By: Jimmy Brand
The 71st Annual Tony Awards have come and gone, but here’s your recap of the highs, lows and more from theater’s biggest night of the year.
While you may never have wondered who would win in a fight, Bette Midler or and an entire orchestra playing her off stage, you now need to wonder no longer. The septuagenarian, winning on her first Tony nomination, continued her speech long past the play off attempt, at one point shouting, “Shut that crap off!” While her more than four-minute speech was the longest, it was by no means the best of the night.
Another notable speech of the night came from Best Featured Actress in a Musical winner, Rachel Bay Jones of Dear Evan Hansen. Jones told a heartwarming story of her Nana selling her engagement ring so that the young Jones could move to New York and become an actor. She also took time to thank her parents for “cursing me with a love of the theater.”
Honorable mention for the cutest speech of the night goes to Mr. Ben Platt. Platt was awarded the Tony for Best Actor in a Musical for his stunning performance as the titular character in Dear Evan Hansen. Platt, clearly emotional, addressed “all the young people watching at home” in his speech reminding everyone “Don’t waste any time trying to be like anybody but yourself, because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.” Here’s Ben Platt and the cast of Dear Evan Hansen‘s Tony performance of Waving Through a Window: https://youtu.be/0vkTxakkho4
Photo from Getty images for Tony Award Productions
Broadway musical Side Show had an unexpected revival on the Tony Awards stage when Tom Sturridge and Olivia Wilde presented the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play. With their similar looks and close stance, you can almost hear the Side Show showstopper, “I Will Never Leave You,” playing.
The musical Bandstand is likely to draw considerable post-Tonys attention due to a heartfelt introduction from Former Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden. She received a standing ovation as she walked on the Tony stage. Dr. Biden talked about the partnership with the organization Got Your 6 and the musical Bandstand to highlight the experiences of American veterans. Dr. Biden went on to say, “To our veterans, on behalf of Joe, myself, the company of Bandstand and everybody else here, we’ve got your six.”
Proving that good things do eventually come to those who wait, Jane Greenwood took home the 2017 Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Play for Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes. This nomination and subsequent win marks Ms. Greenwood’s 22nd Tony nomination. She did receive a Tony Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. Ms. Greenwood, who had been called the Susan Lucci of the Tonys, must be quite pleased to have her first competitive Tony.
Ending on a bright note, we have new friends to add to the EGOT watch list. EGOT of course referring to the short list of people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. After taking home a Tony Award for co-producing the revival of Jitney, John Legend is only one letter away from joining this select group of people. All he needs now is the E to add to his GOT.
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul won the Oscar for Best Original Song for City of Stars from La La Land earlier this year and the Tony for Dear Evan Hansen, and are now 50% of the way to the coveted EGOT. They could be potentially Emmy-bound for their special musical episode of The Flash, which aired in March. They could also be strong candidates for the 2018 Grammys where they would be eligible for their original music from both La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen. While a long shot, the two are well on their way to EGOT status with the chance to do the whole kit and caboodle in just around 12 months.
Here’s to another great Tony Awards ceremony! You can get all the Tony details here: https://www.tonyawards.com/index.html