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Tony Awards 2018: ‘The Band’s Visit’ leads near-sweep with 10 wins; ‘Harry Potter’ takes best play

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“The Band’s Visit” led all Tony contenders with 10 wins including leading actor, leading actress, featured actor, direction and score. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” took best play and five other categories Sunday night in New York. “Angels in America” picked up awards for lead actor (Andrew Garfield) and featured actor (Nathan Lane), while “Three Tall Women” has scored its own double win in the form of Glenda Jackson and Laurie Metcalf.

With Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban as hosts, the Tonys delivered humor, heart, politics and Bruce Springsteen, who received a special award for “Springsteen on Broadway.” The biggest showstopper: a riveting performance by drama students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School of Parkland, Fla. Read theater critic Charles McNulty’s take on the evening, or scroll here for winners, text of speeches and bits from backstage.

Ari’el Stachel talks backstage about embracing his Middle Eastern heritage, and now a Tony Award

Ari'el Stachel, left, with composer David Yazbek, also a Tony winner, in the Tony Awards media room.
(Mike Coppola)

One of the emotional threads running through Tony Awards acceptance speeches on Sunday were expressions of surprise by winners who were thankful that theater had made a place for someone who looked like them.

Ari’el Stachel, best featured actor in the musical “The Band’s Visit,’ spoke onstage about how “for so many years of my life I pretended I was not a Middle Eastern person.” He elaborated backstage in the press room.

“I felt very stigmatized by my Middle Eastern identity,” he said. “I felt I didn’t belong. I felt so socially diminished. But what inhibits us can turn into the motors and change that. What you might be ashamed of can make you feel formidable.”

Stachel auditioned for the role of an Egyptian musician named Haled over nine months. And though many prognosticators had placed him as the front-runner for featured actor, Stachel still never thought it would be possible.

“I never thought I’d be here as a kid. The gap between myself and a fear of what it might feel like to play a Middle Eastern role was too big. I was afraid of that,” he said. “I learned today that was not the case. You have to have skin in the game.”

Times critic Charles McNulty included Stachel in a column on six actors who made big statements with smaller roles. Also check out McNulty’s original assessment of the production and read how leading actress Katrina Lenk worked her way from L.A. theater to the Tony Awards stage.

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Glenda Jackson lets loose with some Glendaisms after winning her Tony for ‘Three Tall Women’

Glenda Jackson onstage after winning for Edward Albee's "Three Tall Women."
Glenda Jackson onstage after winning for Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women.”
(Michael Zorn)

Glenda Jackson won her first Tony Award on Sunday — 52 years after her first nomination and three full decades after her last Tony nod. Backstage, the actress joked about finally winning after such a long wait.

“Well I was tempted to say, ‘It’s taken you long enough,’ Jackson said in the press room. “But that was certainly too rude.”

The actress said she’d never heard of “Three Tall Women.”

“I’m ashamed to say that because it was in London twice,” she said, adding that when she first read Edward Albee’s drama, she noted how it plays out without much movement by the cast. “So I thought, it’s essentially a radio play. Then I read it again and discovered just how complex and complicated it was.”

What would she ask the late Albee if she could?

“I’d like to know what he thought of our production,” she said. “His script is filled with very detailed instructions. There’s a lot of crossed out lines in the script. All for the best. They weren’t very good.”

One of Jackson’s co-stars in “Three Tall Women,” Laurie Metcalf, scored an unexpected victory in the featured actress category, earning the award over Denise Gough of “Angels in America.”

Times theater critic Charles McNulty’s interview with Jackson generated the most reader mail of perhaps any arts story this year. If you haven’t caught it yet, pull up a chair and join “My Disastrous Tea With Glenda Jackson.”

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John Leguizamo on theater: ‘It didn’t just change me, it saved me’

(Theo Wargo)

For more than 30 years, John Leguizamo has brought personal stories about creativity, sex, love and identity — individual and cultural — to the Broadway stage. Inclusivity has been a through-line.

