"Dear Evan Hansen" was the big winner at the 2017 Tony Awards. The heartwrenching musical centered on a lonely, depressed high-school student at the center of a social-media storm won six awards, including best musical. Star Ben Platt won for lead actor in a musical.
Among the other acting winners were Bette Midler, who won her very first Tony Award, Kevin Kline, Cynthia Nixon and Laurie Metcalf.
August Wilson's "Jitney" captured the Tony for best revival of a play, while "Hello, Dolly!" scored in the best musical revival category. Best play went to J.T. Rogers' "Oslo."
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A shocked Rebecca Taichman accepted the Tony for direction of a play for "Indecent," making her one of only a few women to win in that category.
Attempting to gather her wits, Taichman made it clear that playwright Paula Vogel's story of defiance in the face of censorship spoke to the importance of social justice in an unjust world.
"It's a story about love in a perilous time, and speaking out and making art when one is at great danger," Taichman said, after trying multiple times to get the words out through her surprise.
Later in the evening while answering reporters' questions backstage, Taichman talked about the scarcity of women to win a Tony for directing.
"I was always such an unlikely candidate for it. I remember with great clarity in 1998 when Julie Taymor and Garry Hynes won and I thought, ‘Wow, women can win'," she said. "It made it visible, and making it visible suddenly made it possible. The amazing thing is that it encourages women of every color ... and viewpoint to make theater that tell stories that deeply matter to them."