The 71st Annual Tony Awards were held on June 11, 2017, to recognize achievement in Broadway productions during the 2016–17 season. The ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and was broadcast live by CBS. Kevin Spacey served as host.
The musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 led the nominations with 12, while the play with the most nominations was A Doll's House, Part 2, with eight. At the ceremony, Dear Evan Hansen won six awards, including Best Musical, becoming the production with the most wins of the season. The Bette Midler-led revival of Hello, Dolly! won four awards, and The Great Comet won two. The productions of plays The Little Foxes, Indecent, and Oslo each won two awards. The ceremony received mixed reviews.
|71st Tony Awards|
|Date||June 11, 2017|
|Location||Radio City Music Hall, Manhattan, New York City|
|Hosted by||Kevin Spacey|
|Most awards||Dear Evan Hansen (6)|
|Most nominations||Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (12)|
Shows that opened on Broadway during the 2016–2017 season before April 27, 2017 were eligible for consideration.
The musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 garnered 12 nominations, becoming the most-nominated show of the season. The revival of Hello, Dolly! earned 10 nominations, the musical Dear Evan Hansen earned nine, and the new play A Doll's House, Part 2 earned eight. New musicals Come from Away and Groundhog Day each earned seven nominations, as did the new play Oslo.
The annual Meet the Nominees Press Reception took place on May 3, 2017, at the Sofitel New York Hotel. The annual Nominees Luncheon took place on May 23, 2017, at the Rainbow Room. A cocktail party was held on June 5, 2017, at the Sofitel New York Hotel to celebrate the season's Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre and Special Award recipients.
The 2017 Tony Honors for Excellence were awarded to general managers Nina Lannan and Alan Wasser. Actor James Earl Jones received the season's Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. The 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Award was awarded to Baayork Lee, "for her commitment to future generations of artists through her work with the National Asian Artists Project and theatre education programs around the world." A special Tony Award for Sound Design  was awarded to Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin for The Encounter, following the removal of the competitive sound design awards in 2014.
|Best Play ‡||Best Musical ‡|
|Best Revival of a Play ‡||Best Revival of a Musical ‡|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play||Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play||Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical||Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical|
|Best Book of a Musical||Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre|
|Best Scenic Design of a Play||Best Scenic Design of a Musical|
|Best Costume Design of a Play||Best Costume Design of a Musical|
|Best Lighting Design of a Play||Best Lighting Design of a Musical|
|Best Direction of a Play||Best Direction of a Musical|
|Best Choreography||Best Orchestrations|
∞ This marks Greenwood's 21st Tony Award nomination and first competitive win.
‡ The award is presented to the producer(s) of the musical or play.
|Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812||12||2|
|Dear Evan Hansen||9||6|
|A Doll's House, Part 2||8||1|
|Come from Away||7||1|
|The Little Foxes||6||2|
|The Front Page||2||0|
|Six Degrees of Separation||2||0|
|The Glass Menagerie||1||0|
|The Play That Goes Wrong||1||1|
The show received a mixed reception from media publications. On Metacritic, the ceremony has a weighted average score of 53 out of 100, based on 6 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". The Hollywood Reporter columnist David Rooney remarked, "Spacey is a brilliant actor, but warmth and humility are perhaps not his strongest suits. So opening on the defensive, with a messy mashup of songs from current-season musicals that he repurposed to head off any eventual criticism of his hosting performance, started the show on a strained note." The New York Times theatre critic Neil Genzlinger commented, "Sunday night’s broadcast of Broadway’s annual celebration of itself had trouble figuring out what to do with Kevin Spacey, the evening’s host, making use of him in ways that ranged from torturous (the opening number) to tolerable (he does pretty good Johnny Carson and Bill Clinton impressions). It fared far better when it was about the work being honored and the people who did it." Cynthia Littleton from Variety wrote, "The biggest shortcoming was host Kevin Spacey, who just didn’t deliver the same kind of engaging effort as his recent predecessors. The contrast was especially sharp against last year’s emcee."
The Guardian columnist Alexis Soloski wrote, "The House of Cards actor offered outdated Johnny Carson impressions, a Bobby Darin number and a misfiring gag about Hillary Clinton’s emails on a night of occasional shock and unforgivable schtick." IndieWire theatre critic Charles Isherwood commented, "Full of allusions to previous hosts (Neil Patrick Harris, James Corden, Hugh Jackman), it seemed to drag on forever — and was not particularly enlivened by guest appearances by Stephen Colbert and Whoopi Goldberg. Perhaps funny to those in the know, it could only have been mystifying to a wider audience." In addition, television critic Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times remarked, "Kevin Spacey was the somewhat surprising — though certainly not unqualified — host of the 71st running of the Broadway theater-honoring Tony Awards, broadcast Sunday night from New York’s Radio City Music Hall."