On Sunday evening, Leguizamo received a Special Tony Award for bringing those diverse stories — and audiences — to Broadway. In classic style, Leguizamo used the night as an opportunity to speak out.

In a ceremony held before the prime-time telecast, Leguizamo cited “immigrant babies in detention” and the post-hurricane dead in Puerto Rico. “Let us never forget them!”

During the awards show, before announcing the winner for best revival of a play, Leguizamo talked about theater’s ability to teach empathy.

“I’m a living example of how theater can change you,” he said. “It didn’t just change me, it saved me.”

The first of Leguizamo’s six one-man shows was 1998’s “Freak,” which earned him Tony nominations for acting and writing; the HBO version earned him an Emmy the following year. Other Broadway solo shows include 2001’s “Sexaholic … A Love Story” and 2011’s “Ghetto Klown.”

Leguizamo reminisced about his career Sunday, going back to his youth in math class where a teacher told him, “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, we can make something out of you.”

He was also nostalgic about his 1990 one-man show, “Mambo Mouth,” performed “in the hallway” at the American Place Theater. “But it won an Obie,” he said. “So I guess some people did like what I had to offer.”

In the pre-show ceremony, he compared his career trajectory to that of Bruce Springsteen, who was also awarded a Special Tony Award.

“Bruce Springsteen is winning this award too, and he’s the greatest,” Leguizamo said. “He was born to run. I was born in Queens, so I had to run. And I ran all the way to Broadway.”

His “Latin History for Morons” was nominated for best play this year but lost to “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” A workshop production of “Latin History for Morons” ran in 2016 at La Jolla Playhouse, and the world premiere was at Berkeley Repertory, where Times theater critic Charles McNulty felt the play hadn’t yet found focus. “The show lacks the wildness of Leguizamo’s earlier solo offerings that mined his amusingly checkered past for material,” he wrote.

Still, “Latin History for Morons” played Off Broadway in Spring 2017 before opening at Studio 54, where it played for 83 performances. Netflix plans to film a special live performance of the show this month.

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For Chita Rivera, lifetime achievement award doesn’t mean she’s finished

(Angela Weiss)

“There is still a lot of salt left in this shaker.” 

Chita Rivera, backstage after accepting her lifetime achievement award at the Tonys

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Who won the most Tony Awards? A show-by-show count

Tony Shalhoub accepts the award for leading actor in "The Band's Visit" from presenter Kelli O'Hara.
(Michael Zorn / Invisision / AP)

“The Band’s Visit” won 10 of the 11 categories in which it was nominated, while “Mean Girls” got shut out despite 12 nods. Here’s the final count of trophies for each production:

“The Band’s Visit” — 10

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two” — 6

“Angels in America” — 3

Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women” — 2

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel” — 2

“My Fair Lady” — 1

“Once on This Island” — 1

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical” — 1

READ: Our critic’s take on this year’s big winners

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Tony Kushner talks about ‘Angels in America’ and hope in the era of Trump and ‘this dreadful blight’

Tony Kushner and the "Angels in America" team accepting best revival of a play.
Tony Kushner and the “Angels in America” team accepting best revival of a play.
(Theo Wargo)

“The show is about devastation and healing. The country’s in terrible trouble. I believe very deeply in the democratic ideal, and it’s going to survive this dreadful blight, and it’s terrifying the damage he’s doing not so much to the institutions but to the social fabric of this country, cheapening and belittling the country, its constitution and its history.”

“Angels in America” playwright Tony Kushner, backstage after winning best revival of a play

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Tony Shalhoub connected his Tony win to his father’s arrival on Ellis Island

Tony Shalhoub wins leading actor in a musical for "The Band's Visit."
Tony Shalhoub wins leading actor in a musical for “The Band’s Visit.”
(Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

“I want to connect this moment to a moment that occurred nearly a century ago in 1920 when my father arrived on a boat from Lebanon and first set foot here on Ellis Island. He was then just a boy of 8. Disembarked on Ellis Island just a few short miles from this very spot. So tonight I celebrate him and all of those whose family journeyed before him and with him and after him." 

