Tony Awards 2014: Bryan Cranston, Sophie Okonedo and Mark Rylance among winners
Hugh Jackman hosted the event at New York's Radio City Music Hall
British actors Mark Rylance and Sophie Okonedo were among those honoured at last night’s Tony Awards in New York, hosted by Hugh Jackman.
Rylance, 54, won Best Featured Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Olivia in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, after taking home awards for Jerusalem and Boeing-Boeing in previous years.
He was also nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Play for Richard III, but missed out to Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston who won for his Broadway debut as former President Lyndon Johnson in Best Play, All the Way.
Okonedo, meanwhile, took home the Tony for Best Featured Actress after tackling the iconic role of Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, which also won Best Play Revival. She thanked producer Scott Rudin for believing in a “Jewish, Nigerian Brit” like herself.
Elsewhere, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder won Best Musical, Best Director, Best Costume Design and Best Book of a Musical, much to producer Joey Parnes’ delight.
After years of handing out awards, Neil Patrick Harris won himself for Best Actor in a Musical, while Audra McDonald became Tony’s most decorated actress, winning her sixth award for Best Lead Actress portraying Billie Holliday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.
McDonald has also become the first grand-slam performance winner, having now taken prizes for Best Lead Actress in a Play, Best Featured Actress in a Play, Best Lead Actress in a Musical and Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
Jessie Mueller beat some strong Broadway veterans in Sutton Foster, Idina Menzel and Kelli O’Hara to win Best Actress in a Musical for playing the title character in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
James Monroe Iglehart, who plays the manic Genie in Aladdin, won for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and could barely contain his glee as he thanked a long list of people that included God and his wife.
Actor Adam Jacobs and James Monroe Iglehart perform Aladdin
The Best Featured Actress in a Musical award went to Lena Hall in Hedwig And The Angry Inch, for her portrayal a woman who dresses as a man and plays Harris' boyfriend. The show later won for Best Musical Revival.
Away from the cameras, the now-closed musical The Bridges Of Madison County won for Best Score and Best Orchestration, while Kenny Leon won his first Tony for directing the revival of A Raisin In The Sun.
Some 870 Tony voters - members of professional groups such as the Wing, the League, Actors' Equity Association, the Dramatists Guild and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society - decided the final 26 competitive awards.
Wicked, which is celebrating a decade on Broadway, had its current Glinda and Elphaba sing "For Good", and there were songs from two shows that have yet to arrive: Sting performed from his musical The Last Ship and Jennifer Hudson sang from Finding Neverland, the musical about Peter Pan.
This year, Broadway producers have a reason to party. The season's box offices hit a record total gross of 1.27 billion dollars (£755m) - up from 1.13 billion (£672m) the previous season - and attendance was up 5.6% to 12.2 million.
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