NEW YORK (Reuters) – Andrew Garfield, Laurie Metcalf and Nathan Lane won Tony Awards on Sunday while rocker Bruce Springsteen and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber were lauded with special prizes at the annual ceremony honoring the best of Broadway theater.
Garfield won best actor in a play for his acclaimed performance in the “Angels in America” revival, a monumental two-part drama about AIDS during the Reagan years which went into Sunday’s ceremony with 11 nominations, the most for a play in Broadway history.
Lane won his third Tony award for his “Angels in America” performance as closeted conservative lawyer Roy Cohn, who died of AIDS.
Praising playwright Tony Kushner, an emotional Lane said, “Tony wrote one of the greatest plays of the 20th century, and it is still speaking to us as powerfully as ever in the midst of such political insanity.”
Metcalf won for the revival of Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women,” playing opposite Glenda Jackson as a younger version of Jackson’s imperious character.
Springsteen, whose show started as a limited 8-week run in October 2017 will play for 236 performances before year’s end, said appearing on Broadway has been “one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced.”
The rocker received his special Tony at the 72nd annual awards from fellow musician Billy Joel at a gala ceremony at Radio City Music Hall hosted by singer-songriter-actors Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles.
Actor, writer and comedian John Leguizamo also received a special Tony for his one-man show, “Latin History for Morons,” also nominated for best play.
The Tonys capped another record year on Broadway with $1.7 billion in box office receipts, despite the smallest number of new productions in 20 years.
Armed with rave reviews and a fervent fan base, the two-part “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” was the favorite for best play and picked up a handful of technical awards early on.
The play, about the grown wizard’s troubled relationship with his teen-aged son, has 10 nominations and at $69 million was the most expensive play in Broadway history.
In a David and Goliath scenario, the relatively modest musical “The Band’s Visit,” about Egyptian musicians stranded in a small Israeli town, was expected to triumph over splashy crowd-pleasers “SpongeBob SquarePants,” Disney’s “Frozen” and Tina Fey’s adaptation of her hit comedy film “Mean Girls.”
“The Band’s Visit” won four early awards including best book of a musical.
Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Sandra Maler