Tony Shalhoub, in his acceptance speech as leading actor in a musical for “The Band’s Visit”

After accepting his award for leading actor in a musical, Tony Shalhoub walked into the press room with a couple of jokes.

“If you’re anything like me, you have lots of questions!” he said.

Like what?

“How did this happen?” he exclaimed.

“And why have I never done a musical before.”

Shalhoub said his wife, Brooke Adams, had to talk him into “The Band’s Visit” — twice. He needed convincing for off-Broadway and on Broadway. And if he didn’t do it? “I think she threatened to divorce me,” Shalhoub said.

“Musicals were never in my wheelhouse. I was the kid in grammar school who was told, ‘Just stop and mouth the words.’ I had to be coerced into being courageous enough to attempt this. It’s hard for me to believe those other guys weren’t chosen. I saw their performances and were just blown away.”

Shalhoub was anything but a favorite in a category that included Joshua Henry in “Carousel” and Ethan Slater in “Spongebob SquarePants: The Musical.”

“David Cromer [the director], his main note when we were rehearsing: ‘Just less. Just less. Less is called for here.’ … Cromer emphasized for all us: This play is going to live in silence. All the struggles and all the moments were internal.”

And why has the show found an audience?

“I think there’s an appetite for an alternative kind of thing. With so much going on in the world, so much noise and nonsense. This is a respite from all of that. I think we’re saturated and overwhelmed with politics, and this is not political.”

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‘The Band’s Visit’ wins the Tony as the top musical

Tony winners Katrina Lenk and Tony Shalhoub from "The Band's Visit."
(Theo Wargo / Gety Images)

The Tony Award nominees for best musical:

WINNER | “The Band’s Visit”

“Frozen”

“Mean Girls”

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Critic’s Notebook: ‘Band’s Visit’ turns song, speech and silence into stage poetry

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Katrina Lenk wins leading actress in a musical for ‘The Band’s Visit’

Katrina Lenk arrives at the 72nd Tony Awards.
(Evan Agostini / Invision/AP)

The Tony Award winner for leading actress in a musical

Lauren Ambrose, “My Fair Lady”

Hailey Kilgore, “Once on This Island”

LaChanze, Summer: “The Donna Summer”

WINNER | Katrina Lenk, “The Band’s Visit”

Taylor Louderman, “Mean Girls”

Jessie Mueller, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

Feature: Katrina Lenk, the beating heart of ‘The Band’s Visit’ >>

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Tony Shalhoub wins leading actor in a musical for ‘The Band’s Visit’

Tony Shalhoub performs in "The Band's Visit."
(Matt Murphy)

The Tony Award winner for leading actor in a musical:

Harry Hadden-Paton, “My Fair Lady”

Joshua Henry, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

WINNER | Tony Shalhoub, “The Band’s Visit”

Ethan Slater, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

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What did De Niro say to get bleeped by CBS? It had to do with Trump

Robert De Niro introduces a performance by Bruce Springsteen at the 72nd Tony Awards.
(Michael Zorn)

Robert De Niro got a roar from the Tony Awards crowd on Sunday, though TV viewers couldn’t hear what he actually said. CBS bleeped him.

Onstage to introduce a performance by Bruce Springsteen, De Niro stood at the microphone and started with an expletive:

“… Trump!”

He followed that up with: “It’s no longer ‘down with Trump,’ it’s ‘… Trump!’” again using the same expletive.

The comments reverberated in the press room too. When asked for his reaction, Tony Kushner, the “Angels in America” playwright and winner of best revival of play, exclaimed, “He said what?”

Kushner said he was delighted. “I can’t believe he did it,” he added. “I agree.”

