NEW YORK—The biggest night in theater and Broadway as some call it came to a pinnacle on Sunday, June 9, as the 73rd Tony Awards were handed out from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. “The Late Late Show” host James Corden was the master of ceremonies as the night kicked off with you guessed it: song and dance. Was it memorable? Not really, I will admit I’m not the biggest fan of the Tony Awards, but the 2019 ceremony may have been one of the slowest that I have watched in years.
Corden, while funny, just lacked that punch of excitement that I’ve seen from previous hosts like Neil Patrick Harris (who made an appearance) and even Hugh Jackman. He did his best; it just wasn’t enough to keep me entertained people. The big winner of the night was a musical that I hadn’t heard of, “Hadestown” which walked away with a total of eight Tony Awards including the big one, Best Musical.
Another big winner of the night was “The Ferryman” which took the prize for Best Play. Celia Keenan-Bolger won the first prize of the night for Featured Actress in a Play for her work in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” while Bertie Carvel won the Tony for Featured Actor in a Play for his role in “Ink.” Elaine May took to the stage to capture the prize for Leading Actress in a Play for “The Waverly Gallery.” Bryan Cranston won for Leading Actor in a Play for his performance in “Network.”
Big wins for “Hadestown” also include the win for Andre De Shields for Featured Actor in a Musical, as well as Rachel Chavkin who won for Best Director, and she gave an astounding speech, talking about inclusion and the importance of diversity in the arts. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the night was seeing Ali Stoker win the Tony Award for Featured Actress in a Musical for “Oklahoma.” Seeing Ali, who is confined to a wheelchair win that award for an amazing performance was just sensational and to give such a rousing and inspiring speech on top of it was just icing on the cake.
“The Boys in the Band” won the award for Best Revival of a Play, while Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma” won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. Other acting prizes handed out for the night included wins for Santino Fontana for Leading Actor in a Musical for “Tootsie,” while Stephanie J. Block won for Leading Actress in a Musical for “The Cher Show.” As I pointed out the 73rd Tony Awards was a very slow paced ceremony, but there were some big wins that totally made up for the slow ceremony. Will Corden be asked to return in 2020? I’m not so sure; I would prefer someone with a bit more excitement or skill hosting to take over.