The Tony Awards are always a big colourful celebration of Broadway with singing and dancing and fabulous costumes galore. The 73rd Annual Awards didn’t disappoint either with a big bash of an opening number, a handful of historical wins, a transformative costume change and a near-physical fight between Audra McDonald and Laura Linney. Wait, what?
That’s right, we had a night full of positivity and love except for a few faux beefs that were aired between some industry heavyweights like McDonald and Linney and host James Corden and all streaming platforms.
Check out the best moments from the 73rd Annual Tony Awards right now.
Santino Fontana’s big moment
Costume changes are a BIG DEAL on Broadway and Tootsie‘s Santino Fontana (AKA Hans from Frozen) didn’t disappoint. In the cast’s performance, he epically transformed from male actor Michael Dorsey to female Broadway star Dorothy Michaels (you know, like in the Dustin Hoffman movie) and even though we know the story, we just weren’t ready.
Fans theorized that his dramatic reveal was actually six years in the making. Back at the 2013 Tonys, Fontana performed as the prince in Cinderella where his co-stars Laura Osnes (Cinderella) and Victoria Clarke (fairy godmother) both had dramatic reveals where their tattered dresses became giant ballgowns right on stage. Iconic.
James v. TV
It’s obvious James Corden gets a thrill out of performing 10-minute-plus overtures regardless of whether he’s onstage or in the middle of the street, so it’s no surprise he didn’t break form for the opening number this year. He bemoaned the sometimes solitude of streaming and lauded the experience of LIVE THEATRE (while, of course, keeping it nuanced and acknowledging that we can’t all take out second and third mortgages to see Hamilton).
Oh and if you missed watching weekly Bryan Cranston meltdowns on Breaking Bad, there’s one for you here.
Audra v. Laura
It seems James felt so good airing his grievances, he wanted to give others the same opportunity. Plus, Broadway needs its own Cardi versus Nicki beef (for ratings, obvi). James tried to get something started between Ben Platt and Rachel Brosnahan, and Andrew Rannells and Darren Criss, but ultimately it was unlikely foes Audra McDonald and Laura Linney who nearly threw down.
Still waiting on an explanation as to why Laura flipped Audra the bird during her show.
Ali Stroker’s historic win
Aside from fake feuds, there were several heartwarming wins Sunday night. Like Oklahoma!‘s Ali Stroker’s Best Featured Actress in a Musical win. Ali made history as the first wheelchair-using person to win a Tony of any kind. In her speech, she spoke words of encouragement directly to kids living with disabilities.
“This award is for every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability, who has a limitation or a challenge, who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena—you are,” she said.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 10, 2019
She also called attention to the issue of making stages and backstages more accessible—evidenced all too clearly on the night by the lack of ramp from the audience to the stage for her to accept her award.
André De Shields finally gets his due
Another little piece of stage history was made by 73-year-old actor André De Shields who finally won a Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical after decades in the business for his role as Hermes in Hadestown. De Shields has frequently talked about combating racism in the business and in his speech, he offered three keys to longevity in life.
That’s your free advice for the day.
— Playbill (@playbill) June 10, 2019
Catherine O’Hara’s Beetlejuice return
Catherine O’Hara has long been a Canadian comedy legend (Moira Schitt 2020) so it’s always a sheer delight when she’s on stage, or anywhere for that matter. She introduced the cast of Beetlejuice at the Tonys, dressed in tribute to her character in the movie. Better yet, she went to a performance earlier in the week and got pulled on stage afterwards to say a few words.
We’re still thinking about Billy Porter
Although not technically part of the broadcast, we still can’t stop thinking about Billy Porter’s exquisite, dazzling, incredible, gorgeous, subversive red carpet look. Not only was it just as instantly iconic as his Golden Globes and Met Gala looks, it was created using the curtain from Kinky Boots (for which he won a Tony BTW) and was inspired by the shape of a uterus to show support for reproductive rights which are being limited in many states right now. The outfit also featured over 30,000 Swarovski crystals and Porter wore hand painted custom Orel Brodt pumps.
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Hunties, the Tony Awards just got gayer! 🏳️🌈 Thank you to @kinkybootsbway and @scenerybags for hooking me up with this curtain. #pride #broadway. ⠀ ⠀ Style: @sammyratelle for @rrrcreative Agency Styling Assistants: @ashleymarienyc & @theetanishawilliams ⠀ Grooming: @lasonyagunter⠀ Manicurist: @courtneyfosterbeauty⠀ Custom Dress: @celestinocouture ⠀ Fine Jewelry: @oscarheyman ⠀ Custom Shoes: @orelbrodtdesigns⠀ Custom Bag: @emmkuony Custom Eyewear: @mercuranyc
If you’re looking to relive the red carpet some more, let us help.