After not even being nominated for her past Broadway appearances in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “A Glass Menagerie,” Jessica Lange won lead actress in a play for playing Mary Tyrone in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” -- and she said the role was “nearest and dearest” to her heart.
“I’ve played Blanche three times, Amanda in ‘Glass Menagerie’ twice, and now Mary twice, and she is my favorite role,” Lange said.
She noted that she has Ryan Murphy to thank for it. She had told the “American Horror Story” producer that she wanted to revisit Mary Tyrone, whom she’d played 16 years ago in London. (Lange won an Emmy for her role in Murphy's limited series.)
“Hello,” Frank Langella said somberly, taking the stage to accept his award for lead actor in a play for “The Father.”
His address began with a nostalgic but humorous look back.
When he journeyed to New York City in 1960, he said, he consulted an astrologer. Forecasting his future, the astrologer “told me my greatest success would come later in my career,” said the veteran actor, who has seen seven Tony nominations in about 50 years of acting on Broadway.
Ivo van Hove, film director? The Belgian auteur, who won a Tony tonight for his direction of Arthur Miller’s "A View From the Bridge," said he’d love to direct a film here. He’s directed movies in the Netherlands, but “Holland is not very well known for that.”
Among his many projects will be directing Jude Law in “Obsessione,” based on the 1943 Luchino Visconti film inspired by James Cain’s “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” He also will be bringing “The Damned” to the Avignon festival in France in July.
After his Tony win for “A View From the Bridge,” Van Hove was asked about his “obsession” with Visconti.
There is no right way to handle an event like an awards show in the wake of a terrible tragedy, but the Tonys should be commended for balancing discretion with heartfeltness, sympathy with perseverance as it went about the business of celebrating the best of the 2015-16 Broadway season on the same day of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
James Corden prefaced the telecast with the following statement: “You are not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy. Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced, and is loved. Hate will never win.”
References to the heinous shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., were contained, but the message that “love is love is love” and it “cannot be killed or swept away,” as Lin-Manuel Miranda put it in the sonnet he wrote for his wife, came across loud and clear. Grief was palpable, but the dominant note was joy in the life-affirming, democratic zone that is the stage.