NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Tony Awards kicked off Sunday night with Helen Mirren winning for a familiar role and the songwriters of “Fun Home” making history — but during a commercial break.
Mirren won her first Tony for playing a sly and polished Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s “The Audience.”
The “Prime Suspect” star already won an Oscar for playing the monarch in the movie “The Queen.”
Richard McCabe also won a featured actor trophy for playing one of the prime ministers in the show.
During a commercial break, “Fun Home” songwriters Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron became the first female writing team to nab a Tony for musical score. Kron also won for best book of a musical.
The poignant and groundbreaking coming-of-age show “Fun Home” was named best musical, one of five big trophies it won on the way to making history for its composing team.
Two veteran Broadway stars — Cerveris and Kelli O’Hara of “The King and I” — took lead acting Tonys home, while a young man who just last year graduated from drama school won the Tony for best actor in a play.
Cerveris won his second Tony for playing the closeted and suicidal father at the heart of “Fun Home” while O’Hara got her first Tony after six nominations, winning for her role as the English school teacher in a revival of the classic musical “The King and I.”
“I love what I do and I don’t need this but now that I have it I’ve some things to say,” she said. “My parents who are sitting next to me for the sixth time, you don’t have to pretend it’s OK this time.”
The London-born actor Alex Sharp won for the best lead actor in a play award for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” beating out Bradley Cooper and Bill Nighy.
“This time last year I was picked up my diploma graduating from Julliard, so to be holding this is insane. Thank you so, so much for this,” he said. “I just want to dedicate this to any young person out there who feels misunderstood or who feels different and answer that question at the end of the play for you: Does that mean I can do anything? Yes it does.”
His win was part of a huge five-trophy haul for the adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel. It also won best play, lighting, scenic design and earned its director Marianne Elliott a Tony, too, with a total of six nominations going into the evening.
“An American in Paris,” which had a co-leading 12 nominations, won four technical awards, including best scenic design and one for Christopher Wheeldon for best choreographer.
Tony Award-winners Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming were this year’s hosts.
They pair opened with a low-key medley of jokes and songs that displayed their playful, daffy chemistry. Chenoweth and Cumming sang snippets from “It Takes Two,” “There’s Nothing Like a Dame” and “Willkommen” from “Cabaret,” in which Cumming recently finished a year on Broadway.
As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, it was a great year for Broadway, racking up nearly $1.5 million at the box office with 13 million attendees.
Theater lovers lined up outside Radio City Music Hall ahead of the show to get a glimpse of the star-studded action.
And everyone has their favorite. Eric told D’Auria he loves the show “Something Rotten!”