Broadway’s Tony Awards Get Political

The Band’s Visit, a musical about a an Egyptian police orchestra booked for a concert in an Israeli town, but end up in the wrong town, took home the prize for the best new musical at Sunday’s Tony Awards honoring Broadway performances

The stars of The Band’s Visit – Katrina Lenk and Tony Shalhoub – won the top acting in a musical prizes. 

Based on at 2007 Israeli film of the same name, The Band’s Visit beat out Frozen, Mean Girls, and SpongeBob SquarePants. 

Once On This Island won the best musical revival Tony.The 1990 calypso-infused musical triumphed over My Fair Lady and Carousel. 

“(Let’s) just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked,” Andrew Garfield said when he won a Tony Award for best leading actor in a play for his work in Angels In America, the revival of Tony Kushner’s monumental drama about life, love, AIDS and homosexuality in the 1980s. 

Garfield’s remark was a reference to the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of a baker’s right to refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding. 

The awards show turned political once again when actor Robert De Niro came on stage to introduce a performance by special Tony winner Bruce Springsteen. 

De Niro shouted an obscenity about the president of the United States and received a standing ovation. He said it again to more cheers. The CBS-TV censors bleeped out the obscenity for television viewers. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two won prizes for best play, best director of a play, best sound design, best lighting design, best scenic design, and best costume design. 

Broadway veteran Nathan Lane won the Tony Award for best featured actor in a play for his work in Angels in America.

Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles co-hosted for this year’s awards ceremony.

Eighty-two year old British actress Glenda Jackson won her first Tony for her role in the revival of Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women. 

Laurie Metcalf won best featured actress in a play for Three Tall Women. Metcalf won a Tony last year for A Doll’s House, Part 2. 

But in the midst of Broadway’s magical night, one award was presented for outstanding off-Broadway work. The recipient was Melody Hertzfeld, the head of the drama department at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 

The drama teacher was recognized for saving dozens of children from the deadly mass shooting at the school that claimed 17 lives. She is credited for saving more than 65 students by guiding them to safety and keeping them out of harm’s way for more than two hours. 

She received the 2018 Excellence in Theatrical Education award, which honors an educator “who has demonstrated monumental impact on the lives of students.” It comes with a $10,000 prize for the winner’s theater program.