"Dear Evan Hansen" was the big winner at the 2017 Tony Awards, broadcast live from New York's Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, walking off with awards for best musical and lead actor as well as actress nods for Ben Platt and Rachel Bay Jones.
"Dear Evan Hansen" finished with six out of its nine nominations, including best musical. "Hello, Dolly!" captured four of its 10 nods, including best revival. "Oslo" took home best play honors, while August Wilson's "Jitney" took home best revival of a play.
James Earl Jones received a special Tony for lifetime achievement in the theatre. “So this is a big deal, huh?” he said, before thanking his father for opening the door to his world and his work.
Spacey, using his singing chops to spoof the fact he was not the Tony’s first choice to host, sang, “I know they loved James Corden, but I came to play.” Stephen Colbert made an appearance to cheer Spacey on. “Never give up hope,” he said to Spacey, going on to call the Tony host, ”truly an American beauty.”
Spacey wrapped up the opening number by tap dancing his way into the crowd's heart.
Scarlett Johansson was up next to announce the featured actor in a play award. It went to Michael Aronov for his role in "Oslo" and not to fan favorite and first-time Tony nominee Danny DeVito. DeVito, 72, made his Broadway debut in "The Price."
Broadway veteran Cynthia Nixon picked up her second Tony award for featured actress for her role in Lillian Hellman’s "The Little Foxes." Nixon thanked Laura Linney and fellow cast members before getting political.
“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,'” Nixon said during her acceptance speech, "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. Thank you.”
John Legend and Cynthia Erivo announced best score winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for their work on "Dear Evan Hansen." If their names sound familiar, it’s because they were recently awarded the Oscar for their work in "La La Land."
First-time Tony nominee Ben Platt won for best actor in a musical for his role in "Dear Evan Hansen." ”Holy crap! This is a Tony! Hello!” amazed the 23-year-old star, thanking his cast, his parents, and his physical therapist.
“The things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful,” Platt concluded his acceptance speech to thunderous applause.
Bette Midler won for best leading actress in a musical for her portrayal of Dolly Gallagher Levi in "Hello, Dolly!" giving an incredibly long acceptance speech in which she thanked everyone, including "all the Tony voters, many of whom I actually dated."
Her speech was eventually interrupted by music but a determined Midler shouted playfully, “Shut that crap off!”
Here's the complete list of Tony winners:
BEST PLAY Oslo
BEST MUSICAL Dear Evan Hansen
BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY August Wilson's Jitney
BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL Hello, Dolly!
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY Kevin Kline for Present Laughter
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY Laurie Metcalf for A Doll's House, Part 2
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL Ben Platt for Dear Evan Hansen
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL Bette Midler for Hello, Dolly!
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY Michael Aronov for Oslo
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY Cynthia Nixon for Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL Gavin Creel for Hello, Dolly!
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL Rachel Bay Jones for Dear Evan Hansen
BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL Steven Levenson for Dear Evan Hansen
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE Dear Evan Hansen Music & Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY Nigel Hook for The Play That Goes Wrong
BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL Mimi Lien for Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY Jane Greenwood for Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL Santo Loquasto for Hello, Dolly!
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY Christopher Akerlind for Indecent
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL Bradley King for Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY Rebecca Taichman for Indecent
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL Christopher Ashley for Come from Away
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY Andy Blankenbuehler for Bandstand