The Tony Awards: Broadway gets a little more diverse

This year

This year’s Tony Awards proved that today’s Broadway is nothing if not “eclectic,” said Campbell Robertson in The New York Times. The three big winners were “a salsa-flavored musical written by a theater novice, a nostalgic, glamorous revival” of a 50-year-old musical, and a three-hour melodrama about a viciously dysfunctional Oklahoma clan. The award for best new musical went to In the Heights, “a show about Latino families in way uptown Manhattan, created by 28-year-old Lin-Manuel Miranda.” The most overall awards—seven—were won by Lincoln Center Theater’s old-fashioned revival of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific. Taking home the statue for Best Play, meanwhile, was Tracy Letts’ “sprawling, knock-down family melodrama,” August: Osage County.

The good news for theater-lovers wasn’t who won but how much competition there was, said Charles McNulty in the Los Angeles Times. Letts’ Broadway debut was only one of several crackling dramas by powerful new voices this year, while the smashing revival of Gypsy gave South Pacific a run for its money—and won many of the musical acting awards. “In addition to luminously acted new dramas and shimmeringly staged revivals, there was something approximating a genuine horse race for Best Musical.” In the Heights won out over an equally funky entry, Passing Strange, “the coming-of-age saga of a young, boho, and black musician named Stew.” One of the more surprising awards of the night was that for Best Revival of a Play, said Michael Kuchwara in the Associated Press. In a year full of serious dramatic productions, the category was won by Boeing-Boeing, “a 1960s sex farce awash in slammed doors and split-second timing.” Lead Mark Rylance also won, for best actor.

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