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‘Once on This Island’ wins the Tony for revival of a musical

The cast of "Once on This Island" performs during the 72nd Tony Awards.
( Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

The Tony Award winner for best revival of a musical:

“My Fair Lady”

WINNER | “Once on This Island”

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

RELATED » “Island” director Michael Arden and the little musical that could

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‘Harry Potter’s’ Christine Jones wins for scenic design of a play

Christine Jones, winner of the award for scenic design of a play for "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two."
(Jemal Countess / Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

The Tony Award winner for scenic design of a play goes to:

WINNER | Christine Jones, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Miriam Buether, Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women”

Jonathan Fensom, “Farinelli and the King”

Santo Loquasto, Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”

Ian MacNeil and Edward Pierce, “Angels in America”

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David Yazbek wins best score for ‘The Band’s Visit’

David Yazbek, winner of the award for original score for "The Band's Visit."
(Jenny Anderson)

The Tony Award nominees for original score (music and/or lyrics written for the theater):

WINNER | “The Band’s Visit,” music and lyrics by David Yazbek

“Angels in America,” music by Adrian Sutton

“Frozen,” music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

“Mean Girls,” music by Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical,” music and lyrics by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, the Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper & Rob Hyman, John Legend, Panic! at the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I., Domani & Lil’C

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Top play goes to ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two’ by Jack Thorne

Poppy Miller and Jamie Parker in "Harry Potter and The Cursed Child."
(Manuel Harlan)

The Tony Award winner for best play:

“The Children,” by Lucy Kirkwood

“Farinelli and the King,” by Claire van Kampen

WINNER | “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two,” by Jack Thorne

“Junk,” by Ayad Akhtar

“Latin History for Morons,” by John Leguizamo

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‘Angels in America’ wins revival of a play

Amanda Lawrence in National Theatre's Broadway production of Tony Kushner's epic "Angels in America."
Amanda Lawrence in National Theatre’s Broadway production of Tony Kushner’s epic “Angels in America.”
(Helen Maybanks)

The Tony Award nominees for best revival of a play:

WINNER | “Angels in America”

Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women”

Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”

“Lobby Hero”

“Travesties”

Critic’s Notebook: ‘Angels in America,’ the right play for our fractious times >>

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Jamshied Sharifi wins the Tony for orchestrations in ‘The Band’s Visit’

Marissa Jaret Winokur and Brandon Victor Dixon present the Tony Award for Orchestrations to Jamshied Sharifi.
(Theo Wargo / Getty Images)

The Tony Award winner for orchestrations:

John Clancy, “Mean Girls”

Tom Kitt, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Annmarie Milazzo & Michael Starobin, “Once on This Island”

WINNER | Jamshied Sharifi, “The Band’s Visit”

Jonathan Tunick, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

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Andrew Garfield thanked the LGBTQ community in his Tony acceptance speech. Here’s what he had to say backstage

Andrew Garfield in the media room at the Tony Awards.
(Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Andrew Garfield took home the first award of the night, winning a Tony Award as leading actor in a play for “Angels in America.” In a moving speech, the actor dedicated his award to the LGBTQ community.

“It is the profound privilege of my life to play Prior Walter in ‘Angels in America’ because he represents the purest spirit of humanity and especially that of the LGBTQ community,” Garfield said in his speech. “It is that spirit that says no to oppression, it is a spirit that says no to bigotry, no to shame, no to exclusion. It is a spirit that says we were all made perfectly and we all belong. So I dedicate this award to the countless LGBTQ who have fought and died to protect that spirit. To protect that message for the right to live and love as we are created to. We are all sacred. Let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked!”

(Garfield’s cake comment was an allusion to the recent Supreme Court decision that, in a very limited decision, sided with a bakery that refused to create a cake for a gay wedding.)

Backstage, the actor expounded upon his moving acceptance speech.

“We happen to be in a political time in which they have to fight for their rights more intensely than before,” Garfield said of the LGBTQ community. “The play is really for anyone who has felt they don’t belong, who have felt ostracized, indoctrinated by religion or a society that they were created wrong. They were created perfectly.

“We are lost right now culturally,” Garfield continued. “The play speaks to this moment. It’s absolutely about the epidemic in our culture, this epidemic of a lack of connection of ourselves and each other. We have these amazing gifts of human invention but there’s a cost. We’re discovering the cost as we move on.”

