It’s Tony Week and the theatre fans are anxiously holding their breaths, as this is our biggest night. It’s the be all and end all. Forget the Oscars, forget the Grammy’s – for us, this is it. This is the American Theatre Wing’s Tony’s. The proper name of a Tony is the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, and the awards recognize achievement in live Broadway Theatre. The ceremony always takes place in New York City, home of the Great White Way. Who exactly has won Tony’s in the past? Well, we’ve got a Godfather, the Black Widow, a psychic medium and an 80’s popstar. Let’s have a look at some people you may not know are Tony Winners.
We must include this year’s host, as this will be his fourth time hosting the ceremony. Hugh is a two time Tony award winner, one for his role as Peter Allen in 2004’s The Boy From Oz, and a special Tony award for his contributions to Broadway and the stage. Hugh’s turn as Peter Allen though was what solidified him with audiences, and proved just how talented he really is. During the show, he displayed his acting talent, along with the facts that he could dance, sing, play an instrument and more. The Boy From Oz told the story of Peter Allen and his rise to fame, including his relationship with Liza Minelli. Hugh was highly praised and by doing the role, it opened the doors for major roles, including a certain Oscar nominated role.
Scarlett won in 2010, for her role in the revival of A View From the Bridge. She nabbed the Best Featured Actress in a Play. Scarlett won a Tony after her film career had taken off, as many actors win theirs before their film careers even start. The show was a critical success and tells the story of Italians in New York, and the issues of obsession and unrequited love. It ran for just 14 weeks (limited engagement), but made a name for Scarlett in the theatre world in this decade. The award was presented to her by Daniel Radcliffe.
This Tony would round Whoopi’s awards out and would officially allow her to take her place amongst the 15 people who are all EGOT winners (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony). Whoopi won for co-producing of the 2002 production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. The show revolves around a young woman, in 1922, comes to New York City, determined to marry. Instead of wanting to marry for love, she wants to marry into money. Millie finds the flapper life soon after she arrives. The real story starts to unfold when she finds out that the hotel she is staying in happens to be owned by the leader of a slavery ring, located in China. The show went through several cast changes before finally hitting the stage, finally casting Sutton Fuston as the lead, a move which would shoot Sutton into theatre fame. Unfortunately, there is no video of Whoopi getting the Tony.
Geoffrey made his Broadway in the 2008 – 2009 season. The show he was in was entitled Exit the King. The cast also included Susan Sarandon. The nominations for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play were tight that year, as Geoffrey was up against multiple nominee Raul Esparza, who many were convinced would win. However, it would be Geoffrey’s portrayal of King Berenger that would win him the Tony. In the play, Berenger is informed he is dying and that his kingdom is crumbling around him. He is in denial of his death and will not give up his power. Eventually, all of the characters disappear until Berenger must accept the inevitable. Geoffrey received rave reviews over his portrayal.
Martin won his Tony for his role in the 1999 revival of Little Me. The show was directed by Rob Marshall and written by Neil Simon (who wrote the initial show, with legendary choreographer Bob Fosse choreographing). Little Me is the autobiography of an imaginary diva – the show is based on the novel, Little Me: The Intimate Memoirs of that Great Star of Stage, Screen and Television/Belle Poitrine by Patrick Dennis. It is customary for the lead male to portray all of the men in the diva’s life. The 1999 revival took place at the Criterion Center Stage Right, opening in November, 1998 and closed on February 7, 1999.
Al has won two Tony’s in his career. His first was for Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?, which played at the Belasco Theatre. The show helped launch the career of Al, as well as the career of Ron Thompson. The story tells of teen drug addicts who are at a rehabilitation center. An English teacher at the centre is trying to make a difference in their lives, but is faced with numerous barriers along the way. The show had nine previews and thirty nine performances by the time it closed. Al won the tony for this show, in the category of Best Dramatic Actor in a Supporting Role.
Al’s second Tony came for his performance in The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. The show originally started Off-Broadway, then moved onto Broadway to The Long Acre Theatre. It ran for 117 performances. The play tells of a soldier’s time in the US Army and the soldier’s difficulties with his time there, along with the difficulties with his sergeants and fellow recruits. Al won the 1977 Tony for Best Actor in a Play. No video was available.
Cyndi made history in 2013, when she became the first SOLO female to win a Tony for Best Original Score, for her work on Kinky Boots, which has been a massive hit. Based on the successful British film of the same name, Kinky Boots was originally seen as the underdog compared to other shows that were opening around the same time. The show would end up winning six Tony’s. The show centres around Charlie, a straitlaced, hard working owner of a struggling shoe factory, and Lola, a drag queen. Charlie and Lola team up to save the business. In the process, they become good friends and discover things not only about themselves, but each other. Cyndi is best known as a singer, with some of her biggest hits being Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Time After Time and True Colours.