BY Advocate.com Editors
June 10 2003 12:00 AM ET
2003 Tonys: As gay as it gets
The 57th Tony Awards show was a big night for gays on Broadway, with top honors going to gay-themed productions and artists relishing the openness that has marked this theatrical season. The Best Play award went to Take Me Out, a drama about a star baseball player revealing that he is gay, and Best Musical honors went to Hairspray, whose leading actor, Harvey Fierstein, plays the gravel-voiced mother of the heroine in drag.
Many of the Tony winners rode a wave of awards-night euphoria Sunday to unabashedly address their gayness or to comment on the phenomenon to the Radio City Music Hall crowd. The issue was raised early in the broadcast, hosted by X-Men star Hugh Jackman, when Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, partners in both songwriting and romance, stepped up to receive the Tony for best original score for Hairspray. "We're not allowed to get married, but I want to declare I love you and I'd like to live with you the rest of my life," said Shaiman, who then kissed Wittman. Joe Mantello, who won the Tony for his direction of Take Me Out, said, "I think I just saw two guys kiss on CBS, which is cool." Denis O'Hare, honored as best featured actor for his comic portrayal of a gay accountant suddenly enamored of baseball in Take Me Out, said later: "It's Gay Night out there. It's amazing."
Theater has long been an accepting and nurturing environment for gays, and many in the parade of Tony winners took note. Fierstein, who became a hero among gays after writing and starring in the gay-themed play Torch Song Trilogy to earn two Tonys 20 years ago, said he felt honored to work with all the caring people in the theater world. "I want to have your babies," the Hairspray star joked in accepting his award for best lead performance in a musical.
Here is a complete list of winners of the 57th annual Tony Awards:
Best Musical: Hairspray
Best Play: Take Me Out
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical: Harvey Fierstein, Hairspray
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical: Marissa Jaret Winokur, Hairspray
Best Revival of a Musical: Nine the Musical
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play: Vanessa Redgrave, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play: Brian Dennehy, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Best Revival of a Play: Long Day's Journey Into Night
Best Direction of a Musical: Jack O'Brien, Hairspray
Best Special Theatrical Event: Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on Broadway
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical: Jane Krakowski, Nine the Musical
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical: Dick Latessa, Hairspray
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play: Michele Pawk, Hollywood Arms
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play: Denis O'Hare, Take Me Out
Best Direction of a Play: Joe Mantello, Take Me Out
Best Choreography: Twyla Tharp, Movin' Out
Best Original Score: Scott Whittman, Marc Shaiman, Hairspray
Best Book of a Musical: Thomas Meehan, Mark O'Donnell, Hairspray
Best Scenic Design: Catherine Martin, La Bohème
Best Costume Design: William Ivey Long, Hairspray
Best Lighting Design: Nigel Levings, La Bohème
Best Orchestrations: Stuart Malina, Billy Joel, Movin' Out
Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre: Cy Feuer
Regional Theatre Tony Award: The Children's Theatre Company
Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre: The principal ensemble of La Bohème; Paul Huntley; Johnson-Liff Casting Associates; The Acting Company
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