Tonys 2014: Jessie Mueller wins lead actress in a musical

"Beautiful" star Jessie Mueller wins Tony Award for lead actress in a musical

Jessie Mueller won the Tony for lead actress in a musical on Sunday for her performance as singer-songwriter Carole King in "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical."

After rousing applause to the call of her name, Mueller took the stage for her acceptance speech and joked that her parents, both actors, somehow managed to send four kids to college. Her hand shaking as she read her speech, Mueller also thanked Carole King. "I never thought I'd get to sing with you," Mueller said, adding: "You have taught so me so much."

Mueller's previous Broadway credits include playing Melinda Wells in "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," for which she earned her first Tony nod in 2012, and Billie Bendix in "Nice Work If You Can Get It."

On playing King in the biographical jukebox musical, Mueller told The Times, "I knew I couldn't sound just like her, but I couldn't just sound like Jessie singing it."

The other nominees were Mary Bridget Davies for playing iconic rocker  Janis Joplin in "A Night With Janis Joplin"; Sutton Foster, who plays the titular character on a journey of healing in "Violet"; Idina Menzel, for portraying the divergent lives of Elizabeth Vaughan in "If/Then"; and Kelli O'Hara, for her portrayal of the lonely housewife Francesca Johnson in "The Bridges of Madison County."

The 2014 Tony Awards are being held at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Hugh Jackman is hosting the televised ceremony.

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