And, The Winner Was: See How Playbill Readers' Picks Compared to Those of Tony Award Voters
By Playbill Staff
Playbill.com asked our readers to vote for the nominated artists and productions they would like to see take home the coveted Tony Awards June 9 at Radio City Music Hall. Now that the 67th Annual Tony Awards are over and trophies have been awarded, we take a look at how our readers picks compared to those of the Tony voters.
Through our non-scientific, strictly-for-fun poll via PollDaddy.com, Playbill.com readers were able to vote for their favorites — in categories including Leading Actress and Actor in a Musical, Leading Actress and Actor in a Play, Featured Actress and Actor in a Musical, Featured Actress and Actor in a Play, Best Choreography, Best Direction of a Play and Musical, Best Revival of a Play and Musical, and Best Musical and Best Play — from May 16-June 5.
Out of 15 major categories, our readers were 67 percent correct, naming the winner in ten categories. Click on to see where Playbill.com readers aligned with Tony voters as well as where they differed.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
CORRECT: Readers and Tony voters picked belting seductress Patina Miller as their favorite Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance as the Leading Player in the cirque-inspired revival of Pippin. Miller, who received the 2013 Outer Critics Circle Award for Pippin, was also Tony-nominated for her performance in Sister Act. In the Tony Awards press room, Miller told Playbill.com about missing Pippin performances due to illness when Tony voters were in attendance. "Of course [I was worried]," she said. "You wait to get a nomination, and then you get sick the week after... It's the most daunting thing. I love nothing more than being in my show. It worried me. My fiance had to talk me down. I went to the theatre to try [and go on], but I was just so sick. I had to get over it because the show was the most important thing."
Click here for the recent Playbill.com interview with Miller, who brings Pippin's iconic Leading Player to new heights at Broadway's Music Box Theatre.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
CORRECT: Readers and Tony voters picked Billy Porter, who portrays the sassy and fabulous drag queen Lola in Broadway's Kinky Boots, as their favorite Leading Actor in a Musical. The longtime Broadway actor, who received his first Tony nomination this season with Kinky, took home the 2013 Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards. Sex is certainly in his heel, and Porter shines in his first Broadway leading role. Cheers errupted in the Tony Awards press room as Porter made his way to the stage.
Click here for the Playbill.com Leading Men column with Porter and co-star Stark Sands, who were up for the same Tony Award and found themselves cheering each other on.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
CORRECT: Readers and Tony voters picked Cicely Tyson, who returned to Broadway after a 20-year hiatus in The Trip to Bountiful, as their favorite Leading Actress in a Play. Tyson, who was awarded the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama Desk for her performance as Mrs. Carrie Watts, received her first Tony nomination this season with The Trip to Bountiful. The 79-year-old actress delivers a tour-de-force performance — barely leaving the stage throughout the evening as she makes her trip "home." She told the press that there isn't "anything more rewarding than the creation of a character that speaks to others."
Click here to read the Playbill magazine feature with Tyson, who talks about her history with Bountiful and her return to Broadway.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Tony voters picked Tracy Letts as their choice for Leading Actor in a Play for his performance as George in the Tony-winning revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The artist is now the recipient of the Tony Award for both performing and writing (August: Osage County). When asked about Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'s closing despite critical raves, he described Broadway as a bottom-line business, explaining, "Bette [Midler] wanted the Booth, that's what I was told." He also asked if New York Times reporter Patrick Healy and Time Out New York critics David Cote and Adam Feldman were in the room. "If you see those guys, tell them I'm looking for them." The writers predicted he would not win the honor.
Readers picked Broadway favorite Nathan Lane as their choice for Leading Actor in a Play for his performance as the title character in The Nance. The actor received the 2013 Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance and the 2013 Outer Critics Circle Award.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
CORRECT: Readers and Tony voters picked comic genius Andrea Martin as their favorite Featured Actress in a Musical. Martin steals every scene she's in at the Music Box Theatre, where she plays Berthe in the high-flying revival of Pippin. Martin, who won the 2013 Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards — as well as the hearts of audiences as she soared on a trapeze during her first-act number "No Time At All" — took home her second Tony Award 20 years after she won in 1993 for My Favorite Year. She confessed to Playbill.com in the press room that she originally turned down the role of Berthe in Pippin. "The role was originally played as a kind of stereotypical grandmother," she said. "I wanted to play the grandmother the way I feel. So I thought why can't the grandmother look like me?"
Click here to watch Martin and her co-stars talk about being nominated for Pippin the day after they received the news.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Tony voters picked Gabriel Ebert as the Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance as Mr. Wormwood in Matilda the Musical. Ebert, who plays the quirky and evil father to Matilda, earned his first Tony Award and entered the press room with a bandage on his right hand. "I had an accident backstage Tuesday night," he said, "and I sprained and partially tore a ligament in my hand... Ripping up Matilda's book has been quite painful!"