Garfield went on to call out Trump indirectly.

“The person in the White House is the antithesis of the values of the play, of the arts generally,” he said. “And that’s why this play is so very important now.”

Garfield, who was previously nominated for a Tony for his 2012 performance in “Death of a Salesman,” admitted that performing in “Angels in America” has changed him.

“I know I’ve changed a lot,” he said, though he admitted he doesn’t quite know how. “I live a very privileged life. I had no big health scares, I haven’t had to deal with my own mortality to the degree that Prior and all the brave courageous people dying during to the AIDS crisis. It’s woken me up further and further to the fragility of life and the fleetingness of this existence.”

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John Tiffany wins direction of a play for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two’

The Tony Award winner for direction of a play:

Marianne Elliott, “Angels in America”

Joe Mantello, Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women”

Patrick Marber, “Travesties”

WINNER | John Tiffany, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

George C. Wolfe, Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”

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Gareth Fry wins sound design of a play for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two’

The Tony Award winner for sound design of a play:

Adam Cork, “Travesties”

Ian Dickinson for Autograph, “Angels in America”

WINNER | Gareth Fry, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Tom Gibbons, “1984"

Dan Moses Schreier, Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”

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David Cromer wins direction of a musical for ‘The Band’s Visit’

The Tony Award winner for direction of a musical:

Michael Arden, “Once on This Island”

WINNER | David Cromer, “The Band’s Visit”

Tina Landau, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Casey Nicholaw, “Mean Girls”

Bartlett Sher, “My Fair Lady”

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Neil Austin wins lighting design for a play for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two’

The Tony Award winner for lighting design of a play:

WINNER | Neil Austin, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Paule Constable, “Angels in America”

Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”

Paul Russell, “Farinelli and the King”

Ben Stanton, “Junk”

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Tyler Micoleau wins lighting design of a musical for ‘The Band’s Visit’

The Tony Award nominees for lighting design of a musical:

Kevin Adams, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, “Once on This Island”

Donald Holder, “My Fair Lady”

Brian MacDevitt, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

WINNER | Tyler Micoleau, “The Band’s Visit”

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Kai Harada wins the Tony for sound design of a musical for ‘The Band’s Visit’

The Tony Award winner for sound design of a musical:

WINNER | Kai Harada, “The Band’s Visit”

Peter Hylenski, “Once on This Island”

Scott Lehrer, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

Brian Ronan, “Mean Girls”

Walter Trarbach and Mike Dobson, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

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Read Ari’el Stachel’s full Tony acceptance speech

Ari'el Stachel at the Tony Honors Cocktail Party at Sofitel Hotel on June 4, 2018 in New York City.
(Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

“Both my parents are here tonight. I have avoided so many events with them because for so many years of my life I pretended I was not a Middle Eastern person. And after 9/11 it was very, very difficult for me and so I concealed and I missed so many special events with them. And they’re looking at me right now and I can’t believe it.

“I’m just so thankful to Orin Wolf, ... for telling a small story about Arabs and Israelis getting along at a time where we need that more than ever.

“I am part of a cast of actors who never believed that they’d be able to portray their own races and we are doing that. And not only that but we’re getting messages from kids all over the Middle East thanking us and telling us how transformative our representation is for them. And so I just want to thank the whole team, David Cromer, Yazbek for writing an amazing song. I’m so proud of you, my cast, this is the craziest moment of my life, I never thought I’d be there.

“I want any kid that’s watching to know that your biggest obstacle may turn into your purpose. Thank you very much.”

