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Bette Midler, ‘Evan Hansen’ and ‘Oslo’ Lead Jewish Sweep At Tonys

In A Tony Awards marked predominantly by the predictable, the genuine surprises provided the most memorable entertainment. We could have done without host Kevin Spacey’s creaky impersonations of Johnny Carson and Bill Clinton, especially a weak joke at the expense of Hillary Clinton’s email servers. And some of the musical numbers failed to convey the power of their productions — it’s hard to imagine “Groundhog Day,” “War Paint” or “Hello, Dolly!” winning over many new converts after this broadcast on the strength of their performances, even if the latter did nab the Tony for Best Revival of a musical.

Bette Midler’s “Best Actress” speech was more of a showstopper than David Hyde Pierce’s performance of “Penny in My Pocket.”

The most exuberant moments came courtesy of Josh Groban and the cast of “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812” and the acceptance speeches of Rebecca Teichman, a surprise Best Director winner for “Indecent,” Ben Platt, who won Best Actor for “Dear Evan Hansen,” and an ebullient Rachel Bay Jones, who took home the Tony for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical also for “Dear Evan Hansen,” which was clearly the evening’s big winner; it won 6 Tonys including “Best Musical.”

Many Forward readers will no doubt be pleased to read of the success of Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Ben Platt and Steven Levenson for “Dear Evan Hansen,” as well as J.T. Rogers and Michael Aronov respectively for Best Play and Best Featured Actor in a play (both for “Oslo”). Here’s the complete list:

Best Musical

“Dear Evan Hansen”

Best Play

“Oslo”

Best Book of a Musical

“Dear Evan Hansen,” Steven Levenson

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater

“Dear Evan Hansen,” Music & Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

Jennifer Ehle and Jefferson Mays in “Oslo.” Image by T.Charles Erickson

Best Revival of a Play

“August Wilson’s Jitney”

Best Revival of a Musical

“Hello, Dolly!”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Kevin Kline, “Present Laughter”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Laurie Metcalf, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Ben Platt, “Dear Evan Hansen”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Bette Midler, “Hello, Dolly!”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Michael Aronov, “Oslo”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Cynthia Nixon, Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Gavin Creel, “Hello, Dolly!”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Rachel Bay Jones, “Dear Evan Hansen”

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Nigel Hook, “The Play That Goes Wrong”

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Mimi Lien, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

Best Costume Design of a Play

  • Jane Greenwood, Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes”

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Santo Loquasto, “Hello, Dolly!”

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Christopher Akerlind, “Indecent”

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Bradley King, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

Best Direction of a Play

Rebecca Taichman, “Indecent”

Best Direction of a Musical

Christopher Ashley, “Come From Away”

Best Choreography

Andy Blankenbuehler, “Bandstand”

Best Orchestrations

Alex Lacamoire, “Dear Evan Hansen”

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