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5 takeaways from the Tony Awards (Hint, don't bury speeches)

5 takeaways from the Tony Awards (Hint, don't bury the REALLY good speeches)

5 takeaways from the Tony Awards (Hint, don't bury speeches)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Five things to note following the Tony Awards on Sunday night:


In her speech after breaking through a Tony glass ceiling, Jeanine Tesori said, "For girls, you have to see it to be it." Unfortunately, the Tony producers chose to hand out the best score award to Tesori and Lisa Kron during a commercial break. Cradling their awards for becoming the first female writing team to nab a Tony for musical score, Tesori said: "We stand on the shoulders of other women who have come before us." It was probably one of the most important, inspiring speeches on a Tony stage in some time. But those outside Radio City Musical Hall saw only an ad.


Two of the night's biggest winners -- "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" and "Fun Home" -- began on tiny stages. The National Theatre in Britain put "The Curious Incident" in the Cottesloe Theatre -- its smallest theater -- and gave it a 40-performance run. "Fun Home" started life in the Public Theater's LuEsther black box space, which seats up to 160. Both shows kept finding bigger homes -- including productions in theater-in-the-round spaces -- on their way to Broadway. Both kept their integrity and visual appeal, and it's probably no coincidence that the directors of both shows also won Tonys.


A clutch of British actors and plays went home with Tonys, including the best play "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," which also won for best scenic design for a play, best director Marianne Elliott, and best lighting design for a play. Lead actors Helen Mirren and Alex Sharp have new hardware and "The Audience" featured actor Richard McCabe does as well. The revival of "Skylight" won, as did choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and the "Wolf Hall" plays took away the best costume award.


What do Tony producers do when honoring a man who has won nine competitive Tonys, changed the face of dance on Broadway and is now being honored for lifetime achievement? Tape his speech and offer viewers just a sliver. Tommy Tune deserved to have a worldwide audience listen to his speech. And watch him kick at age 75, too. Instead, the co-hosts did a few of his signature moves in a musical medley and Tune was then asked to present an award. By the way, here's what he said ending his remarks: "What I did for love. What we do for love. On with the show." Beautiful.


A few years ago, Cyndi Lauper performing her song "True Colors" during the segment when dead members of the theater community are honored. It was heart-felt and intimate and hard to beat, but this year producers may have: Performers from all the nominated and featured shows helped belt out "You'll Never Walk Alone" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel." It was a classy and inclusive way to make a big nod to all their predecessors.


Mark Kennedy is at

Updated : 2021-09-20 14:26 GMT+08:00