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Glenda Jackson wins leading actress in a play for Edward Albee’s ‘Three Tall Women’

Glenda Jackson accepts the award for leading actress in a play for Edward Albee's "Three Tall Women."
(Michael Zorn / Invision/AP)

The Tony Award winner for leading actress in a play:

WINNER | Glenda Jackson, Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women”

Condola Rashad, “Saint Joan”

Lauren Ridloff, “Children of a Lesser God”

Amy Schumer, “Meteor Shower”

Interview: My disastrous tea with Glenda Jackson >>

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas students deliver haunting performance as the Tonys honor their teacher

Marjory Stoneman Douglas' Melody Herzfeld accepts the Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education.
(Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

With members of the audience wiping away tears, drama students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., delivered a devastatingly poignant moment at the Tony Awards on Sunday, filling Radio City Music Hall with “Seasons of Love” from “Rent.”

The performance followed the announcement that the American Theatre Wing and Carnegie Mellon University had honored Melody Herzfeld, a drama teacher at the school, with the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award. During the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 students, more than 60 of Herzfeld’s kids took refuge in her office. She later helped her students come to terms with their trauma and grief by steering them in a performance, a week later, of the song “Shine” at a CNN Town Hall.

“Next to the passing of my dear parents, the birth of my sons and the reunifying of my theater students on Feb. 14, there has never been a more defining moment in my life,” Herzfeld said Sunday.

“All the goodness and tragedy that has brought me to this point will always be embraced. “I remember on Feb. 7, sharing a circle [with my students] and encouraging them to be good to each other in trying times…A week later, a perfect day, all these lessons in my life and in their short lives would be called up and set into action. … Thank you, Stoneman Douglas High School. The future... changed for good. MSD..Strong!”

Herzfeld has been teaching drama at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where she’s now director of its drama department, for about 15 years. Herzfeld is the fourth recipient of the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, which is given to a K-12 theater teacher who has had a “monumental impact on the lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession.” It comes with a $10,000 prize.

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David Zinn wins scenic design of a musical for ‘SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical’

The Tony Award winner for scenic design of a musical:

Dane Laffrey, “Once on This Island”

Scott Pask, “The Band’s Visit”

Scott Pask, Finn Ross & Adam Young, “Mean Girls”

Michael Yeargan, “My Fair Lady”

WINNER | David Zinn, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

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Ari’el Stachel wins featured actor in a musical for ‘The Band’s Visit’

Ari'el Stachel accepts the award for featured actor in a musical for "The Band's Visit."
(Michael Zorn / Invision/AP)

The Tony Award nominees for featured actor in a musical:

Norbert Leo Butz, “My Fair Lady”

Alexander Gemignani, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

Grey Henson, “Mean Girls”

Gavin Lee, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

WINNER | Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit”

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Lindsay Mendez wins as featured actress in a musical for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘Carousel’

Lindsay Mendez
(Dimitrios Kambouris)

The Tony Award nominees for featured actress in a musical:

Ariana DeBose, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”

Renée Fleming, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

WINNER | Lindsay Mendez, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

Ashley Park, “Mean Girls”

Diana Rigg, “My Fair Lady”

Q&A: Norwalk native Lindsay Mendez rides ‘Carousel’ to a Tony nomination>>

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Itamar Moses wins the Tony for book of a musical for ‘The Band’s Visit’

Itamar Moses accepts the award for book of a musical for "The Band's Visit."
(Michael Zorn)

The Tony Award nominees for book of a musical:

WINNER | Itamar Moses, “The Band’s Visit”

Jennifer Lee, “Frozen”

Tina Fey, “Mean Girls”

Kyle Jarrow, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

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Nathan Lane wins featured actor in a play for ‘Angels in America’

Nathan Lane
(Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

The Tony Award nominees for featured actor in a play:

Anthony Boyle, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Michael Cera, “Lobby Hero”

Brian Tyree Henry, “Lobby Hero”

WINNER | Nathan Lane, “Angels in America”

David Morse, Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”

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Laurie Metcalf pulls off upset win at the Tony Awards. Did ‘Roseanne’ controversy help?

Laurie Metcalf was anything but a shoo-in for a Tony Award, so her win Sunday for featured actress in “Three Tall Women” naturally raises the question: Did “Roseanne” controversy play a part in her victory?

