Tony Awards 2019: Best and worst moments, full winners list

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By Johnny Oleksinski – The New York  Post

James Corden hosts the 2019 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall. Getty Images

It’s the 73rd Annual Sloooowny Awards!

Sunday night’s trophy ceremony for a Broadway season suffering from a lack of must-see shows and real star power suffered from, well, a lack of must-see shows and real star power.

It wasn’t a total flop. The Great White Way’s biggest night was a wholly watchable — if long — evening, with just a few glimmers of brilliance. Here are the best and worst moments of the Tony Awards.

Another top-notch James Corden opener

The “Late Late Show” host returned after his previous Tonys triumph in 2016, and thoroughly outdid last year’s co-hosts Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles and 2017’s helmer — gulp — Kevin Spacey.

Without a “Hamilton” this year, however, Corden had his work cut out for him, and he knew it. So, he kicked off with a killer opening: Imploring people to stop binge-watching Hulu and go to a Broadway show instead.

“Trade the remote for the near, leave your couch for here,” he sang. “And experience a different kind of show.”

But the bit really got funny when Corden took it all back: “I love you TV,” he said. “We all love you. You pay us so much more than theater!”

However, James…

There were too many bits! The opening song was a hoot, but your duty from there as a host was to move the show along. The Tonys, especially, with performances from five Best Musical nominees, two Best Musical Revival nominees and a handful of others don’t require skits to give the audience a jolt.

Asking celebs such as Kristin Chenoweth and Bryan Cranston to do their best “loser” face for the camera is tired. Let Broadway be Broadway next time.

The awards themselves

The races turned out to be as riveting as a TED talk about biodegradable paint. Going into the night there were a few possible upsets — some thought “The Prom” could beat “Hadestown” for Best Musical after a surprise win at the Drama Desk Awards — but the hip musical about hell took home the majority of its categories, winning 8, including the top prize.

Elaine May (“The Waverly Gallery”), Bryan Cranston (“Network”), Stephanie J. Block (“The Cher Show”), Santino Fontana (“Tootsie”). We’ve known for weeks they were probably gonna win — and they did. Snooze!

A few shows did go home totally empty-handed, such as “The Prom,” “Beetlejuice” and “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus.” One particularly amusing snub: The technically boffo show “Beetlejuice” lost the set, lighting and sound design Tony to “Hadestown,” a barebones musical that boasts a few singling lamps, wooden tables and chairs.

Yay, Elaine May!

American comedy icon Elaine May shared more with a TV audience than she has in years as she collected the trophy for Actress in a Play. “I’ve never won a nomination for acting before,” the “Nichols and May” star said. She then paused and dryly added, “I wanna tell ya how I did it.”

After giving credit to her fellow actors, director Lila Neugebauer and producer Scott Rudin, the actress said, “And at the end of the play I die.” The line got a big laugh, proving, at 87-years-old, May’s still comedy gold.

The performances

Which Broadway theater box offices will have lines snaking onto 8th Ave. on Monday? Well, none probably — it’s 2019! But a few musical numbers will have viewers racing to their web browsers.

“Ain’t Too Proud: The Temptations Musical,” which won just a single award for its choreography, was the most crowd-pleasing by far with its tight ensemble performing favorite tunes such as “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and “I Can’t Get Next To You.” The bridge-and-tunnel set also were likely glued to the shirtless torsos of “The Cher Show.”

“The Prom,” which has been struggling all season, looked like generic, glittery fun, while “Tootsie” came across as the only big, old-school musical of the bunch. “Hadestown” and “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!,” meanwhile, embraced their folksy, low-key, hipster vibe. And ticket-buyers will either like that or they won’t.

The winners list:

Best Musical

“Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”
“Beetlejuice”
“Hadestown”**
“The Prom”
“Tootsie”

 

Best Play

“Choir Boy”
“The Ferryman” **
“Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
“Ink”
“What the Constitution Means to Me”

Best Revival of a Play

“Arthur Miller’s All My Sons”
“The Boys in the Band” **
“Burn This”
“Torch Song”
“The Waverly Gallery”

Best Revival of a Musical

‘Kiss Me, Kate”
“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!” **

Best Book of a Musical

“Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations” – Dominique Morisseau
“Beetlejuice” – Scott Brown & Anthony King
“Hadestown” – Anaïs Mitchell
“The Prom” – Bob Martin & Chad Beguelin
“Tootsie” – Robert Horn **

