Helen Mirren, musical ‘Fun Home’ wins top Tony Awards
NEW YORK – Reuters
Reuters PhotoHelen Mirren won her first Tony on June 7 for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience,” while the lesbian-coming of age story “Fun Home” and its lead actor, Michael Cerveris, respectively earned best musical and best actor in a musical awards at the 69th Tony Awards.
Mirren described her win as “an incredible honor.” With a Tony, Broadway’s highest honor, an Emmy and an Oscar, she joked she would love to win a Grammy (awarded for musical achievments). “I have to do an audio book,” she joked.
British import “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” about a teenage math wizard with Asperger Syndrome who goes on an incredible journey, won five awards, including best play, director and actor for its star, recent Juilliard School graduate Alex Sharp.
Sharp, in his Broadway debut, surpassed Hollywood star Bradley Cooper and veteran actor Bill Nighy for best actor. “Oh my God, oh my God. It’s so crazy,” said a surprised Sharp, who dedicated his award to young people who feel misunderstood or different.
“I feel like I won this award for my character, Christopher, and for people like Christopher,” he said backstage.
Cerveris took home best actor in a musical, his second Tony, for playing a closeted homosexual father in “Fun Home,” which also earned Tonys for its director, Sam Gold, as well as best book and best score. ”I am fortunate to be standing here. You all deserve to be,” he said to his fellow nominees. “Our show is about home and finding who you are.”
Seventh time’s the charm
After six previous nominations, Kelli O’Hara took home her first Tony for best actress in a musical as the governess in “The King and I.” “You would think that I would have written down something by now but I haven’t,” a jubilant O’Hara said, thanking her husband and parents. “I am going to do the worm,” she said as she began to dance.
Past winners Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming co-hosted the ceremony, which was broadcast live on CBS television and featured songs from top musicals.
The three-hour show capped a record-breaking season on Broadway in which audience numbers topped 13.1 million and ticket grosses rose to $1.36 billion.
“Skylight” won best revival of a play and “The King and I” took best revival of a musical.
Ruthie Ann Miles, who won a Tony for the best featured actress in a musical, consulted her cell phone on stage as she accepted the honor.
Mirren’s co-star, Richard McCabe, picked up the best featured actor in a play prize.
A tearful, flustered Annaleigh Ashford was named best featured actress in a play for her role as a zany ballet-dancing daughter of an eccentric American family in “You Can’t Take it With You.”
Christian Borle won his second Tony for best featured actor in a musical for “Something Rotten!”
“This feels like an embarrassment of riches,” said Borle about his portrayal of William Shakespeare as a rock star in the bawdy parody of Broadway musicals set in 1590s Tudor England.
The Tony Awards are presented by theater industry association the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing, a not-for-profit organization.