Metcalf’s performance in the Edward Albee classic earned much critical praise, and Tony voters certainly love her, giving her the leading actress trophy last year for “A Doll’s House, Part 2.” Her win this year also could possibly be credited to vote-splitting between Denise Gough, the front-runner for her performance in “Angels in America,” and her “Angels” co-star Susan Brown.

But it is possible that Metcalf’s profile got a bump in the immediate aftermath of the Roseanne Barr scandal, in which the title character of ABC’s rebooted series made a racist comment on Twitter. The network quickly canceled the show.

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Lindsay Mendez on the advice she’s glad she didn’t take

Lindsay Mendez attends the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 10, 2018 in New York City.
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Fresh on the heels of her Tony win as actress in a musical for “Carousel,” Lindsay Mendez shared the career advice she’s glad she didn’t take:

“I just want to say when I moved to New York, I was told to change my last name from ‘Mendez’ to ‘Matthews,’ or I wouldn’t work,” she said in her acceptance speech. “And I just want to say how proud I am to be part of a community that celebrates diversity and individuality. And to all of you artists out there, just be your true self and the world will take note.”

Backstage, Mendez revealed that she’d briefly considered making the name change but the thought of how her family might react made her reconsider.

“I was going to change [my name] to Lindsay Matthews, this is true,” she said. “At that time, when I moved here, there weren’t that many Latina actresses.”

“I thought that my grandparents would be so devastated,” she continued. “They worked so hard to get me here. I thought, either they’re going to like what I’m doing or what I’m not.”

In the press room, Mendez also said she’s interested in exploring roles that are not explicitly written for Latinas or women of color.

“Just because you’re a minority doesn’t mean you have to play a minority,” she said. “I thought I’d be playing ‘West Side Story’ or ‘Evita.’ Playing this New England girl, that’s an accent I never thought I’d have to hone. My ethnicity [in ‘Carousel’] wasn’t defined so don’t put yourself in a box. Open yourself up to possibilities.”

Mendez would love to play “Flora, the Red Menace,” she admitted, or Winifred in “Once Upon a Mattress.” On the idea of winning for the same role for which Audra McDonald received her first of six Tonys, Mendez admitted, Mendez admitted, “I didn’t watch Audra. I could not compare myself to the queen.”

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Katrina Lindsay wins for costume design of a play for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

The Tony Award winner for costume design of a play:

Jonathan Fensom, “Farinelli and the King”

Nicky Gillibrand, “Angels in America”

WINNER | Katrina Lindsay, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Ann Roth, Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women”

Ann Roth, Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”

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Justin Peck wins the Tony for choreography for ‘Carousel’

The Tony Award winner for choreography:

Christopher Gattelli, “My Fair Lady”

Christopher Gattelli, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Steven Hoggett, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Casey Nicholaw, “Mean Girls”

WINNER | Justin Peck, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

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Laurie Metcalf wins as featured actress in a play for Edward Albee’s ‘Three Tall Women’

Laurie Metcalf arrives at the 72nd Tony Awards.
(Evan Agostini)

The Tony Award nominees for featured actress in a play:

Susan Brown, “Angels in America”

Noma Dumezweni, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Deborah Findlay, “The Children”

Denise Gough, “Angels in America”

WINNER | Laurie Metcalf, Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women”

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Andrew Garfield wins as leading actor in a play for ‘Angels in America’

Andrew Garfield attends the 72nd Tony Awards.
(Dimitrios Kambouris)

The Tony Award nominees for leading actor in a play:

WINNER | Andrew Garfield, “Angels in America”

Tom Hollander, “Travesties”

Jamie Parker, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Mark Rylance, “Farinelli and the King”

Denzel Washington, Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”

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Catherine Zuber wins costume design for a musical for ‘My Fair Lady’

Catherine Zuber
(Theo Wargo / AFP/Getty Images)

The Tony Award nominees for costume design of a musical:

Gregg Barnes, “Mean Girls”

Clint Ramos, “Once on This Island”

Ann Roth, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”

David Zinn, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

WINNER | Catherine Zuber, “My Fair Lady”

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What does a costume nominee wear to the Tony Awards? This T-shirt

(Dimitrios Kambouris)

David Zinn, nominated for two Tony Awards this year, walked the red carpet Sunday with a stark black T-shirt with white lettering that read: “Love is at the root of our resistance.”

