Outsiders make good as 'Dear Evan Hansen' wins big at Tonys

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who recently won Oscars for the song "City of Stars" from the movie "La La Land", added to a remarkable year by earning Tonys for best score for writing the songs for "Dear Evan Hansen".

"Hello Dolly!" won four Tonys, including best musical revival.

August Wilson's "Jitney", the story of gypsy cab drivers in 1970's Pittsburgh, was named best revival of a play, while "Oslo", a drama about the Oslo Peace Accords, was picked as the best new play in a broadcast that mixed razzle dazzle and politics.

Jones spoke of her many lean years in the business, and thanked her "Nana" for selling her engagement ring so she could come to NY and pursue her dreams.

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics): "Dear Evan Hansen".

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".

The emcee then channels Andy Karl (after moving his cast from his arm to his leg) to parody Groundhog Day, grabs a toy accordion to offer his best Josh Groban in The Great Comet, and even dons a turban a la Sunset Boulevard's Norma Desmond to sing a triumphant "I am host at last!" That said, I can't remember the last time I had more smoke blown up my ass, but there's no more room. "'Hello Dolly!' never really went away...this thing has the ability to lift your spirits in these bad, awful times".

THANKS, NANA-Jones, who won for her complex portrayal of a mom of a troubled teen in "Dear Evan Hansen", gave a shout-out to her grandmother.

Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical: Bette Midler for "Hello, Dolly!". Rachel Bay Jones won her first Tony for her work in the musical, capping a long career onstage with plenty of zigs and zags.

Midler, 71, is all-but-assured of winning her first competitive Tony later on Sunday for her star turn in Hello, Dolly! Still later, Spacey impersonated former President Bill Clinton, joking about Hillary's fake email accounts, and observing, "We already had some surprising winners haven't we?"

Christopher Ashley paid tribute to the people of Newfoundland as he accepted his Tony for best director of a musical.

"I'm Broadway bound", he sings before leading a line of high-kicking dancers in a top hat, a tuxedo and a cane.

The year after "Hamilton" took many prizes, Spacey jokingly pointed out that the subjects on Broadway this season included infidelity, suicide, greed, 9/11 and economic upheaval.

"My victories mean nothing unless I'm sharing them with you", the actor said.

  • Salvatore Jensen