Hugh Jackman opened the 68th Tony Awards on CBS Sunday night with a four-minute hopping routine that made absolutely no sense. He started his way from the red carpet to the aisles, still bouncing behind-the-scenes backstage to finally arriving at Radio City Music Hall’s podium center stage. One comment on Twitter said it all “What was with the hopping? Lamest Tony opening ever.”
In all fairness there was a brief film clip of a man hopping down the street that could be seen on the live telecast. It came from the 1953 film “Small Town Girl” starring Bobby Van hopping his way to the song “Take Me to Broadway.” Talk about an obscure reference if ever there was one. Please bring back Neil Patrick Harris to host next year.
Speaking of Neil Patrick Harris, he won his first Tony as the German transsexual Hedwig, after hosting the Tonys on several occasions. “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” won best musical revival, as well as “Hedwig’s” Lena Hall as Yitzhak won for her amazing best performance by an actress in a featured role as a drag king.
History was made when Audra McDonald became the first performer to win an unprecedented sixth Tony. McDonald is the first to win in all four acting categories: best actress/best supporting actress in a play and musical. Sunday night she won by portraying the legendary Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” At the end of her tearful acceptance speech Audra dedicated it to Billie Holiday, “You deserve so much more than you were given on this planet."
Bryan Cranston continued his winning streak from the Emmys with a Tony win for his Broadway debut. As LBJ in “All The Way” Cranston’s tour de force as President Lyndon Baines Johnson earned him the best actor in a play statuette. Later on “All The Way” won for best play.
The Tony Awards are the closets many will ever get to Broadway. It is always a treat seeing exceptional performances from the nominees, other current productions, and sneak previews of musicals to open in the fall. Jonathan Groff introduced Idina Menzel in a very subtle dig to John Travolta’s Oscar fiasco of calling the Broadway superstar and “Frozen” star, Adele Dazeem in error. Idina sang from her current musical “If/Then” that was positively mesmerizing, and what Hugh Jackman accurately described as “wickedly talented.”
Here is a complete list of all winners from the 2014 Tony Awards honoring Broadway’s best.
Best Musical "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical Neil Patrick Harris, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Jesse Mueller, "Beautiful -- The Carole King Musical"
Best Play "All the Way"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play Audra McDonald, "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play Bryan Cranston, "All the Way"
Best Revival of a Musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Best Revival of a Play "A Raisin in the Sun"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play Mark Rylance, "Twelfth Night"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical Lena Hall, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Best Book of a Musical Robert L. Friedman, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Best Direction of a Musical Darko Tresnjak, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Best Direction of a Play Kenny Leon, "A Raisin in the Sun"
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater "The Bridges of Madison County"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical James M. Iglehart, "Aladdin"
Best Choreography Warren Carlyle, "After Midnight"
Best Costume Design of a Musical Linda Cho, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Best Costume Design of a Play Jenny Tiramani, "Twelfth Night"
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play Sophie Okonedo, "A Raisin in the Sun"
Best Lighting Design of a Musical Kevin Adams, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
Best Lighting Design of a Play Natasha Katz, "The Glass Menagerie"
Special Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Jane Greenwood
Regional Theatre Award Signature Theatre
Isabelle Stevenson Award Rosie O'Donnell
Honors for Excellence in the Theatre Joseph P. Benincasa, Joan Marcus Charlotte Wilcox