Tony Awards don’t ‘suck so much’ for musical ‘Once’

Neil Patrick Harris and Patti LuPone perform at the 66th annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre in New York City.

Those tuning in to watch the 66th annual Tony Awards Sunday night might have thought they were accidentally catching a recap from last year’s ceremony as
cheery young men clad in conservative black and white started the broadcast with a robust rendition of “Hello!” from 2011’s big winner and ongoing
favorite, “The Book of Mormon.” The singing evangelists knocked on dressing room doors until they located Neil Patrick Harris. The third-time host then
took the stage to speculate — with the aid of such talents as Amanda Seyfried, Patti LuPone and Jesse Tyler Ferguson — about what life would be like as a
Broadway show: “What if everyone’s diction were crisper, and everyone’s secrets were shouted in a stage whisper?” He concluded: “If life were more like
theater, life wouldn’t suck so much.”

A big winner early in the night was “Once,” which took away wins for Best Orchestration, Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best
Direction of a Musical. It was also up for the most awards this year, with 11 nominations.

Other wins included Judith Light for Best Featured Actress in a Play (“Other Desert Cities”), Michael McGrath for Beat Featured Actor in a Musical (“Nice
Work If You Can Get It”), Christian Borle for Best Featured Actor in a Play (“Peter and the Starcatcher”) and Mike Nichols, winning his sixth Tony Award
for Best Direction of a Play (“Death of a Salesman”).

Live performances included pieces from “Newsies,” “Follies,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “Ghost.” Surprises onstage were
numbers from “Leap of Faith,” which closed after only 24 previews and 20 shows, and from “Godspell,” which was not nominated in any categories but
successfully bid for the right to perform.

Below, find a complete list of this year’s winners:

Best Musical

“Once”

Best Play

“Clybourne Park”

Best Book of a Musical

Enda Walsh (“Once”)



Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics)


Alan Menken (music), Jack Feldman (lyrics) (“Newsies”)

Best Revival of a Play

Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”

Best Revival of a Musical

Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
James Corden (“One Man, Two Guvnors”)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Nina Arianda (“Venus In Fur”)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Steve Kazee (“Once”)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Audra McDonald (“Porgy and Bess”)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Christian Borle (“Peter and the Starcatcher”)


Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Judith Light (“Other Desert Cities”)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Michael McGrath (“Nice Work If You Can Get It”)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Judy Kaye (“Nice Work If You Can Get It”)

Best Direction of a Play

Mike Nichols (“Death of a Salesman”)

Best Direction of a Musical

John Tiffany (“Once”)

Best Choreography

Christopher Gattelli (“Newsies”)

Best Orchestration

Martin Lowe (“Once”)

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Donyale Werle (“Peter and the Starcatcher”)

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley (“Once”)

Best Costume Design of a Play
Paloma Young (“Peter and the Starcatcher”)

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes (“Follies”)


Best Lighting Design of a Play

Jeff Croiter (“Peter and the Starcatcher”)

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Natasha Katz (“Once”)

Best Sound Design of a Play

Darron L. West (“Peter and the Starcatcher”)

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Clive Goodwin (“Once”)

Regional Theatre Tony Award

Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C.

Special Tony Awards

Bernadette Peters – Broadway Barks
Hugh Jackman – Overall Contribution
Emanuel Azenberg – Lifetime Achievement

Highlights from the Tonys media room:

“Alan, you think everywhere is always an open bar. It’s like how the queen thinks everywhere smells of fresh paint.”
John Tiffany, telling an anecdote about Alan Cumming wondering if the pub onstage at “Once” would be free

“These could buy a car and a house or a very nice co-op in New York. I’m a little nervous. I can’t wait to give them back. Someone’s wearing these
[earrings] next week to a wedding. They bought them, actually. They didn’t buy them right off my ears!”
Judy Kaye, about her blingy rented jewelry

“Harvey [Fierstein] doesn’t wait for a deal, he doesn’t even wait for instructions. He went home and started writing. He’s a mensch.”
Alan Menken, on kick-starting the stage production of “Newsies”

“I’m from Ireland. Kids were welcome in pubs. I spent more time in pubs than I did at home.”
Bob Crowley, on his inspiration for designing the pub set for “Once”

“I have some Star Wars pop-art posters [and] a rug I got on the Internet with those colors. I light some candles. And I have a full bar. Because I’m an
adult person.”
– Christian Borle, on his dressing room at the Brooks Atkinson

“As an actor, all of my top 10 memories have been on the stage.”
– Hugh Jackman, on the magic of live theater trumping filmmaking

“With actors, the people they love is anyone they see themselves in. So anyone short loves Al Pacino and Tom Cruise.”
– James Corden, on being a role model

“I had to write the names on [this] napkin. Except the producers, I just drew a dollar sign.”
Paloma Young, on losing her acceptance speech on the day of the Tonys

“I love talking to the press, but Dominos stops delivering at 12 on Sunday, so goodnight!”
– Audra McDonald, final interview of the night, at 11:55 p.m.


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