Sunday, June 16, 2024

Tony Awards Go to “Hadestown,” “The Ferryman,” But Without Stars, Ratings Crash


Sunday night’s Tony Awards crashed in the ratings. This should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Going in we knew that would happen. The reason is there was no break out show, or star this year. There were plenty of good shows but no spectacular ones. “Hadestown” won Best Musical and “The Ferryman” won Best Play, but neither one — which excellent– has caused excitement beyond Broadway.

The highlight of the show was Elaine May winning Best Actress at age 87 for “The Waverly Gallery”– even though it’s been closed for months. Bryan Cranston won Best Actor for “Network,” which closed over the weekend.

The Tony Awards totally rebuffed the mega money spent by producer Scott Rudin on “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It should have been called “To Overkill a Mockingbird.” Rudin has spent zillions on full page and double truck ads in the newspapers, on buses, everywhere. Then he launched an onslaught campaign on Jeff Daniels, the nicest guy in the world. The combination effect was too too much. Daniels lost Best Actor to Bryan Cranston. I wasn’t surprised. They should have each gotten awards.

A lot of shows will close now without Tony Awards. I’m sure “The Prom” is in jeopardy. “Tootsie” and “Beetlejuice,” however, each very very good productions, with strong box office, should survive for quite a while.

And so ends the 2018-19 theater season. The ratings? Well, where was Cher? She might have helped. Where was Hugh Jackman, who’s coming next season in “The Music Man”?

At least CBS has a long term deal to keep the Tonys on the air. And next year, the show will have more to offer the passive viewer. We can only hope.

Best play
“Choir Boy” by Tarell Alvin McCraney
“The Ferryman” by Jez Butterworth *WINNER
“Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus” by Taylor Mac
“Ink” by James Graham
“What the Constitution Means to Me” by Heidi Schreck

Best revival of a musical
“Kiss Me, Kate”
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” *WINNER

Best musical
“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”
“Hadestown” *WINNER
“The Prom”

Best revival of a play
Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons”
“The Boys in the Band” by Mart Crowley *WINNER
“Burn This” by Lanford Wilson
“Torch Song” by Harvey Fierstein
“The Waverly Gallery” by Kenneth Lonergan

Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical
Brooks Ashmanskas, “The Prom”
Derrick Baskin, “Ain’t Too Proud”
Alex Brightman, “Beetlejuice”
Damon Daunno, “Oklahoma!”
Santino Fontana, “Tootsie” *WINNER

Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical
Stephanie J. Block, “The Cher Show” *WINNER
Caitlin Kinnunen, “The Prom”
Beth Leavel, “The Prom”
Eva Noblezada, “Hadestown”
Kelli O’Hara, “Kiss Me, Kate”

Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play
Paddy Considine, “The Ferryman”
Bryan Cranston, “Network” *WINNER
Jeff Daniels, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Adam Driver, “Burn This”
Jeremy Pope, “Choir Boy”

Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play
Annette Bening, “All My Sons”
Laura Donnelly, “The Ferryman”
Elaine May, “The Waverly Gallery” *WINNER
Janet McTeer, “Bernhardt/Hamlet”
Laurie Metcalf, “Hillary and Clinton”
Heidi Schreck, “What the Constitution Means to Me”

Best book of a musical
“Ain’t Too Proud,” Dominique Morisseau
“Beetlejuice,” Scott Brown and Anthony King
“Hadestown,” Anaïs Mitchell
“The Prom,” Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin
“Tootsie,” Robert Horn *WINNER

Best original score (music and/or lyrics) written for the theater
“Be More Chill,” Joe Iconis
“Beetlejuice,” Eddie Perfect
“Hadestown,” Anaïs Mitchell *WINNER
“The Prom,” Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin
“To Kill a Mockingbird,” Adam Guettel
“Tootsie,” David Yazbek

Best direction of a musical
Rachel Chavkin, “Hadestown” *WINNER
Scott Ellis, “Tootsie”
Daniel Fish, “Oklahoma!”
Des McAnuff, “Ain’t Too Proud”
Casey Nicholaw, “The Prom”

Best direction of a play
Rupert Goold, “Ink”
Sam Mendes, “The Ferryman” *WINNER
Bartlett Sher, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Ivo van Hove, “Network”
George C. Wolfe, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”

Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical
André De Shields, “Hadestown” *WINNER
Andy Grotelueschen, “Tootsie”
Patrick Page, “Hadestown”
Jeremy Pope, “Ain’t Too Proud”
Ephraim Sykes, “Ain’t Too Proud”

Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical
Lilli Cooper, “Tootsie”
Amber Gray, “Hadestown”
Sarah Stiles, “Tootsie”
Ali Stroker, “Oklahoma!” *WINNER
Mary Testa, “Oklahoma!”

Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play
Bertie Carvel, “Ink” *WINNER
Robin De Jesús, “The Boys in the Band”
Gideon Glick, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Brandon Uranowitz, “Burn This”
Benjamin Walker, “All My Sons”

Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play
Fionnula Flanagan, “The Ferryman”
Celia Keenan-Bolger, “To Kill a Mockingbird” *WINNER
Kristine Nielsen, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Julie White, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Ruth Wilson, “King Lear”

Best choreography
Camille A. Brown, “Choir Boy”
Warren Carlyle, “Kiss Me, Kate”
Denis Jones, “Tootsie”
David Neumann, “Hadestown”
Sergio Trujillo, “Ain’t Too Proud” *WINNER

Best orchestrations
Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, “Hadestown” *WINNER
Larry Hochman, “Kiss Me, Kate”
Daniel Kluger, “Oklahoma!”
Simon Hale, “Tootsie”
Harold Wheeler, “Ain’t Too Proud”

Best scenic design of a musical
Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini, ‘Ain’t Too Proud”
Peter England, “King Kong”
Rachel Hauck, “Hadestown” *WINNER
Laura Jellinek, “Oklahoma!”
David Korins, “Beetlejuice”

Best scenic design of a play
Miriam Buether, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Bunny Christie, “Ink”
Rob Howell, “The Ferryman” *WINNER
Santo Loquasto, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Jan Versweyveld, “Network”

Best costume design of a musical
Michael Krass, “Hadestown”
William Ivey Long, “Beetlejuice”
William Ivey Long, “Tootsie”
Bob Mackie, “The Cher Show” *WINNER
Paul Tazewell, “Ain’t Too Proud”

Best costume design of a play
Rob Howell, “The Ferryman” *WINNER
Toni-Leslie James, “Bernhardt/Hamlet”
Clint Ramos, “Torch Song”
Ann Roth, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Ann Roth, “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Best sound design of a musical
Peter Hylenski, “Beetlejuice”
Peter Hylenski, “King Kong”
Steve Canyon Kennedy, “Ain’t Too Proud”
Drew Levy, “Oklahoma!”
Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, “Hadestown” *WINNER

Best sound design of a play
Adam Cork, “Ink”
Scott Lehrer, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Fitz Patton, “Choir Boy” *WINNER
Nick Powell, “The Ferryman”
Eric Sleichim, “Network”

Best lighting design of a musical
Kevin Adams, “The Cher Show”
Howell Binkley, “Ain’t Too Proud”
Bradley King, “Hadestown” *WINNER
Peter Mumford, “King Kong”
Kenneth Posner and Peter Nigrini, “Beetlejuice”

Best lighting design of a play
Neil Austin, “Ink” *WINNER
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Peter Mumford, “The Ferryman”
Jennifer Tipton, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden, “Network”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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