Tony Awards

It was an excellent night for black actors at the 2013 Tony Awards after five thespians won coveted trophies. Shadow & Act reports their historic wins are only the second time in the history of the Tony Awards that four or more actors have won in a singular night. The first time this happened was in 1982.

The four 2013 winners were Cicely Tyson, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for A Trip to Bountiful; Billy Porter, for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Kinky Boots; Patina Miller, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Pippin; and Courtney B. Vance, for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play Lucky Guy

The fifth winner was Ron Simons, an acclaimed producer. He won the Tony Award for Best Play for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Shadow & Act reports:

Cicely Tyson, who returned to Broadway this season for the first time in 30 years, won her very first Tony Award. It’s also the first time she’s been nominated – so she’s one-for-one.

The same goes for Billy Porter – first time nominee, and win.

Tonight was Courtney B. Vance’s first win, although he’s been nominated twice before. Prior to 2013, he was nominated in 1991 for Six Degrees of Separation (Best Performance by an Actor in a Play), and in 1987 for Fences (Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play).

Patina Miller has been nominated twice, and tonight’s win was her first. Previously, she was nominated in 2011 for her work in Sister Act, in the same category in which she was nominated for this year – Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical.

The other nominees of African descent this year, who didn’t win in their individual categories are:

– Shalita Grant, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike).

– Condola Rashad, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (The Trip to Bountiful).

– Charl Brown, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Motown, the Musical).

– Valisia LeKae, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Motown, the Musical).

– Keala Settle, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Hands on a Hardbody).

– George C. Wolfe, nominated for Best Direction of a Play (Lucky Guy).

This abundance of nominations and wins is a step toward achieving parity in the Broadway world. People of color have a storied history in creating successful Broadway plays, but haven’t often received credit for their works.

There are a handful of producers of color on Broadway and few featured roles for black actresses. Some hope the successful Motown, the Musical run will increase opportunities for people of color. The Wall Street Journal reports the play grossed $1 million opening weekend and similar revenue was generated in subsequent weeks.

Tags: , ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter