The Tony Awards, which celebrates talented artists in Broadway, held at the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan on Sunday, June 9, 2019. James Corden hosted the award for the second time this year, since 2016.
A lot of great plays were nominated, but the star of the year goes to “Hadestown”, which picked up 14 nominations and won eight of them. The musical tells about the underworld, by singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell, intertwines the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice, and Hades and Persephone. It is Mitchell’s Broadway debut. It won the awards for Best Original Score, Best-Featured Actor, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best-Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, and Best Orchestrations.
Meanwhile, Star Wars’ star Adam Driver lost Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play award to Bryan Cranston for his performance in “Network”. Driver was also nominated for “Burn This”. Elaine May, Santino Fontana, and Stephanie J Block also all won leading actor and actress awards.
Singer Sam Mendes picked up his first directing Tony for “The Ferryman”, a vigorous family epic set in Northern Ireland in 1981 during the Troubles. It requires a 21-person cast, plus a baby and animals was also named best play.
Actress and Singer Ali Stroker Received Tony Awards in a Wheelchair
The award does not only coincide with World Pride, but Tony Awards also show that it opens for every kid who has a disability, who has a limitation or a challenge, who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena. As Actress Ali Stroker made history as the first actor in a wheelchair to win the Tony Award, she successfully inspired others with her passion and her work in a dark revival of Oklahoma.
“There are so many women who are ready to go. There are so many people of colour who are ready to go.” A lack of strides in embracing diversity on Broadway says Stroker, “is not a pipeline issue” but a lack of imagination. The pride of diversity and LGBTQ+ rights are seen when the guest first arrived at the red carpet. This year’s Tony Awards theme started from the red carpet where it is donned in rainbow-hued in honour of World Pride, hosted this year by New York City in conjunction with NYC Pride. It also meant to be a joyful celebration for New York and the Broadway community.
“People come to the theatre to feel celebrated and connected, and we are so proud to bring this welcoming community to live in such a joyful way,” tells Raul Àvila to Vogue. “Focusing the red carpet theme around World Pride marks a seminal moment for New York City, as it hosts both the Tonys and World Pride in the same month. These two communities have been closely intertwined since the beginning of Pride.”
Tens of thousands of roses were farmed in Colombia by Passion Roses in anticipation of this year’s Tony Awards. They are cut a day before the awards ceremony, preserved, and on the red carpet on the day of.
“The floral display is a reflection and celebration of the performing arts community as we hit the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising,” he says. “This is an extremely important year for us and the Broadway community, as Broadway and music have been a core value and component [of Pride] since the beginning.”
This year is the first that World Pride will be hosted in the United States, in honour of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and its significance in bringing visibility to LGBTQ+ rights. The significance of such a monumental anniversary isn’t lost on Àvila: “We want viewers to be inspired and celebrate with us. We want them to take pride in how far we’ve come and how symbolic it is to be able to put a rainbow on the Tony Awards red carpet. This is meant to be a joyful celebration for New York and the Broadway community.”