Broadway Live! Playbill.com's 2015 Tony Awards Press Room Blog

Tony Awards   Broadway Live! Playbill.com's 2015 Tony Awards Press Room Blog Playbill.com editor in chief Adam Hetrick live blogged from the Tony Awards press room. Read his first-hand account of winners' reactions and breaking news from the press room during the 69th annual ceremony.
Michael Cerveris in the press room
Michael Cerveris in the press room Photo by David Gewirtzman

12:08 AM. That's a wrap! Thanks for following along with us tonight. Check Playbill.com in the morning for reports and photos from the Tony Awards after parties!

11:58 PM. Michael Cerveris told the press room that he knew Fun Home composer Jeanine Tesori from the 1993 Broadway production of Tommy when she was music director. He admitted that he initially didn't see how the role of Bruce Bechdel really fit into the story of Fun Home, which centers on Alison's coming of age. "I wasn't sure what my part to contribute was. It took me a while to understand Bruce," he said. He also singled out Fun Home and Curious Incident as shows that are opening up the dialogue about how we view outsiders. Speaking of his own family, he said, "Whoever I wanted to be was okay. That's not the message that every kid gets." 

11:41 PM. Fun Home producer Kristin Caskey told the press room, "People can relate to this story, even if it doesn't exactly resemble their family." The show's producers also said that a London transfer was not in the works, but after tonight's win, the possibility grew stronger. It was also revealed that there has been interest in a film adaptation of the work. The producers were joined by Alison Bechdel, who was asked about how she felt about the experience of having her memoir adapted into a Tony-winning musical. "I haven't been able to make sense of it yet. I wasn't telling that story for anyone but myself, really." If there was any advice she would go back and give to her younger self, she said, "Don't do anything different."

11:33 PM. The press hollered and cheered as Kelli O'Hara entered the room. She said that she played a lot of ingenues and that Anna marked a maturation in her career. "She's trailblazer and a strong woman," she said. She also described how it felt to win, joking that she danced her way off stage because she thought the orchestra was going to play her off. "I completely lost my mind. It blew me away. I remember starting to run off and then looking back at my husband thinking, 'What just happened?'"

Kelli O'Hara in the press room
Kelli O'Hara in the press room Photo by David Gewirtzman

11:19 PM. Tony-winning Curious Incident actor Alex Sharp said that he felt like he won his honor for people like Christopher, the character who he portrays in the play. He said that the production helped to create "compassion and empathy" for individuals on the autism spectrum. He added that winning tonight was, "The highest adrenaline moments in my life."

11:07 PM. Theatre fans, don't go anywhere! Many of the winners are still arriving in the press room.

11:01 PM. The following nominated shows left Radio City empty-handed, Hand to God, The Visit, On the Twentieth Century, The Last Ship, Gigi, The Heidi Chronicles, Constellations, It's Only a Play, Disgraced, Airline Highway, The Elephant Man, On the Town and This Is Our Youth.

10:59 PM. With the last of the awards handed out, here's the final tally:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: 5
An American in Paris: 4
The Audience: 2
Fun Home: 4
Something Rotten!: 1
You Can't Take It With You: 1
The King and I: 3
Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2: 1
Skylight: 1

10:56 PM. Fun Home wins Best Musical.

10:52 PM. If you want a glimpse of the energy from the press room, check out what the winners are up to in this latest photo gallery.

10:50 PM. Kelli O'Hara should get a second Tony Award for best exit in awards show history.

10:46 PM. At long last, Kelli O'Hara breaks her streak – winning for Best Actress in a Musical – as the audience at Radio City gives her a standing ovation. The King and I marks her sixth Tony nomination and her first win. The press room erupted in cheers and applause.

10:42 PM. Michael Cerveris wins his second Tony Award (Best Actor in a Musical) for playing Bruce Bechdel in Fun Home. He previously won Best Featured Actor for Assassins.

10:40 PM. Here's a look at tonight's award tallies:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time: 5
An American in Paris: 4
The Audience: 2
Fun Home: 3
Something Rotten!: 1
You Can't Take It With You: 1
The King and I: 3
Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2: 1
Skylight: 1

10:35 PM. Tonight's "In Memoriam" moment features the largest group of performers ever to be featured in a Tony Awards number.

10:29 PM. Best Performance by an Actor in a Play goes to Alex Sharp for Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. The play marks Sharp's Broadway debut.

10:24 PM. Tony-winning costume designer Christopher Oram said he had to run all of his costume designs by Wolf Hall novelist Hilary Mantel.

10:16 PM. When asked if he would consider adapting Curious Incident for the screen, playwright Simon Stephens said he was more interested in the stage. "I don't write screenplays, I write stage plays," he quipped.

10:15 PM. Best Revival of a Musical goes to The King and I. This is the second time The King and I has won Best Revival. The 1996 production also took the top prize. The original 1951 production won Best Musical.

10:10 PM. When The King and I Tony winner Ruthie Ann Miles was asked what advice she would give her younger self, she said, "Don't be a dentist. I was studying to be a dentist." She also thanked her mother. "Growing up, it was just me and my mom, and when you have no one else in the family to really go to or vent at, your mom becomes your worst enemy, but in hindsight, my mom is my everything. She's a single mom, and she worked three jobs. But now I see that she has sacrificed… She was sacrificing her life so that I could go to college."