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

“Be More Chill” – Music & Lyrics: Joe Iconis
“Beetlejuice” – Music & Lyrics: Eddie Perfect
“Hadestown” – Music & Lyrics: Anaïs Mitchell **
“The Prom” – Music: Matthew Sklar; Lyrics: Chad Beguelin
“To Kill a Mockingbird” – Music: Adam Guettel
“Tootsie” – Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Paddy Considine, “The Ferryman”
Bryan Cranston, “Network” **
Jeff Daniels, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Adam Driver, “Burn This”
Jeremy Pope, “Choir Boy”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Annette Bening, “Arthur Miller’s All My Sons”
Laura Donnelly, “The Ferryman”
Elaine May, “The Waverly Gallery” **
Janet McTeer, “Bernhardt/Hamlet”
Laurie Metcalf, “Hillary and Clinton”
Heidi Schreck, “What the Constitution Means to Me”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Brooks Ashmanskas, “The Prom”
Derrick Baskin, “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”
Alex Brightman, “Beetlejuice”
Damon Daunno, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!”
Santino Fontana, “Tootsie” **

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Stephanie J. Block, “The Cher Show”**
Caitlin Kinnunen, “The Prom”
Beth Leavel, “The Prom”
Eva Noblezada, “Hadestown”
Kelli O’Hara, “Kiss Me, Kate”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Bertie Carvel, “Ink” **
Robin De Jesús, “The Boys in the Band”
Gideon Glick, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Brandon Uranowitz, “Burn This”
Benjamin Walker, “Arthur Miller’s All My Sons”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Fionnula Flanagan, “The Ferryman”
Celia Keenan-Bolger, “To Kill a Mockingbird” **
Kristine Nielsen, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Julie White, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Ruth Wilson, “King Lear”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

André De Shields, “Hadestown” **
Andy Grotelueschen, “Tootsie”
Patrick Page, “Hadestown”
Jeremy Pope, “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”
Ephraim Sykes, “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Lilli Cooper, “Tootsie”
Amber Gray, “Hadestown”
Sarah Stiles, “Tootsie”
Ali Stroker, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!” **
Mary Testa, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!”

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Miriam Buether, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Bunny Christie, “Ink”
Rob Howell, “The Ferryman” **
Santo Loquasto, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Jan Versweyveld, “Network”

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini, “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”
Peter England, “King Kong”
Rachel Hauck, “Hadestown” **
Laura Jellinek, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!”
David Korins, “Beetlejuice”

Best Costume Design of a Play

Rob Howell, “The Ferryman” **
Toni-Leslie James, “Bernhardt/Hamlet”
Clint Ramos, “Torch Song”
Ann Roth, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Ann Roth, “To Kill a Mockingbird”

 

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Michael Krass, “Hadestown”
William Ivey Long, “Beetlejuice”
William Ivey Long, “Tootsie”
Bob Mackie, “The Cher Show” **
Paul Tazewell, “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Neil Austin, “Ink” **
Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Peter Mumford, “The Ferryman”
Jennifer Tipton, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden, “Network”

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Kevin Adams, ‘The Cher Show”
Howell Binkley, ‘Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”
Bradley King, “Hadestown” **
Peter Mumford, “King Kong”
Kenneth Posner and Peter Nigrini, “Beetlejuice”

Best Sound Design of a Play

Adam Cork, “Ink”
Scott Lehrer, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Fitz Patton, “Choir Boy” **
Nick Powell, “The Ferryman”
Eric Sleichim, “Network”

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Peter Hylenski, “Beetlejuice”
Peter Hylenski, “King Kong”
Steve Canyon Kennedy, “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”
Drew Levy, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!”
Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, “Hadestown” **

Best Direction of a Play

Rupert Goold, “Ink”
Sam Mendes, “The Ferryman” **
Bartlett Sher, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Ivo van Hove, “Network”
George C. Wolfe, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”

Best Direction of a Musical

Rachel Chavkin, “Hadestown” **
Scott Ellis, “Tootsie”
Daniel Fish, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!”
Des McAnuff, “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”
Casey Nicholaw, “The Prom”

Best Choreography

Enlarge ImageDerrick Baskin, Jawan M Jackson, Jeremy Pope, James Harkness and Ephraim Sykes in “Ain’t Too Proud”Matthew Murphy

Camille A. Brown,  “Choir Boy”
Warren Carlyle, “Kiss Me, Kate”
Denis Jones, “Tootsie”
David Neumann, “Hadestown”
Sergio Trujillo, “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations” **

Best Orchestrations

Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, “Hadestown” **
Simon Hale, “Tootsie”
Larry Hochman,” Kiss Me, Kate”
Daniel Kluger, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!”
Harold Wheeler, “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”

 

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