2014 Tony Awards: Audra McDonald Makes History

Six time Tony award-winner Audra McDonald.  (Photo Credit: Google Images)

Six time Tony award-winner Audra McDonald.
(Photo Credit: Google Images)

Last night at the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall, legendary performer Audra McDonald made history, by winning her sixth Tony Award for her performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. McDonald also became the first person to win in all four performance categories. McDonald beats a record she held with Angela Landsbury and Julie Harris. The record-breaking performer has previously won Tony Awards for The Gershwins’ Porgy and BessA Raisin in the SunRagtimeMaster Class and Carousel

The Tony Awards kicked off with a high octane performance featuring Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Fantasia Barrino and the cast of “After Midnight.”

Ashley Lee of the Hollywood Reporter writes:

“The special number — staged by Warren Carlyle just for the broadcast — featured the musical’s hit numbers ‘On the Sunny Side of the Street’ and ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing,’ plus a ton of tap, jazz and freestyle, as moderated by the the production’s host, Dule Hill. Barrino hit the stage after performing her last show earlier that afternoon. Tonys host Hugh Jackman stepped in to join in on the tap dance, after ringing in the broadcast with a bounce-filled sequence highlighting the season’s new productions, including ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,’ ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,’ ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ and ‘Cabaret,’ among others.”

Other winners include:

Best Revival of a Play 
A Raisin in the Sun

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Sophie Okonedo, A Raisin in the Sun

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
James Monroe Iglehart, Aladdin

Best Sound Design of a Play
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

Best Direction of a Play
Kenny Leon, A Raisin in the Sun

Best Choreography
Warren Carlyle, After Midnight

This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news site The Burton Wire. 

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