10:07 PM. Another batch of red carpet images are now live. Check out shots of Sutton Foster, Kelli O'Hara and more.

10:02 PM. Best Revival of a Play goes to Skylight, which transferred to Broadway after a hit London run last year.

10 PM. Curious Incident scenic designers Bunny Christie and Finn Ross told the press room that they intensified the physical production for Broadway. "We made the journey more frightening. Upped the temperature," Christie said.

9:56 PM. Catherine Zuber wins her sixth Tony Award for designing the costumes to the Broadway revival of The King and I. Five of her Tony wins have been for Lincoln Center Theater productions.

9:54 PM. Best Costume Design of a Play goes to Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two.

9:46 PM. The Tony Award for Best Play goes to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

9:43 PM. Fun Home director Sam Gold has entered the press room. He described what it was like to direct young actress Sydney Lucas in the song "Ring of Keys," a moment in the show where Young Alison identifies with a butch lesbian. "I was really nervous," he said. "The day that I was first going to stage that song with Sydney in rehearsal. I was really nervous about that. What was I going to say to her? She was nine at the time. I started to ask her, 'Do you understand what this songs is about? What can we talk about?' And, she was like, 'I got this.' She had it already. She understood everything about it. She's a very mature actor and didn't need to be treated like a kid. I treated her [from] that moment forward like all of the adults."

9:34 PM. Fun Home Book and Score winners Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori are speaking to the press. "People take chances on men based on their potential and people take chances on women based on their accomplishments," Kron said of the lack of women writers represented in the theatre. She said she hoped their win would lead more people to take chances on women based on their potential. Tesori said she also hoped a lot of people would see Fun Home. "Fun Home is a really well-made musical and I've made some musicals that are shitty," she laughed.

Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori in the press room
Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori in the press room Photo by David Gewirtzman

9:23 PM. Bob Crowley and 59 Productions win Best Scenic Design of a Musical for An American in Paris.

9:19 PM. Bunny Christie and Finn Ross win Best Scenic Design of a Play for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

9:13 PM. Marianne Elliott wins her second Tony Award for directing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. She won in 2011 for another Broadway transfer from the National Theatre, War Horse.

9:07 PM. "I didn't set out to win awards," John Cameron Mitchell told the press room. He also revealed that Hedwig is London bound. "We are definitely coming to the West End. We are trying to get the right person." He also mentioned the Hedwig sequel. "The sequel is still bubbling," he said. "It's going to be a little while." He also spoke about coming out. "I thought I had to be in the closet as an actor. It felt like a lot of work. I didn't mind being directed during work, but not in life," he said.

9:00 PM. The Tony Award for Best Choreography goes to Christopher Wheeldon for An American in Paris. The musical marks Wheeldon's Broadway debut.

8:59 PM. The Audience Tony winner Richard McCabe told the press room, "I was offered the part of Cromwell in Wolf Hall. Our producers told me, 'Stick with The Audience. It's coming to Broadway.' I'm glad I did."

8:54 PM. Sam Gold wins Best Direction of a Musical for reconceiving the Off-Broadway musical Fun Home as an in-the-round experience for its Broadway transfer to Circle in the Square. This is the third Tony Award for Fun Home tonight.

8:46 PM. Dame Helen Mirren has arrived in the press room to thunderous applause and holding a martini. "Why are you all holding your devices up?" she asked as the press all held up their cell phones to snap a photo. "I really want a Grammy, I do. I have to do an audiobook," she laughed when a writer teased that she was one letter/award short of completing the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony). Mirren said she also doubts she'll play Queen Elizabeth II again. "I'm sure Her Majesty is sick to the teeth with me." Mirren added that she loved working on Broadway and wondering through the theatre district. "The audiences are spectacular, generous and warm." She also tossed off a nod to one of Times Square's infamous personalities, the Naked Cowboy.

8:39 PM. Annaleigh Ashford wins Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for her comedic turn in You Can't It With You. She was previously nominated in 2013 for Kinky Boots.

8:35 PM. Christian Borle takes his second Tony Award, winning Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for Something Rotten!

8:30 PM. Lisa Kron takes her second Tony Award for the night, winning Best Book of a Musical for Fun Home. This is the second win for Fun Home tonight. Fun Home is the first musical in Broadway history with an all-female writing team to take the Best Book and Best Score honors.

8:21 PM. Richard McCabe, who also won the Olivier Award for playing Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the London production of The Audience, has now taken the Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play for repeating his work in the show's Broadway transfer.

8:15 PM. Fun Home (Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron) takes the Tony Award for Best Score. In her speech, Tesori told the crowd that as a young woman she didn't realize she could have a career in music until she saw a woman conduct on Broadway. Holding up her Tony, she said, "For girls, you have to see it to be it. We stand on the shoulders of other women who have come before us."

