Take Me Out, Hairspray Are Top Winners in 2003 Tony Awards; Long Day's Journey, Nine Also Hot
By Kenneth Jones
Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out, a play about the incident-packed season of a Yankees-like baseball team, won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Play, and Hairspray was named Best Musical, June 8.
The satiric, sweet Hairspray teased its way to win eight Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall.
Take Me Out earned three choice Tonys, including nods for direction and featured actor. The play, which has done respectable but not home-run box office, is expected to get a boost from the exposure and the awards. The play was also a 2003 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Harvey Fierstein won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for playing blowsy Baltimore housewife Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, the smash based on the John Waters film of the same name, at the 57th annual Tonys.
Minutes earlier, Marissa Jaret Winokur won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for playing optimistic but plus-sized Tracy Turnblad (Edna's daughter) in Hairspray.
She called herself a "4-foot-11-inch chubby New York girl" and said if she can win a Tony for leading actress, then dreams can come true for anyone.
It was thought the race in this category was largely between young newcomer Winokur and veteran Bernadette Peters, who minutes earlier at the ceremony had brought down Radio City Music Hall with a highly-charged "Rose's Turn," the finale of Gypsy.
Roundabout Theatre Company's staging of Maury Yeston, Mario Fratti and Arthur Kopit's Nine won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.
Vanessa Redgrave won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Play for Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. It is Redgrave's first Tony. Her sister, Lynn, was in the house, cheering her on.
By 10:15 PM (ET) it was a rich night for the O'Neill revival: Brian Dennehy won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Play, for Long Day's Journey. The autobiographical play also won the Tony for Best Revival.
Jack O'Brien won the Tony for Best Direction of a Musical, for Hairspray. He thanked friends and colleagues past and present, and acknowledged the contributions of Hairspray choreographer Jerry Mitchell.
Def Poetry Jam on Broadway won the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. The Russell Simmons-created evening of new words and ideas by young hip-hop poets lured a new audience to Broadway, and will tour. Simmons thanked the Broadway audience for being "so open-minded" about the work.
Dick Latessa and Jane Krakowski won respective Tony Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (for Hairspray) and Best Featured Actress in a Musical (for Nine). Latessa has a memorable romantic duet with Harvey Fierstein in his show, and is a much-loved veteran of the New York stage. It is his first Tony win. Krakowski makes a sexy and death-defying entrance and exit in Nine, wrapped in a sheet that circus illusionists are known to use. She descends from the fly space in nothing but linen (actually a specially-formulated fabric) and seduces Antonio Banderas (as Guido Contini) via phone.
Denis O'Hare and Michele Pawk won respective Tony Awards for Best Featured Actor in Play (for Take Me Out) and Best Featured Actress in a Play (for Hollywood Arms).
In Take Me Out, O'Hare plays a nebbishy accountant who falls in love with baseball when he takes on a gay ball star as a client. In Hollywood Arms, the well-reviewed Pawk played Louise, a character based on Carol Burnett's mother in a play by Carol Burnett and Carrie Hamilton. The play closed in January.
Joe Mantello won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for staging Richard Greenberg's theme-rich play, Take Me Out, about baseball (and a whole lot more) at the 57th annual Tonys.
Twyla Tharp won the Tony for Best Choreography for her work on the Billy Joel-infused dance musical, Movin' Out. She also directed the show, which uses Joel songs to tell (via dance) the story of high school pals as they grow older in the turbulent '60s and '70s.
The writers of Hairspray won 2003 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical (Mark O'Donnell & Thomas Meehan) and Best Score of a Musical (composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman and lyricist Scott Wittman).
Winners in four 2003 Tony Awards categories were announced in a pre-show ceremony prior to the 8-11 PM (ET) main show June 8: Movin' Out, La Boheme and Hairspray were the first Tony winners of the season. Respectively, Billy Joel and Stuart Malina won for their pop orchestrations for Movin' Out, Nigel Levings won for the sumptuous La Boheme lighting design, William Ivey Long won for his '60s-friendly Hairspray costume design and Catherine Martin won for the 1950s-set Parisian scenic design of La Boheme.
Hugh Jackman, coming to Broadway in the fall in The Boy From Oz, hosted the annual awards celebrating the best of the 2002-03 Broadway season.
For readers without access to television, or those in other time zones interested in early results, Playbill On-Line updated this lead story between 8-11 PM (ET) June 8. Be sure to check our 2003 Tony Awards section by clicking Playbill Tony Awards News.
The complete list of 2003 Tony Award nominees and winners follows, with winners indicated in boldface type:
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL :
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL:
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY :
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY:
BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY:
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL :
SPECIAL THEATRICAL EVENT:
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL :
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY:
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY :
BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY:
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL:
BEST SCENIC DESIGN:
BEST COSTUME DESIGN :
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN :
Previously announced awards:
TONY HONORS FOR EXCELLENCE IN THEATRE:
SPECIAL TONY AWARD:
Regional Theatre Tony Award:
Here's the tally of productions and number of Tony wins:
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