Didn't Watch the 2017 Tony Awards? Here's What You Missed
There were major stars, multiple costume changes, chorus lines tap dancing their hearts out and a giant groundhog—and that was all just during the opening number of the 71st Annual Tony Awards.
But if you happened to miss Broadway’s biggest night on Sunday, there’s no reason you have to miss out on all of the glitz, glamour and high notes from the show. From host Kevin Spacey’s show-stopping opening number (featuring plenty of superstar cameos) until the best musical trophy was awarded to Dear Evan Hansen, here’s everything you missed from this year’s Tony Awards.
VIDEO: See the Best Looks from the 2017 Tony Awards
Kevin Spacey (and Stephen Colbert) Appear in the Year’s Best Shows
Nobody was safe from host Spacey’s opening medley, which featured him appearing in all four of the year’s Best Musical nominees—and even poking fun at those rumors about his sexuality. While trying his hand at everything from Dear Evan Hansen to Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Spacey joked about his nerves about hosting the show, right after James Corden made such a splash in the same role at the 2016 awards.
Luckily, Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg and even Billy Crystal were on hand to offer him some advice. “I feel a little uncomfortable giving you advice because they did ask me. I was the 14th choice,” Crystal joked, before Spacey capped things off with an elaborate tap number—and proved that he was more than ready to give ’em the old razzle dazzle.
Cynthia Nixon Wins Best Featured Actress in a Play, and Takes a Stand
While accepting her second Tony for her work in Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, Nixon celebrated the “eerily prescient” play that she stars in: “Eighty years ago, [Hellman] wrote, ‘There are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it, and other people who just stand around and watch them do it.’ My love, my gratitude and my undying respect go out to all the people in 2017 who are refusing to just stand and watch them do it.”
Dear Evan Hansen Earns a Standing Ovation
Even if you haven’t managed to get tickets to the smash hit of the season, Ben Platt’s emotional performance of “Waving Through a Window” should give you a taste of why everyone’s obsessed with Dear Evan Hansen—and why it managed to rake in the awards. And clearly, the audience at Radio City Music Hall was blown away by Platt’s performance as well, giving him a standing ovation for his stunning solo.
James Earl Jones Earns a Lifetime Achievement Award
Living legend James Earl Jones was awarded the Tonys’ highest honor for his prolific career in the theater, and in true charming fashion, he took time to honor his late wife, Cecilia Hart. “I want to thank my wife Ceci for being such a wonderful companion in my life and in my work,” Jones said. “And for being the great co-producer of our son Flynn and for being so dazzling on the red carpet.” (We’re pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.)
Rachel Bloom and her Tiny Hats Celebrate Theater Nerds Everywhere
While most awards shows’ commercial bumpers aren’t much of an event, the Tonys made them one of the most entertaining parts of the night by recruiting Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom to hang out backstage, goof around with all of the performers and rock a series of increasingly small hats for the occasion. Theater nerds, our time has finally come.
John Mulaney and Nick Kroll Toast New York
There are certain things that are quintessentially New York: the Rockettes, Broadway and two cranky old men talking about cream cheese. And while Kroll and Mulaney weren’t in character as Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, the elderly stars of their show, Oh, Hello, they still managed to toast the “greatest city in New York state” with an appropriately wacky tribute, before last year’s best actor and actress in a musical winners, Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr., sang alongside the Rockettes in homage to the city that never sleeps.
John Legend "Has a GOT"
The superstar was a producer on August Wilson’s Jitney, which took home the best revival of a play award, and leaving him just one step away from earning the elusive EGOT. Or, as wife Chrissy Teigen put it:
Mark Hamill Honors Carrie Fisher During the In Memoriam
Before introducing the touching In Memoriam segment, Hamill slipped in a reference to his good friend and Star Wars sister, Carrie Fisher, with a nod to the “princess” that the world lost this year. Pass the tissues, please.
Bette Midler Refuses to be Played Off
Everyone expected that Midler, who is currently starring in Hello, Dolly, which also won best revival of a musical, would take home the best actress in a musical award, but nobody expected her to take on the orchestra during her acceptance speech—and win.
In her delightful, slightly profane speech, Midler thanked the Tony voters, “many of whom I’ve dated,” honored the women who came before her in her iconic role and outsmarted the playoff music, waiting until it hit its crescendo to finish up. “I’m so honored to receive this from you all,” Midler said, to raucous applause. “I can’t remember the last time I had so much smoke blown up my a— but there’s no more room.”