The ceremony averaged a Nielsen 4.7 ratings/11 share, and was watched by 6 million viewers. The ratings was a 31 percent decrease from previous ceremony's viewership of 8.7 million, becoming the lowest since 2012.
Broadway actors Justin Guarini, Kevin Smith Kirkwood, Okieriete Onaodowan, David Abeles, and Chuck Cooper performed Boyz II Men's "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" as images of theatre personalities who died in the past year were shown in the following order.
Come from Away is a musical with book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. It is set in the week following the September 11 attacks and tells the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon. The characters in the musical are based on (and in most cases share the names of) real Gander residents as well as some of the 7,000 stranded travelers they housed and fed.
The musical has been received by audiences and critics as a cathartic reminder of the capacity for human kindness in even the darkest of times and the triumph of humanity over hate.After being workshopped in 2012 and first produced at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario in 2013, it went on to have record-breaking runs at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California and the Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2015, at the Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., and the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto in 2016. It opened on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on March 12, 2017, and became a critical and box office success, routinely playing to standing-room-only audiences even during previews. In October 2018 it became the longest-running Canadian musical in Broadway history, surpassing The Drowsy Chaperone's previous record of 674 performances.Baz Bamigboye announced on Twitter on June 7, 2018 that a London production of Come from Away would be coming in February 2019. He said that the show would first premiere in The Abbey Theatre in Dublin in December and then would transfer to The Phoenix Theatre. He also stated that an official announcement would come on Canada Day.
At the 71st Tony Awards, it was nominated for seven awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Jenn Colella, ultimately winning for Best Direction of a Musical for Christopher Ashley.Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen is a stage musical with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and book by Steven Levenson.The musical opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre in December 2016, after its world premiere at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., in July 2015 and an Off-Broadway production at Second Stage Theatre from March to May 2016.
At the 71st Tony Awards, it was nominated for nine awards, winning six, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Actor in a Musical for Ben Platt, and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Rachel Bay Jones.Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey Fowler (born July 26, 1959) is an American actor, producer, and singer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s before obtaining supporting roles in film and television. He gained critical acclaim in the 1990s that culminated in his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the neo-noir crime thriller The Usual Suspects (1995) and an Academy Award for Best Actor for the midlife crisis-themed drama American Beauty (1999).
His other starring roles have included the comedy-drama film Swimming with Sharks (1994), the psychological thriller Seven (1995), the neo-noir crime film L.A. Confidential (1997), the drama Pay It Forward (2000), the science fiction-mystery film K-PAX (2001), the musical biopic Beyond the Sea (2004), the superhero film Superman Returns (2006), and the action film Baby Driver (2017).
In Broadway theatre, Spacey won a Tony Award in 1991 for his role in Lost in Yonkers. In 2017, he hosted the 71st Tony Awards. He was the artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London from 2004 until stepping down in mid-2015. From 2013 to 2017, Spacey played Frank Underwood in the Netflix political drama series House of Cards. The role won him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama and two consecutive Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.
In October 2017, Spacey was accused by actor Anthony Rapp of making a sexual advance toward him when Rapp was 14. Shortly after, numerous other men alleged that Spacey had sexually harassed or assaulted them. As a result, Netflix cut ties with him, shelved his film Gore and removed him from the last season of House of Cards. His scenes in Ridley Scott's film All the Money in the World (2017) were reshot with actor Christopher Plummer replacing his role. The next year, Spacey appeared in Billionaire Boys Club with his role unchanged.
In December 2018, he was charged with indecent assault and battery in relation to journalist Heather Unruh's accusation that he sexually assaulted her 18-year-old son.Oslo (play)
Oslo is a Tony award-winning play by J. T. Rogers, recounting (in dramatized, partially fictional form) the true-life, previously secret, back-channel negotiations in the development of the pivotal 1990s Oslo Peace Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The play premiered Off-Broadway in June 2016 and then transferred to Broadway in April 2017.In May 2017, Oslo won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play, the 2017 Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Play, and two 2017 Obie Awards, one for Best New American Theater Work and the other an Ensemble Award (shared by the director and the entire Off-Broadway cast).At the 71st Tony Awards, Oslo won the Tony Award for Best Play and Best Featured Actor in a Play award for Michael Aronov. It also won the 2017 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play and the 2016-2017 New York Drama Critics' Circle award for Best Play – for a sweep of the 2016-2017 awards season.Rachel Chavkin
Rachel Chavkin is an American stage director, best known for directing the musical Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award.Regional Theatre Tony Award
The Regional Theatre Tony Award is a special non-competitive Tony Award given annually to a regional theatre company in the United States.Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award. The awards are named after Antoinette "Tony" Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.
