‘Les Miserables’ Musical Tops Tony Awards, Winning Eight
“Les Miserables,” the lavish musical version of Victor Hugo’s epic novel of social injustice, dominated the 1987 Tony awards Sunday, taking eight prizes, including best musical of the Broadway season.
“Fences,” August Wilson’s powerful black family drama, also made a strong showing, winning best play; best actor, James Earl Jones; best director, Lloyd Richards, and featured actress, Mary Alice.
Linda Lavin was named best actress for her role as the lonely and unfulfilled mother in Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound.”
Only Three Awards
“Me and My Girl,” which had been expected to give “Les Miserables” stiff competition, received only three awards, for its two stars, Robert Lindsay and Maryann Plunkett, and for choreographer Gillian Gregory.
But “Les Miserables” was the big winner. Trevor Nunn and John Caird picked up the best direction award-musical for the show.
The French creators of “Les Miserables,” Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, won two awards, one for book and another for score, which they shared with their English lyricist Herbert Kretzmer.
The evening’s emotional highlight was the presentation of a special award to director George Abbott, who turns 100 years old on June 25. Abbott has been involved in more than 120 Broadway productions.
Plays Tragic Eponine
Michael Maguire, who plays the student revolutionary in “Les Miserables,” won the featured actor-musical award, while Frances Ruffelle, who plays the tragic Eponine in the same show, won the featured actress prize.
John Napier won for set design in the show, and David Hersey for lighting.
Napier captured a second award, for costume design, for his high-tech outfits for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s roller-skating musical, “Starlight Express.”
John Randolph won the featured actor award-play for his portrayal of a 77-year-old rebel in “Broadway Bound.”