He finished the look with a pink heart amid some serious neck accessorizing.

Zinn is nominated for costume design and scenic design for “SpongeBob Squarepants: The Musical.” He’s a familiar presence at the Tonys. He has previous costume nods for “In the Next Room or the vibrator play” (2010), “Airline Highway” (2015) and “A Doll’s House, Part 2” (2017). His scenic design work earned him a nomination for “Fun Home” (2015) and a win for “The Humans” (2016).

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Key races to watch heading into tonight’s Tony Awards

Tina Fey and the cast of "Mean Girls" taking a bow on their opening night
(Noam Galai)

You’ve got Tina Fey, Lauren Ambrose and Denzel Washington. And you’ve also got Ethan Slater of “SpongeBob SquarePants” and Katrina Lenk of “The Band’s Visit.” The familiar and the new mix for some interesting competition at this year’s Tony Awards.

Some nominees may seem to be a lock (Andrew Garfield, all but a sure thing as the leading actor from “Angels in America”) but other categories aren’t quite so settled.

Here’s a quick look at some of the key races and frontrunners to watch.

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Who has the most Tony nominations heading into tonight’s ceremony?

Tony nominee Jamie Parker as Harry Potter in "Cursed Child."
(Manuel Harlan)

Tony Awards prognosticators expect five shows — “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “The Band’s Visit,” “Angels in America,” “Carousel” and “My Fair Lady” — to clean up at the ceremony Sunday, but “Mean Girls” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” actually lead all productions with 12 nominations apiece. Here’s the show-by-show breakdown of the contenders:

“Mean Girls” — 12

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical” — 12

“Angels in America” — 11

“The Band’s Visit” — 11

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel” — 11

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two” — 10

“My Fair Lady” — 10

Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh” — 8

“Once on This Island” — 8

Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women” — 6

“Farinelli and The King” — 5

“Travesties” — 4

“Frozen” — 3

“Lobby Hero” — 3

“The Children” — 2

“Junk” — 2

“Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” — 2

“Children of a Lesser God” — 1

“Latin History for Morons” — 1

“Meteor Shower” — 1

“1984" — 1

“Saint Joan” — 1

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Tony nominees: 6 featured performances that stole the spotlight, turning small roles into big memories

The truth of that old theatrical saying that there are no small parts, only small actors, was redeemed last season on Broadway, with a bevy of featured performances that transcended their limited stage time and reminded us that brilliance is not a function of billing.

These six standout performers, all in contention for Tony Awards on Sunday, did more than call attention to their own dazzling talents. They distilled something essential in the unique theatricality of their shows.

There may have been more titanic supporting performances. Nathan Lane as a ferociously Trump-ed up Roy M. Cohn and Denise Gough as a desperately anguished Harper in “Angels in America” are both likely to be (deservedly) rewarded for their outsize intensity. And few of the featured nominees can compete with the star wattage of opera diva Renée Fleming, who hypnotizes the audience into a state of bliss when she sings “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in “Carousel.”

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For Tony Awards hosts Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles, it’s showtime

The Tony Awards airing Sunday on CBS will be chock full of well-known names, as the stage adaptations of “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and a new “Harry Potter” play are among this year’s nominees.

Two more names you’ll recognize: Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles, co-hosts for the Radio City Music Hall ceremony. The musicians have been good friends and self-professed theater nerds for years.

Groban, 37, nabbed a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut in last season’s ambitious musical “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.” Bareilles, 38, scored a Tony nomination in 2016 for writing the music and lyrics of “Waitress,” the first Broadway musical with an all-female creative team, and she also has stepped into the show’s leading role. This season, she’s nominated in the original score category for contributing a song to “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical.”

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