"A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder," took home the top
musical prize and Jessie Mueller was named best actress for her
starring role in "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical".
McDonald, with her best actress prize in a play, became the only
woman to win a Tony in all four acting categories. She also tied
with the late actress Julie Harris, who had six wins, including
a special lifetime achievement award.
With tears streaming down her face, a trembling McDonald
acknowledged her parents, family and the women who came before
"I want to thank all the shoulders of the strong and brave and
courageous women that I am standing on," she said. "And most of
all Billie Holiday. You deserve so much more than you were given
when you were on this earth."
With four awards including Darko Tresnjak's statuette for best
director, the musical satire "A Gentleman's Guide to Love &
Murder" tied with "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" with the most
Cranston had been a favorite to win in his Broadway debut as
U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in "All the Way," Pulitzer
Prize winner Robert Schenkkan's acclaimed play.
"When you can effect emotional change in the audience it's like
a powerful drug. It's as strong as blue crystal meth," he said,
referring to his Emmy-winning role as a teacher turned ruthless
drug kingpin in TV's "Breaking Bad".
Harris was also a main contender for lead actor in a musical as
the transgender rock star in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". Lena
Hall nabbed her first Tony for her supporting role in the
production, which was also named best musical revival.
"Playing Hedwig is an absolute joy.It was a role I was terrified
of, in taking it on. It has changed me and challenged me," he
Award-winning actor Hugh Jackman hosted the ceremony at Radio
City Music Hall for the fourth time. The show included
performances by Tony nominee Idina Menzel, music legend Gladys
Knight and rock star Sting, who performed a song from his
upcoming Broadway debut musical "The Last Ship".
[to top of second column]
British actor Mark Rylance took home his third Tony, winning for
featured actor in a play as the Countess Olivia in the all-male
Shakespeare Globe production of "Twelfth Night".
"We would very much like to come back (to Broadway) with some more
Shakespeare and we are talking about it but we haven't settled what
it will be," said Rylance, who praised the late blacklisted American
actor Sam Wanamaker, the force behind the recreation of
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.
A flustered and surprised Sophie Okonedo accepted the featured
actress prize in her Broadway debut, as Denzel Washington's wife, in
the revival of "A Raisin in the Sun".
Lorraine Hansberry's acclaimed 1959 work also won the Tony for best
revival of a play, and the best directing prize for Kenny Leon.
"That was shocking and stunning, surprising. But I thought the
production was well deserving of a Tony Award," Leon said backstage.
James Monroe Iglehart, who plays the larger-than-life genie in
"Aladdin," jumped up and shouted to loud audience applause after
winning the featured actor prize in a musical.
The Tony Awards are presented by the theater industry association,
The Broadway League, and the American Theatre Wing, a not-for-profit
(Additional reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Eric Walsh and
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