The rules for the Tony Awards are set forth in the official document "Rules and Regulations of The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards", which applies for that season only. The Tony Awards are considered the highest U.S. theatre honor, the New York theatre industry's equivalent to the Academy Awards (Oscars) for film, the Emmy Awards for television, and the Grammy Awards for music. It also forms the fourth spoke in the EGOT, that is, someone who has won all four awards. The Tony Awards are also considered the equivalent of the Laurence Olivier Awards in the United Kingdom and the Molière Awards in France.
From 1997 to 2010, the Tony Awards ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in June and broadcast live on CBS television, except in 1999, when it was held at the Gershwin Theatre. In 2011 and 2012, the ceremony was held at the Beacon Theatre. From 2013 to 2015, the 67th, 68th, and 69th ceremonies returned to Radio City Music Hall. The 70th Tony Awards was held on June 12, 2016 at the Beacon Theatre. The 71st Tony Awards and 72nd Tony Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in 2017 and 2018, respectively.Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
The Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical is awarded to librettists of the spoken, non-sung dialogue, and storyline of a musical play. Eligibility is restricted to works with original narrative framework; plotless revues and revivals are ineligible. This award was originally called the Tony Award for Best Author, until musicals were split off from dramas.Tony Award for Best Choreography
The Tony Award for Best Choreography is awarded to acknowledge the contributions of choreographers in both musicals and plays. The award has been given since 1947, but nominees were not announced until 1956.Tony Award for Best Costume Design in a Musical
This is a list of winners and nominations for the Tony Award for Best Costume Design in a Musical for outstanding costume design of a musical. The award was first presented in 1961 after the category of Best Costume Design was divided into Costume Design in a Play and Costume Design in a Musical with each genre receiving its own award.Tony Award for Best Costume Design in a Play
Tony Award for Best Costume Design in a Play is an award for outstanding costume design of a play. The award was first presented in 1961 after the category of Best Costume Design was divided into Costume Design in a Play and Costume Design in a Musical with each genre receiving its own award.Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical
This is a list of winners and nominations for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. Prior to 1960, category for direction included plays and musicals.Tony Award for Best Lighting Design in a Musical
Tony Award for Best Lighting Design in a Musical is an award for outstanding Lighting design of a musical. The award was first presented in 2005 after the category of Best Lighting Design was divided into Lighting Design in a Play and Lighting Design in a Musical with each genre receiving its own award.Tony Award for Best Lighting Design in a Play
This is a list of winners and nominations for the Tony Award for Best Lighting Design in a Play for outstanding Lighting design of a play. The award was first presented in 2005 after the category of Best Lighting Design was divided into Lighting Design in a Play and Lighting Design in a Musical with each genre receiving its own award.Tony Award for Best Orchestrations
The Tony Award for Best Orchestrations is awarded to acknowledge the contributions of musical orchestrators in both musicals and plays. The award has been given since 1997.Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical
The Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical has been awarded since 1994. Before that time, both plays and musicals were considered together for the Tony Award for Best Revival. The award is given to the best musical play which has already appeared on Broadway in a previous production, or is regarded as being in the common theatrical repertoire. The award goes to the producers of the musical. Like Best Musical, songs from the musicals that are nominated for this award are usually performed during the ceremony before this award is presented.Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play
The Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play has only been awarded since 1994. Prior to that, plays and musicals were considered together for the Tony Award for Best Revival. The award is given to the best non-musical play that has appeared on Broadway in a previous production. The award goes to the producers of the play.Tony Award for Best Scenic Design in a Musical
Tony Award for Best Scenic Design in a Musical is an award for outstanding set design of a musical. The award was first presented in 1960 after the category of Best Scenic Design was divided into Scenic Design in a Play and Scenic Design in a Musical with each genre receiving its own award.Tony Award for Best Scenic Design in a Play
Tony Award for Best Scenic Design in a Play is an award for outstanding set design of a play. The award was first presented in 1960 after the category of Best Scenic Design was divided into Scenic Design in a Play and Scenic Design in a Musical with each genre receiving its own award.