Readers picked longtime Broadway actor Terrence Mann as their favorite Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance as Charles in the first Broadway revival of Pippin. The actor took home the 2013 Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
CORRECT: Judith Light nabbed a Tony Award two years in a row! Readers and Tony voters picked Light — who plays no-nonsense, pragmatic family member Faye in The Assembled Parties — as their favorite Featured Actress in a Play. The actress, who received the 2013 Drama Desk for her performance, was awarded her first Tony last year for her performance in Other Desert Cities and was nominated the year prior with Lombardi. The actress, who often finds herself in the "Featured" category, is on a roll. Light told the press room that her win for The Assembled Parties "is one of real appreciation. I was away from this community for a really long time. I was terrified to come back to the theatre."
Click here to watch Light and other "Featured" nominees talk about receiving their 2013 nomination.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Tony voters picked Courtney B. Vance as the Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance as newspaper editor Hap Hairston in Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy. Vance, who credits director George C. Wolfe for his success in the role, claims that Wolfe and Tom Hanks were the reasons for taking on the Broadway project. The actor hasn't appeared on Broadway in over 20 years, and his main focus has been raising twins with wife Angela Bassett, whom he refers to as "The Queen." When asked what else could get him back to Broadway, he replied, "George C. Wolfe!"
Readers picked comic actor Billy Magnussen as their favorite Featured Actor in a Play for his performance as the last title character in Broadway's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Magnussen was nominated for his first Tony Award for the new Christopher Durang comedy.
CORRECT: Readers and Tony voters picked longtime award-winning choreographer and director Jerry Mitchell as their favorite Choreographer for his work on the most-nominated (and awarded) production of the season, Kinky Boots — he was also Tony-nominated for directing. Mitchell, who often finds himself nominated for his energetic, show-stopping dance moves, took home his second Tony Award for Kinky. The artist, who was this year's recipient of the Drama League's Founders Award for Excellence in Directing, pulled out all of the moves to accompany Cyndi Lauper's dance-happy score in Kinky Boots. In the press room, Mitchell said it was a challenge to cast male dancers capable of dancing in the high-heeled boots. He also had to make sure scenic designer David Rockwell designed a deck (the stage floor) which had no automation or tracks in it so that the dancers' heels wouldn't get caught.
Click here to watch Mitchell and Kinky Boots comrades talk about receiving their nominations.
Best Direction of a Musical
CORRECT: Readers and Tony voters picked Diane Paulus as their favorite Director of a Musical for her work on the cirque-inspired revival of Pippin. It was finally Paulus' year to take home the coveted award, after being previously nominated for both her re-envisionings of Hair and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, which both took home the awards for Best Revival of a Musical. The director, who took home the 2013 Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and is known to completely re-invent celebrated works, incorporated a circus-style vision in Pippin that would complement Bob Fosse's choreography and take the musical to new "heights." She first saw the musical as a young child. "I saw it when I was eight years old – living in New York going to Broadway shows. You're a young person working in the theatre and you think, 'Will I ever have a chance?' I'm so grateful."
Click here to read the recent Playbill.com interview with Paulus, who shares insight on her vision for the celebrated revival of Pippin.
Best Direction of a Play
Tony voters picked Pam MacKinnon for Best Director of a Play for her work on the Tony-winning revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The director, who was previously nominated for her work on Clybourne Park, took home her first Tony Award June 9.
Reader picked Nicholas Martin as their favorite Director of a Play for his work on the comic new play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Martin, who received his first Tony nomination for Vanya and Sonia, was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 1999 for his direction of Betty's Summer Vacation.
Best Revival of a Musical
CORRECT: Readers and Tony voters picked Pippin as their favorite Best Musical Revival of the season. The cirque-inspired, high-flying revival features a cast of quadruple threats — who act, sing, dance and soar above the audience as prince Pippin searches for his very own "Corner of the Sky." Click here to read the Playbill.com feature on the musical.
Best Revival of a Play
CORRECT: Readers and Tony voters picked Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as their favorite Best Play Revival of the season. The acclaimed revival, which starred Tracy Letts and Amy Morton — who also starred in the staging that first surfaced in late 2010 at Steppenwolf Theatre Company — was directed by Pam MacKinnon and kept audiences on the edge of their seats. Click here for Playbill.com's coverage on the play.
CORRECT: Readers and Tony voters picked Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike as their favorite Play of the season. The fast-paced comedy, which came straight from an acclaimed Off-Broadway run at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, keeps audiences laughing with standout performances all around. Click here for Playbill.com's coverage on the play.
Tony voters picked Kinky Boots as the Best Musical of the 2012-13 season. Kinky Boots, the new Cyndi Lauper-scored musical about acceptance, eqaulity and fabulous footwear, was the big winner of the evening, earning six awards — the most of any production of the season. Its leading actor, Billy Porter, won his first Tony Award for his role as Lola, and Lauper received her first win for Best Original Score.
Readers picked Matilda, the Olivier Award-winning musical about a young girl with special powers who strives for greatness, despite a pair of rotten parents and an evil and terrifying headmistress named Miss Trunchbull, as their favorite Musical of the season.
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