MUMBAI: The 68th Annual Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, well known as the Tony Awards saw firsts for Bryan Crantson and Neil Patrick Harris and a record-breaking win for Audra McDonald. Broadway's biggest night honoured A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder with Best Musical and All the Way for Best Play. Both productions scored four honours each.
The awards show got off to a hoppin' start with Hollywood star Hugh Jackman (X-Men: Days of Future Past) on Sunday in New York. The evening's host entered Radio City Music Hall hopping his way from the city streets, down the aisles and then backstage where he proceeded to meet the cast members from many of today's biggest Broadway shows.
The first award of the night went to Rylance of Twelfth Night for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play. This marked his third Tony after having previously won for Jerusalem and Boeing-Boeing.
Audra McDonald, known on the small screen for Private Practice, won best lead actress in a play for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, marking her sixth Tony and making her the biggest Tony winner of all time. She now tops five-time Tony winners Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris.
All the Way won best play -- and its lead star, Bryan Cranston, who previously won the Golden Globe award and the EMMY award for his portrayal of a high school chemistry teacher with terminal lung cancer in Breaking Bad, snagged his first Tony, taking home best lead actor in a play for playing former President Lyndon B. Johnson in his Broadway debut. The former Breaking Bad star beat Samuel Barnett from Twelfth Night, Chris O'Dowd from Of Mice and Men, Mark Rylance of Richard III and Tony Shalhoub with Act One.
The lead actor in a musical honour went to Harris for his portrayal of a German transsexual in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Harris, well known as the womanizer Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother has won Primetime EMMY Awards, and now he has a Tony to his name. The actor edged out Ramin Karimloo of Les Miserables, Andy Karl from Rocky along with Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham, who both star in A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. Lena Hall of Hedwig and the Angry Inch took home the award for best feature performance by an actress in a musical.
Presenters included Hollywood big shots like Kevin Bacon, Matt Bomer, Wayne Brady, Zach Braff, Kenneth Branagh, Patricia Clarkson, Bradley Cooper, Fran Drescher, Clint Eastwood, Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, Vera Farmiga, Will Ferrell, Tony Goldwyn, Anna Gunn, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Carole King, Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu, Kate Mara, McDonald, Leighton Meester, Alessandro Nivola, Zachary Quinto, Emmy Rossum, Liev Schreiber, Orlando Bloom, Barrett Foa, Jonathan Groff, T.I., Samuel L. Jackson, Judith Light, Rosie O'Donnell and Patrick Wilson.