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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  NY Theater Reviews

 
65TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS
at the Beacon Theater

THE TONYS DELIVER
By SANDY MACDONALD

  Nikki M. James, Andrew Rannells, Josh Gad and Book of Mormon company/ Ph: Joan Marcus

Justice was done – with panache – at the 65th annual Tony Awards on June 12. With a peppy, tongue-in-cheek opening number heralding the notion that “Broadway is not just for gays anymore,” returning host Neil Patrick Harris – himself out and proud – implicitly reposed the question of why a show has not yet been made to order for him. (He later appeared in a brief excerpt from the New York Philharmonic’s April production of Company, soon to open as a film release.)
 
Predictably, the clever if irreverent Book of Mormon swept the New Musical awards, with nine wins, including the highly deserving Nikki M. James as Featured Actress. John Larroquette’s ascension as her male counterpart (for How to Succeed…) made less sense against two contenders from last fall’s short-lived Kander/Ebb collaboration The Scottsboro Boys – a stunner – but at least national audiences got a glimpse of the quickly shuttered show; a tour is planned.
 
Norbert Leo Butz showed the jazzy moves that made him top male lead in the otherwise overlooked Catch Me if You Can, and Sutton Foster, more than earning her second Tony, dazzled as tap-dervish chanteuse Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, which also took Top Musical Revival and a well-warranted Choreography win for Kathleen Marshall.
 
In the nonmusical arena, War Horse took every prize it was up for – five in all, including Best Play. The Normal Heart¸ Larry Kramer’s harrowing, yet humor-leavened 1985 screed about the ignorance and apathy surrounding the early days of AIDS, earned its accolades as Best Revival of a Play, along with supporting nods to John Benjamin Hickey and Ellen Barkin. By rights, Joe Mantello – playing a Kramer-based gadfly – deserved Best Actor, but it went instead to Mark Rylance (Jerusalem), who faux-ingenuously used his time at the mike to recite yet another fanciful passage by a favored Minnesota poet.
 
It was a dressed-down Frances McDormand who, in her terse, intense acceptance speech as Best Leading Actress in David Lindsay-Abaire’s contemporary class-conflict drama Good People, kept her eyes on the real prize. Hailing the play as a new classic and her character, Margie Walsh, as “a classic American hero,” she joyfully predicted that “young actors will someday grow up and play this role.”

 

 


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