry, "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel"
Tony Shalhoub, "The Band's Visit"
Ethan Slater, "Spongebob SquarePants The Musical"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Lauren Ambrose, "My Fair Lady"
Hailey Kilgore, "Once on this Island"
Lachanze, "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical"
Katrina Lenk, "The Band's Visit"
Taylor Louderman, "Mean Girls"
Jessie Mueller, "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel"
Best Revival of a Play
"Angels in America" by Tony Kushner
"Edward Albee's Three Tall Women" by Edward Albee
"Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh" by Eugene O'Neill
"Lobby Hero" by Kenneth Lonergan
"Travesties" by Tom Stoppard
Best Revival of a Musical
"My Fair Lady"
"Once on this Island"
"Rodgers & Hammersteins' Carousel"
"The Children" by Lucy Kirkwood
"Farinelli and the King" by Claire van Kampen
"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two" by Jack Thorne
"Junk" by Ayad Akhtar
"Latin History for Morons" by John Leguizamo
"The Band's Visit"
"Spongebob SquarePants: The Musical"
"Frozen" songwriters Bobby and Kristen Lopez: Collaborators for life
Best Book of a Musical
Itamar Moses, "The Band's Visit"
Jennifer Lee, "Frozen"
Tina Fey, "Mean Girls"
Kyle Jarrow, "SpongeBob Squarepants: The Musical"
Best Original Score
Adrian Sutton, "Angels in America"
David Yazbek, "The Band's Visit"
Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, "Frozen"
Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin, "Mean Girls"
Various artists, "Spongebob SquarePants: The Musical"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Anthony Boyle, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two"
Michael Cera, "Lobby Hero"
Brian Tyree Henry, "Lobby Hero"
Nathan Lane, "Angels in America"
David Morse, "Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Susan Brown, "Angels in America"
Noma Dumezweni, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two"
Deborah Findlay, "The Children"
Denise Gough, "Angels in America"
Laurie Metcalf, "Edward Albee's Three Tall Women"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Norbert Leo Butz, "My Fair Lady"
Alexander Gemignani, "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel"
Grey Henson, "Mean Girls"
Gavin Lee, "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical"
Ari'el Stachel, "The Band's Visit"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Ariana DeBose, "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical"
Renée Fleming, "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel"
Lindsay Mendez, "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel"
Ashley Park, "Mean Girls"
Diana Rigg, "My Fair Lady"
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Miriam Buether, "Edward Albee's Three Tall Women"
Jonathan Fensom, "Farinelli and The King"
Christine Jones, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two"
Santo Loquasto, "Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh"
Ian MacNeil and Edward Pierce, "Angels in America"
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Dane Laffrey, "Once On This Island"
Scott Pask, "The Band's Visit"
Scott Pask, Finn Ross and Adam Young, "Mean Girls"
Michael Yeargan, "My Fair Lady"
David Zinn, "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical"
Best Costume Design of a Play
Jonathan Fensom, "Farinelli and The King"
Nicky Gillibrand, "Angels in America"
Katrina Lindsay, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two"
Ann Roth, "Edward Albee's Three Tall Women"
Ann Roth, "Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh"
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, "Mean Girls"
Clint Ramos, "Once On This Island"
Ann Roth, "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel"
David Zinn, "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical"
Catherine Zuber, "My Fair Lady"
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Neil Austin, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two"
Paule Constable, "Angels in America"
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, "Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh"
Paul Russell, "Farinelli and The King"
Ben Stanton, "Junk"
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical"
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, "Once On This Island"
Donald Holder, "My Fair Lady"
Brian MacDevitt, "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel"
Tyler Micoleau, "The Band's Visit"
Best Sound Design of a Play
Adam Cork, "Travesties"
Ian Dickinson for Autograph, "Angels in America"
Gareth Fry, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two"
Tom Gibbons, "1984"
Dan Moses Schreier, "Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh"
Best Sound Design of a Musical
Kai Harada, "The Band's Visit"
Peter Hylenski, "Once On This Island"
Scott Lehrer, "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel"
Brian Ronan, "Mean Girls"
Walter Trarbach and Mike Dobson, "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical"
Best Direction of a Play
Marianne Elliott, "Angels in America"
Joe Mantello, "Edward Albee's Three Tall Women"
Patrick Marber, "Travesties"
John Tiffany, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two"
George C. Wolfe, "Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh"
Best Direction of a Musical
Michael Arden, "Once On This Island"
David Cromer, "The Band's Visit"
Tina Landau, "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical"
Casey Nicholaw, "Mean Girls"
Bartlett Sher, "My Fair Lady"
Christopher Gattelli, "My Fair Lady"
Christopher Gattelli, "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical"
Steven Hoggett, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two"
Casey Nicholaw, "Mean Girls"
Justin Peck, "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel"
John Clancy, "Mean Girls"
Tom Kitt, "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical"
Annmarie Milazzo and Michael Starobin, "Once On This Island"
Jamshied Sharifi, "The Band's Visit"
Jonathan Tunick, "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel"