Neil Patrick Harris hosts ‘bigger, better’ Tony Awards

Neil Patrick Harris hosted the "bigger, better best-of Tony shows" for the fourth time on Sunday June 9.
Neil Patrick Harris hosted the “bigger, better best-of Tonys show” for the fourth time on Sunday.

For the fourth (nonconsecutive) year, consummate host Neil Patrick Harris helmed the Tony Awards. The 67th annual ceremonies kicked off with an opening number dedicated to the many children who are currently taking the stage nightly on the Great White Way, ranging from the four young girls who share the lead in “Matilda” (who jointly received Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre) to the orphans of “Annie” and seemingly dozens of others. Harris sang of “so many child actors high on Red Bull and endorphins” and wondered, “Is there a Tonys day care where all of you go?”

The first trophy of the night went to Courtney B. Vance for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play for “Lucky Guy.” Later, Judith Light won as the featured actress in the same category for “The Assembled Parties.” Other standouts as of press time were technical wins for “The Nance” (costume design and sound design of a play) and “Kinky Boots” (sound and orchestration for a musical). “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” took home a Best Costume Design Award, while Dennis Kelly won for writing the book to “Matilda.”

Big-name presenters included Scarlett Johansson, Alan Cumming, Liam Neeson, Oliver Platt, Zachary Quinto and Audra McDonald. But most of the evening’s awards were given out by actors currently onstage on Broadway, in full costume, including the current leads Guy and Girl from last year’s big winner, “Once.” Mike Tyson (present) and Shia Labeouf (not present) were lampooned for the former’s one-man tribute show and the latter’s sudden departure from “Orphans” this season.

Live performances included a mash-up of songs from “Matilda” (sporting 12 nominations, including for Best Musical), “Bring It On” (two nods) and “Cinderella” (nine nominations). Upcoming performances are set to include “Kinky Boots,” “Motown” and “Pippin.” There will also be a special performance by lyricist Cyndi Lauper, who is highlighted for her work with Harvey Fierstein on “Kinky Boots.”

Get more insights from backstage by following  T. Michelle Murphy on Twitter: @TMichelleMurphy

And the winners are …

Best Costume Design of a Musical
William Ivey Long, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Best Costume Design of a Play
Ann Roth, The Nance

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Courtney B. Vance, Lucky Guy

Best Sound Design of a Musical
John Shivers, Kinky Boots

Best Orchestrations
Stephen Oremus, Kinky Boots

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Judith Light, The Assembled Parties

Best Sound Design of a Play
Leon Rothenberg, The Nance

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Gabriel Ebert, Matilda The Musical

Best Book of a Musical
Dennis Kelly, Matilda The Musical

Best Direction of a Musical
Diane Paulus, Pippin

Best Direction of a Play
Pam MacKinnon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Best Choreography
Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Kinky Boots, music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper

Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, The Nance

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Rob Howell, Matilda The Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Andrea Martin, Pippin

Best Play
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, written by Christopher Durang

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Hugh Vanstone, Matilda The Musical

Best Revival of a Play
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Lucky Guy

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Billy Porter, Kinky Boots

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Tracy Letts, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Patina Miller, Pippin

Best Revival of a Musical
Pippin, staged by American Repertory Theater

Best Musical
Kinky Boots, Jujamcyn Theaters



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