PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, June 7-13: Tony Awards Rulings Draw Ire From Industry

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13 Jun 2014

Jefferson Mays
Jefferson Mays
Photo by Henry DiRocco

The Tony Awards people were the focus of all press, both good and bad (and there were equal measures of each), in the theatre this week.

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder — which, following months of being a respected Broadway property, but a laggard at the box office, has been gaining momentum ever since collecting more Tony nominations than any other show a month ago — completed its coup by taking home the Best Musical prize. It also won three other awards, included Best Direction of a Musical for Darko Tresnjak (thus forcing all theatre journalists to finally learn how to pronounce and spell the director's name). With four, the show tied for the most wins of the night. This could mean a longer life for the Little Musical that Could.

The producers of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical may have been disappointed that they didn't win for Best Musical. But their star Jessie Mueller — who charmed viewers by performing with Carole King, the woman she portrays — took home Best Actress in a Musical. As long as the producers keep Mueller in the show, they'll do just fine.

Winning as many Tonys as Gentleman's Guide was Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which claimed Best Revival of a Musical and collected another laurel for actor Neil Patrick Harris, who can now add the title "Tony winner" to his resume, alongside "Tony host." Ticketbuyers who thought such a win would meet a longer stay for Harris were disappointed, however. The actor will leave as scheduled Aug. 17. He will be replaced by Andrew Rannells of The Book of Mormon and "Girls" fame. Soon after, producers will find out if people were coming to see Harris or Hedwig.

Predictably, All The Way, won the Best Play award, and its star and raison d'être, Bryan Cranston, took home the Best Actor in a Play prize.

Audra McDonald made history by claiming her sixth Tony Award, for Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, making her the winningest Tony competitor of all time — if you don't count the honorary Tony given to Julie Harris, who also had six awards. (We can just call the ceremony the Audrys now, and get it over with, right?)


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