The Tony Awards on Sunday were ruled by the ladies. A classic performer was honored and several newcomers were highlighted as well.
Audra McDonald, 43, was honored with her historical sixth Tony for playing Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. She won her last Tony for her performance in Broadway show, Porgy and Bess, in 2012 and was showered with applause and a standing ovation.
Through tears of gratitude, McDonald thanked her parents, all the women who came before her, and the woman Billie Holiday herself.
“I want to thank all the shoulders of the strong and brave and courageous women that I am standing on,” she said. “And most of all Billie Holiday. You deserve so much more than you were given when you were on this earth.”
She told reporters backstage, “I am just completely overwhelmed and grateful and I don’t believe it.”
Jessie Mueller, who made her Broadway debut in 2012, won over audiences with her remarkable performance as Carole King in the musical Beautiful and was awarded her first Tony for her efforts.
Carole King said of the woman who so elegantly portrayed her, “At that age, I had no idea who I was and what was good about me and not good about me. It is a gift to see myself as the woman I was then and to actually like myself.”
Watch Hugh Jackman’s charming opening number for a smile:
And of course, Idina Menzel, who shot to mainstream fame for Let It Go performed Always Starting Over spectacularly:
Jessie Mueller beat a hopeful Kelli O’Hara. She was hoping that after five nominations she would finally get that Tony. O’Hara, 38, was nominated as best actress in a musical for her role in the stage version of The Bridges of Madison County.
She had support from composer Jason Robert Brown, who said of the amazing songstress, “Every composer in this room should be blessed to have Kelli perform their music.”
Maybe next time, Kelli…
Lena Hall, 34, also won her first Tony on Sunday for her supporting role as a man in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
What a night for the ladies of Broadway!
Image Via YouTube