Tony Awards Shine on New Stars

Claudine Rigal
Juin 18, 2017

Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical - Bette Midler for Hello, Dolly!

Later in the night, Dear Evan Hansen was named best musical. How dare you try and shut up Queen Bette. Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 won awards for set and lighting design.

Last night, Bette Midler won her first-ever competitive Tony, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical in "Hello, Dolly!". She previously received a special Tony for her Clams on the Half Shell revue in 1974.

Ben Platt, the victor for best actor in a musical for "Dear Evan Hansen", didn't lose the chance to preach to the "Snapchat generation". Midler's rambling acceptance speech, in which she literally ordered the orchestra not to play her off, was a show highlight.

Host Kevin Spacey managed to portray two USA leaders in one telecast - former president Bill Clinton and Frank Underwood, the fictional president he plays on Netflix's political thriller "House of Cards".

Michael Greif has now helmed two Best Musical champs ("Rent" and "Dear Evan Hansen") without winning Best Director.

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who won Oscars as lyricists for La La Land, took home Tonys for Best Original Score for Dear Evan Hansen, while music supervisor Alex Lacamoire won the Tony for Best Orchestrations for the second year in a row.

Cynthia Nixon, who won best featured actress for Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, said the groundbreaking 1939 play about lesbian relationships was "eerily prescient", particularly at "this specific moment in history".

And when that star is Bette Midler, just assume that goes double for her. Jitney, by August Wilson, won best revival of a play. She thanked all the people in 2017 "who are refusing to just stand and watch". How about: His impression of Bill Clinton even caught the fancy of a former vice president in the audience - Joe Biden.

The real-life political thriller tells the story of the Norwegian couple who coordinated the secret talks that led to the handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat on the lawn of the White House, and earned both the Nobel Peace Prize, shared with Shimon Peres. I started listening to the cast recording last night, and coworkers are on notice that this is what I will start singing around the office as soon as I know the words better.

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