7 Women On Broadway Who Stole The Show At This Year's Tony Awards
This Broadway season was all about the ladies.
Legends like Chita Rivera and Helen Miren led productions of “The Visit” and “The Audience” with star power; whereas, newcomers like Sydney Lucas, at the age of 11, broke hearts in “Fun Home.”
With that being said, women dominated the Tony Awards this year, and they were awarded for their roles onstage and behind the scenes.
Here are the talented women who brought us the best works and performances this year:
Helen Mirren, Best Leading Actress in a Play, "The Audience"
Few people were surprised when the prolific Queen of England won, especially Helen Mirren.
The Dame merely shrugged when her name was called.
Who could blame her, though? Mirren won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2007 for her performance in "The Queen," when she also portrayed Queen Elizabeth II.
Eight years later, she continues to enamor audiences in the same role with new, engaging material. The play ends its limited run on June 28.
Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical, "Fun Home"
Perhaps, the most monumental moment of the night was this duo's win, despite taking place during a commercial break.
They are the first all-female writing team to win the award for original score. Kron also won for Best Book of a Musical. Anyone who has seen "Fun Home," the winner of Best Musical, will understand why.
The modern score plays with a variety of genres ranging from a 70s variety show to a Sondheim-like progression of sung dialogue.
Meanwhile, the play itself was carefully conceived from Alison Bechdel's autobiographical graphic novel of the same name.
Many of the lyrics and dialogue in the show are extracted from Bechdel's book, which deals with her sexual discoveries and the relationship between her and her closeted father.
Marianne Elliott, Best Direction of a Play, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time"
Elliot won her second Tony for directing this intricate play based on the book of the same name.
She gained major acclaim after her award-winning revival of "War Horse" in 2007.
"Curious Incident," based on Mark Haddon's novel, tells the story of a 15-year-old boy who thrives in mathematics but displays Asperger's-like behavior.
"We were just intent on trying to portray the world according to this very remarkable and extraordinary boy," Elliott said in her acceptance speech. "We didn't set out ever to make a dime. We never even thought we'd find an audience. And, every day we took risks and we often said to each other that we were working outside our comfort zones."
Annaleigh Ashford, Best Featured Actress in a Play, "You Can't Take it With You"
Ashford has been on the Broadway scene for quite some time with roles in "Wicked," "Legally Blonde" and "Hair."
However, it wasn't until her role in 2013's "Kinky Boots" that she gained award status.
Alongside a fierce cast, including James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne, Ashford stole the show as Essie Carmichael with her outlandish dancing and quirky charm.
"I can't believe I'm standing here right now on Radio City Music Hall's stage for the worst dancing that ever happened on Broadway," she said, shocked by her win.
Ruthie Ann Miles, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, "The King and I"
While most of the industry was betting on one of three "Fun Home" actresses nominated for the award, Miles — the dark horse of the category — won for her role of Lady Thiang in the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.
Many media outlets ranked her acceptance speech, which she read nervously on an iPhone, as one of the worst moments of the night. Can we give the girl a break?
She was just as shocked as everyone else by her win!
And, Miles certainly proved herself during a montage of songs from the show where she sang her big number, "Something Wonderful."
Her win is yet another historical moment of the night.
She is the second actress of Asian descent to win a Tony Award.
Kelli O'Hara, Best Leading Actress in a Musical, "The King and I"
Six times a charm for Kelli O'Hara. The veteran Broadway actress finally nabbed her well-deserved Tony for her performance of Anna in "The King and I."
Last year, she was nominated for her performance in "The Bridges of Madison County," but she lost to newcomer Jessie Mueller in "Beautiful: The Carol King Musical."
Even with the win, O'Hara said, "I love what I do, and I don't need this. But now that I have it. I've got some things to say."
After her speech, O'Hara also won best exit of the night, declaring, "I'm going to do the worm!" before tap dancing off stage.
These wins not only award the actresses, directors, composers and playwrights for their work, but also pave the way for women in a male-dominated industry.
Future generations will be able to look at this year's awards and think, "I can do that, too."