Last night’s broadcast of the 71st Annual Tony Awards revealed a few surprises, some unexpected wins, and a couple of sigh-worthy missteps that had theatergoers wondering where the theatricality was in theater’s most celebrated honor.
Kevin Spacey stepped to the plate to take a swing at hosting, and while his spot-on impersonations garnered some chuckles, it lacked a certain energy necessary to fill Radio City Musical Hall or penetrate television-watching audiences.
Expected wins for Ben Platt (Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical – Dear Evan Hansen) and Bette Midler (Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical – Hello, Dolly!) were nevertheless exciting to witness, particularly Midler—in star power fashion—who bulldozed her way through the orchestra to complete her acceptance speech.
More surprising were the director wins for Christopher Ashley for Best Direction of a Musical (Come From Away) and Rebecca Taichman for Best Direction of a Play (Indecent), who both seemed shocked and thrilled at the recognition of their work.