A Run Down Of The 2019 Tony Awards

Ali Stroker
Ali Stroker

The 73rd Annual Tony Awards were hosted Sunday Night in Radio City Music Hall. James Corden, host of the Late Late Show, opened the show with a nine minute opening number about the pros and cons of Broadway.

Notable moments include “Hadestown”, a jazz-fueled riff on the ancient tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, won best new musical.

The inventive director of “Hadestown,” Rachel Chavkin, who previously brought “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” to Broadway, picked up her first Tony for directing the new musical.

She was the only woman to be nominated in the category.

“I wish I wasn’t the only woman directing a musical on Broadway this season,” Chavkin said, before calling for greater gender and racial diversity among theater artists and critics.

“This is not a pipeline issue,” she added. “It is a failure of imagination by a field whose job is to imagine the way the world could be.”

One of the night’s emotional highlights: Ali Stroker becoming the first wheelchair user to win a Tony.

The former Glee star won Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for her portrayal as Ado Annie in the revival of “Oklahoma!”

“This award is for every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability, who has a limitation or a challenge, who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena,” Stroker said. “You are.”

She made her Broadway debut in 2015, when she played Anna in Spring Awakening. This marked the first time a person who uses a wheelchair had performed in a Broadway production.

Other winners include Andre DeShields who won his first ever Tony Award as the featured actor in a musical category for his role in “Hadestown.” Santino

Fontana was awarded Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical for “Tootsie” and Stephanie J. Block won her first Tony for Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical for “The Cher Show.”

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