Broadway Proves a ‘Fun Home’ at the 69th Annual Tony Awards

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Photo Source: Heather Wines / CBS

The best of Broadway took Radio City Music Hall by storm on June 7 to celebrate the 69th annual Tony Awards. Co-hosted by Tony winners Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth, the ceremony gave top honors to Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori’s “Fun Home,” which became the first winner for best musical in Tony history written by an all-female team.

Alison Bechdel, whose graphic memoir provided the source material for “Fun Home,” said after the ceremony that although she wishes her late mother and father could see it, “in some weird level of reality, my parents are ecstatic about this play.”

Other big winners included “The King and I,” which won for best musical revival, costume design, featured actress Ruthie Ann Miles, and leading actress Kelli O’Hara, who finally received her first Tony after six nominations. “Be who you are, period,” she said after tap dancing off the stage. “It’s too hard to do it someone else’s [way].”

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” collected awards for best new play, director, scenic design, and leading actor Alex Sharp. “I just want to dedicate this to any young person out there who feels misunderstood or who feels different,” he said in his acceptance speech. “Answer that question at the end of the play for you: ‘Does that mean I can do anything? Yes it does.’ ”

Michael Cerveris took home his second Tony for lead actor in a musical, honoring Bechdel’s father, the character he plays in “Fun Home,” by bringing out his necktie. When asked what he would tell his younger self, he responded, “The things you’re so worried about now, you’re not going to worry about later. The things you love right now, you’re going to love for the rest of your life.”

The winners of best musical, “Fun Home.” Photo by Heather Wines / CBS

Helen Mirren scooped up leading actress in a play for portraying Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience.” Asked later about coming close to obtaining EGOT status (winning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards), she admitted, “I really want a Grammy. It’s terrible, isn’t it? I have to do an audiobook at one point.”

Annaleigh Ashford and Richard McCabe won featured actor awards for “You Can’t Take It With You” and “The Audience,” respectively, while Christian Borle picked up his second statue for portraying William Shakespeare in the musical comedy “Something Rotten!”

This year the Tonys, in association with Carnegie Mellon University, presented the first-ever Excellence in Theatre Education Award to Corey Mitchell, theater arts teacher at Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, N.C. The award recognized his 20 years of impactful work and that of teachers like him.

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” creator John Cameron Mitchell took home a special Tony Award, while the 100-year-old Cleveland Play House won the Regional Theatre award. Tommy Tune, accepting his lifetime achievement award, summed up the evening in his speech by saying, “Broadway has a universal mystique, and I am proud and humbled to be part of our Broadway universe. It is vast and inclusive and I believe that all of it—all of it!—is simply an expression of love.... On with the show.”

For a full list of winners, click here!

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Jack Smart
Jack Smart is the awards editor at Backstage, where he covers all things Emmy, SAG, Oscar, and Tony Awards. He also produces and hosts Backstage’s awards podcast “In the Envelope” and has interviewed some of the biggest stars of stage and screen.
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