'Hedwig' and 'A Gentleman's Guide' Top Music Winners at Tony Awards

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Neil Patrick Harris accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" at the 2014 Tony Awards.

Performer Neil Patrick Harris wins leading actor while Jessie Mueller takes home leading actress for her portrayal of Carole King in 'Beautiful.' The show also featured onstage turns by Sting, Carole King, Idina Menzel and Gladys Knight.

It looks like LL Cool J and T. I. have found a new home: on Broadway rapping with Hugh Jackman. The artists joined the Tony Awards host onstage at Radio City Music Hall for the 68th annual event on Sunday Night to perform an updated version of the opening number from The Music Man.

“Meredith Wilson might have created one of the very first rap songs,” Jackman said of the musical’s writer, then cracked, “LL just gave me my rapper name: Biggy Tap Shoes Yo.”

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And Jackman proved that name to be spot-on by donning his tap shoes and joining the cast of After Midnight, featuring Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and Fantasia Barrino, in a rousing rendition of “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” choreographed especially for the show. Barrino just wrapped up her second engagement in the production as the guest artist, and LaBelle will step into the show on June 10 and Knight will follow suit on July 8. The show took the award for best choreography for Warren Carlyle, who also choreographed the evening’s broadcast.

The awards kicked off with featured actress in a musical, which went to Hedwig and the Angry Inch’s Lena Hall. Hall, shaking with emotion, said that the show “changed her life back in 1999,” when it was running Off-Broadway at the Jane Street Theater in New York City.

Jonathan Groff made the only Adele Dazeem joke of the evening, introducing Idina Menzel’s performance from If/Then. Groff lovingly called her “the wickedly talented Idina Menzel,” as Travolta intended at the Oscars before he uttered the mispronunciation heard round the world. Menzel shared an impassioned performance that saw her showcasing her signature belt in the song “Always Starting Over.”

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James Monroe Iglehart took the featured actor in a musical Tony for his performance as the Genie in Aladdin and sprung into a spontaneous song and dance at the end of his acceptance speech. “We don’t go to some fancy restaurant, we take our Tony, we take our tux, we take our nice dress, we get in the car, we get a Big Mac and fries and go back to the house, and we kick it with our cats,” Iglehart told reporters backstage when asked how he will celebrate his win. “Because it lets us know that this is still real life."

Audra McDonald made history by winning her sixth Tony Award for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in the play with music Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. McDonald now boasts statues in all four acting categories in which it is possible for her to win. After a sustained standing ovation, McDonald held back tears and thanked the woman, like Maya Angelou, Lena Horne, and Holiday, who made it possible for her to be where she is today. “I’m very lucky that I’m in a place in history where I don’t have to deal with the racism and the misogyny,” McDonald told reporters backstage. “Because of the fights that they fought, I am able to be here.”

Portraying another icon of the music world, Jessie Mueller won the Tony for leading actress in a musical for her performance as the title role in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, but not before joining King onstage in “I Feel the Earth Move,” with the show’s cast.

“I found some of the most emotionals moment of my young life really hard to watch, so I left,” King said of what she stayed away from the show for so long. “When I finally got up the courage to see it I loved it.” King adds that the show is now her favorite show on Broadway, and Mueller thanked her as she accepted her award. “I never thought I’d get to sing with you once in my life let alone twice,” Mueller said, as King beamed in the audience. “You have taught me so much. You teach me so much every night I go onstage.”

Carole King and Jessie Muller greeted the press together following Mueller’s win. “I learned a lot of new things about myself from watching Jessie portray me,” King shared backstage. “At that age, I had no idea of who I was or what was good about me or what was not good about me… Jessie and I did not talk about stuff a lot. We met a couple of times at rehearsal. Jessie found all this one her own.”

Neil Patrick Harris won his first Tony award for his performance as the title she-rocker in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. (Harris also gave Orlando Bloom and Sting lap dances in his performance of “Sugar Daddy” on the broadcast.) “A year ago I was hosting the Tonys, this is crazy pants!” Harris exclaimed backstage. “I can’t believe that this all happened in a 12-month span. It’s been a remarkably awesome year for me. The show also went on to take the statue for best musical revival.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder took the coveted best musical Tony, beating out Beautiful and the only new musical nominated in the category with a complete original score. After the Tony Awards, the show, which suffered at the box office over the winter, has had 37 sold-out performances. “I can only hope that will continue for a good long time to come,” producer Joey Parnes said.

Hugh Jackman closed out the broadcast by asking all the Tony winners to join him onstage with a rendition of “On Broadway,” a song written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and featured in Beautiful, and asking the viewers at home to “Come to New York and see a show!”

Check out a list of music-related winners below:

Best Musical
After Midnight
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder***

Best Revival of a Musical
Hedwig and the Angry Inch***
Les Misérables

Best Book of a Musical
Aladdin, Chad Beguelin
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Douglas McGrath
Bullets Over Broadway, Woody Allen
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Robert L. Freedman***

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin
The Bridges of Madison County***
Music & Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Music: Steven Lutvak
Lyrics: Robert L. Freedman & Steven Lutvak
Music: Tom Kitt
Lyrics: Brian Yorkey

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch***
Ramin Karimloo, Les Misérables
Andy Karl, Rocky
Jefferson Mays, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Mary Bridget Davies, A Night with Janis Joplin
Sutton Foster, Violet
Idina Menzel, If/Then
Jessie Mueller, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical***
Kelli O’Hara, The Bridges of Madison County

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Cabaret
Nick Cordero, Bullets Over Broadway
Joshua Henry, Violet
James Monroe Iglehart, Aladdin***
Jarrod Spector, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Linda Emond, Cabaret
Lena Hall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch***
Anika Larsen, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Adriane Lenox, After Midnight
Lauren Worsham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Linda Cho, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder***
William Ivey Long, Bullets Over Broadway
Arianne Phillips, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Isabel Toledo, After Midnight

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, Hedwig and the Angry Inch***
Christopher Akerlind, Rocky
Howell Binkley, After Midnight
Donald Holder, The Bridges of Madison County

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, After Midnight
Tim O’Heir, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Mick Potter, Les Misérables
Brian Ronan, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical**

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Christopher Barreca, Rocky***
Julian Crouch, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Alexander Dodge, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Santo Loquasto, Bullets Over Broadway

Best Direction of a Musical
Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
Michael Mayer, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Leigh Silverman, Violet
Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder***

Best Choreography
Warren Carlyle, After Midnight***
Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine, Rocky
Casey Nicholaw, Aladdin
Susan Stroman, Bullets Over Broadway

Best Orchestrations
Doug Besterman, Bullets Over Broadway
Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County***
Steve Sidwell, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Jonathan Tunick, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder


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