“The Band’s Visit” swept the Tony Awards Sunday night, taking home the big prize for best musical, as well as best director, best score and the two leading acting awards for a total of 10 Tonys.
“I care about this show so deeply. It’s like someone telling you your child is cute,” lead producer Orin Wolf said in the press room. “It’s also this moment where ‘The Band’s Visit’ may have a moment to reach out and extend its reach.”
Close behind was “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which won the Tony Award for Best Play, as well as creative awards including best costume design, best sound design and best set design for a play.
The big wins were largely expected by critics and the theater community, but the race for best revival of a musical was less assured, ultimately coming out in favor of “Once on This Island.” At the awards show itself, hosted by Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles at Radio City Music Hall, surprises included several expletives lobbied at President Donald Trump by Robert De Niro and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” director John Tiffany leading the audience in a rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
In terms of the awards, “The Band’s Visit’s” dominance also led to some unexpected wins Sunday night, including the musical winning best book over the oft predicted Tina Fey of “Mean Girls” and the best featured actor award going to Ar’iel Stachel.
After the show, Tony Shalhoub, the winner of best actor in a musical, was also finding it hard to believe he had won.
“If you’re anything like me, I imagine you have a lot of questions,” Shalhoub said to the press room. “What happened, how it happened, and why have I not done a musical before?”
Shalhoub has left the show, but Wolf announced in the press room that Israeli actor Sasson Gabay, who played the role in the film the musical is based on, would take over the role beginning June 26.
The wins came after “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Mean Girls” led the nominations list, garnering 12 nominations each at the beginning of May. “SpongeBob” ultimately took home one award and “Mean Girls“ did not take home any.
“The Band’s Visit,” which most critics predicted to win best musical, received 11 Tony Award nominations this season, as did “Angels in America” and “Carousel.” It was not eligible for many other award shows this season, but garnered several last year, having premiered off-Broadway in December 2016.
Full list of winners:
Best Musical: “The Band’s Visit”
Best Play: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
Best Revival of a Musical: “Once on This Island”
Best Revival of a Play: “Angels in America”
Best Book of a Musical: “The Band’s Visit,” Itamar Moses
Best Original Score: “The Band’s Visit,” Music and Lyrics: David Yazbek
Best Leading Actor in a Play: Andrew Garfield, “Angels in America”
Best Leading Actress in a Play: Glenda Jackson, “Three Tall Women”
Best Leading Actor in a Musical: Tony Shalhoub, “The Band’s Visit”
Best Leading Actress in a Musical: Katrina Lenk, “The Band’s Visit”
Best Featured Actor in a Play: Nathan Lane, “Angels in America”
Best Featured Actress in a Play: Laurie Metcalf, “Three Tall Women”
Best Featured Actor in a Musical: Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit”
Best Featured Actress in a Musical: Lindsay Mendez, “Carousel”
Best Scenic Design of a Play: Christine Jones, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
Best Scenic Design of a Musical: David Zinn, “SpongeBob SquarePants”
Best Costume Design of a Play: Katrina Lindsay, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
Best Costume Design of a Musical: Catherine Zuber, “My Fair Lady”
Best Lighting Design of a Play: Neil Austin, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Tyler Micoleau, “The Band’s Visit”
Best Direction of a Play: John Tiffany, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
Best Direction of a Musical: David Cromer, “The Band’s Visit”
Best Choreography: Justin Peck, “Carousel”
Best Orchestrations: Jamshied Sharifi, “The Band’s Visit”
Best Sound Design in a Play: Gareth Fry, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
Best Sound Design in a Musical: Kai Harada, “The Band’s Visit”