Hadestown, the moody, myth-inspired musical set in hell where a backward glance between lovers leads to tragedy, can look back with delight at the 73rd annual Tony Awards. The show won the coveted prize for best new musical, as well as for its score by Broadway newcomer Anais Mitchell, direction by Rachel Chavkin and five more trophies.
The Ferryman, Jez Butterworth’s sprawling saga of family and politics in 1981 Northern Ireland, was named best play. It also won for direction by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes and for its scenic design and costume design.
The radically rethought Oklahoma! lassoed best musical revival, while The Boys in the Band, about a group of gay men at a birthday party, wrapped up best play revival. Author Mart Crowley acknowledged the cast of the 50th-anniversary Broadway ensemble of his groundbreaking work, as well as the original 1968 Boys cast.
Acting awards raised no surprises in the CBS telecast hosted by late-night host James Corden. Best actor in a musical went to Santino Fontana for his dual role of Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie, while Stephanie J. Block took home best actress for playing the diva herself in The Cher Show. Andre DeShields, accepting for featured actor for Hadestown, advised that “slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be.” He wasn’t kidding. He played the title role in The Wiz in 1975. Ali Stroker, honored for featured actress for Oklahoma!, uses a wheelchair. She dedicated her prize to “every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability.”
In play categories, Bryan Cranston, who won best actor for his role as the newsman Howard Beale in Network, said journalists are not the enemy. Elaine May, the legendary comedian, writer and director, in a rare dramatic performance, won best actress for The Waverly Gallery. Best featured actor went to Bertie Carvel as a young Rupert Murdoch in Ink, and featured actress to Celia Keenan-Bolger, who plays Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Bob Mackie won for his sequin-splashed costumes for The Cher Show. The choreography award went to Sergio Trujillo for the Temptations musical Ain’t Too Proud.
For a complete list of winners, go to TonyAwards.com.