8:12 PM. Helen Mirren wins for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for The Audience. While several actors won Tony and Academy Awards for playing the same role on stage and screen, Mirren is the first actress to win a Tony and Oscar for playing the same character (Queen Elizabeth II) in two different works ("The Queen" and The Audience). Both works were penned by Peter Morgan.

8:01 PM. The Tony Awards specialty numbers are staged by Tony Award-winning After Midnight choreographer Warren Carlyle, who also choreographed last year's Tonys.

7:56 PM. The Tony Awards overture, which was played prior to the broadcast, is a medley of tunes including "I Got Rhythm" (from An American in Paris), "New York, New York" (from On the Twentieth Century), "Ring of Keys" (from Fun Home), "On the Twentieth Century" (from On the Twentieth Century), "You, You, You" (from The Visit), "Welcome to the Renaissance" (from Something Rotten!), "Shall We Dance?" (from The King and I) and more.

7:45 PM. Natasha Katz (An American in Paris) won for Best Lighting Design of a Musical.

7:41 PM. Paule Constable (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time) has won for Best Lighting Design of a Play.

7:35 PM. "What's an old drag queen doing up town?," John Cameron Mitchell laughed as he took the stage to accept his Special Tony Award. He also offered advice for those who wished to create new work. "Turn off the internet. Combine all the things you love in the world," he said. He also thanked the Hed-heads, many of whom were seated in the far reaches of the Radio City balconies. Looking up, he smiled, "We were always in the back."

7:30 PM. Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Tony winner Tommy Tune received a standing ovation from the crowd at Radio City. "Broadway has a universal mystique and I am proud and humbled to be a part of our universe," Tune said. He described the theatre as an act of love, recalling A Chorus Line, saying, "What I did for love."

7:27 PM. This year's Regional Tony Award is presented to the Cleveland Play House, which opened in 1915. The theatre has never missed a season, not even during the Great Depression or World War II. In its 100-year history, the Play House has presented 150 world premieres.

7:23 PM. Some quick facts about the 2014-15 Broadway season. The 37 productions that opened during the season, included 15 musicals (10 new, five revivals), 20 plays (11 new, 9 revivals) and two specials. This season yielded $1.37 billion in grosses, up from $1.27 billion last season. Total attendance reached 13.1 million, up from 12.2 million last season. Grosses were up 7.6 percent, attendance up 7.3 percent and playing weeks up 8.7 percent.

7:21 PM. Tony winner Sutton Foster just revealed in a red carpet interview that she's rooting for Fun Home and Hand to God tonight. In addition, the Tony Awards twitter poll shows that fans are rooting for Fun Home as best musical.

7:14 PM. The Tony Awards are attracting celebrities beyond the theatrical sphere this year. Monica Lewinsky, Kendall Jenner and Amber Valletta have all been spotted on the red carpet.

7:07 PM. Tony hosts Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming are causing a stir on the red carpet. See all the celebrities and fashion in the first batch of red carpet arrival photos.

7:03 PM. Tony-nominated song and dance man Robert Fairchild revealed that his role in An American in Paris is so demanding that he has to stand in an ice bath up to his knees following each performance.

7:01 PM. The red carpet is looking glamorous: Bernadette Peters in a gorgeous Zac Posen gown and Amanda Seyfried wearing Oscar de la Renta. Check Out Our Top 10 Best-Dressed Broadway Celebs from the 2014 Tony Awards.

6:55 PM. If you're celebrating at home, try one of our Tony Awards-inspired cocktails created by the bar staff at 54 Below. From T'quila (T'Kelli) O'Hara to Brian D'Arcy James(on) – Get Your Drink On With These Tony Award-Inspired Cocktails!

6:47 PM. Josh Groban just revealed on the red carpet that he'll be performing the In Memoriam segment during the CBS Tony Awards telecast this evening. He also said that the musical tribute will feature the most people to ever be on stage at the same time on the Tony Awards.

6:45 PM. While a majority of the awards are presented during the live broadcast, eight of this evening's Tony Awards will be presented before the 8 PM CBS start time. We expect that the first of the pre-broadcast honors will be presented around 7:30 PM. We'll be reporting them live. For those keeping track, the awards presented prior to the broadcast include Best Book, Best Score, Best Lighting Design (Play and Musical), as well as honors for Regional Theatre (Cleveland Play House), Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre (Tommy Tune), Special Tony Award (John Cameron Mitchell), Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award (Stephen Schwartz) and the new Excellence in Theatre Education Award (Corey Mitchell).

6:30 PM. Happy Tony Awards Broadway lovers! Thanks for joining Playbill.com tonight. Follow along with us tonight as we report the winners, their reactions and the backstage excitement of the 69th Annual Tony Awards from the official Tony press room. In addition to the live blog from the press room, you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@Playbill) throughout the night. Playbill.com features manager Michael Gioia (@PlaybillMichael) will be instagramming and tweeting from the red carpet, and features editor Carey Purcell (@PlaybillCarey) will be on hand in the bloggers' room. Playbill Magazine editor in chief Blake Ross (@PlaybillBlake) will also be tweeting and instagramming from inside Radio City Music Hall and from the official Tony Awards after party.

The 2015 Tony Awards press room
The 2015 Tony Awards press room Photo by David Gewirtzman
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