June 28, 2017

Tony Awards TV audience slumps without 'Hamilton'

19 June 2017, 02:07 | Darnell Patrick

'Dear Evan Hansen' takes home most statuettes at 71st Tony Awards

Tony Awards 2017 updates: Kevin Spacey's opening is a hit; 'Dear Evan Hansen' gains momentum with multiple wins

Glenn Close, left, presents the award for best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical to Bette Midler for her role in "Hello, Dolly!" at the 71st annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 11, 2017, in NY.

"Dear Evan Hansen" took home Best Musical, as well as Best Book Of A Musical, Best Original Score and Best Choreography. Bette Midler didn't sing but did finally get a Tony Award for acting (and refused to let anyone rush her long-awaited acceptance speech).

One of its performers, Michael Aronov, won Best Featured Actor In A Play for his role as a cocky Israeli negotiator.

"The View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg joined Spacey onstage to offer him advice about helming the show, and the duo engaged in tongue-in-cheek banter with a nod to Newfoundland.

Midler gave a scene-stealing, over four-minute speech complete with expletives, and showed her trademark sense of humor.

A note to future awards shows that want to play Bette Midler off during an acceptance speech: don't try it.

The man who won a Tony Award on Sunday for directing "Come From Away" says he believes the Newfoundlanders who inspired the musical can offer a lesson to his fellow Americans.

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The show also lost out on the best lighting design of a musical award to Bradley King of "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812".

Then Spacey, returning to the stage as House Of Cards character Frank Underwood, told his on-screen wife Robin Wright that they should go.

"Shut that crap off!" she said, silencing the music and continuing her speech as the audience applauded and cheered loudly.

"Come From Away" headed into the Tonys with seven nominations, including a nod for best musical.

If other award ceremonies have featured a never-ending stream of jokes about President Donald Trump, Sunday's Tony Awards, hosted by double Oscar victor Kevin Spacey, were more politically restrained.

The top prizes for leading actor and actress in a play went to Present Laughter actor Kevin Kline and A Doll's House, Part 2's Laurie Metcalf, who beat Cate Blanchett.

Host Kevin Spacey kept things light throughout the evening, starting with a madcap opening number in which he inserted himself into each of the Best Musical nominees. Miss Nixon related how co-star Laura Linney was the one to convince her to switch their roles in the show's run.

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