August Wilson's play wins Best Revival and more at Tony Awards
Linda Armstrong | 4/12/2011, 5:28 p.m.
"I think that just the culmination of all of these people's talents and their appreciation and their love for August's work made them do the very best that they could do for the production of 'Fences.' Everybody's best work is up there. It is amazing. In fact, my daughter and I saw the show again yesterday afternoon and it's as poignant now as it was when it opened a month ago. I was crying at the end thinking of how August would be sitting in the audience and he would be so proud of Denzel and Viola and the rest of the cast. They are just finding as many different notes and they are singing all his words. I just think he would be over the top."
Michael T remarked, "We feel like the word 'revival' is really right for us because it's like a revival, a revival of seven churches. And it's so good for August. We feel like Broadway could always use a Wilson revival any season, and I know he would love this production. We celebrate August always, so it's fitting that the Tonys should celebrate him too. I think August Wilson's name should have been always in that upper echelon of names as it relates to stage plays, like Tennessee Williams. I think with great men like August Wilson and James Baldwin, the work is timeless."
Sadly, "Fences" will only play at the Cort Theatre on West 48th Street through July 11, and there's no chance of extension because some of the cast already have commitments.
"Fela!"--the original Broadway musical about the life and tragedies that befell Fela Kuti, the creator of the Afro beat--came away with Best Choreography for Bill T. Jones and Best Sound and Costume Design. Jones was thrilled by the award and said that for him, this musical is "very personal."
"Fela's story was important to bring to the stage because, is there any other man out there like that? A man who had a vision for people that was about life and death? He deserves every bit of the acknowledgement he gets. People can learn from him. I know I have," said Jones.
Jones shared that Fela's daughter has asked the company to do the show in Nigeria as part of the 50th anniversary of Nigeria's independence. "Fela!" is playing at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on West 49th Street.
"Memphis" came away with Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Best Orchestration. Playing at the Shubert Theatre, it tells the story of a forbidden love between a white DJ and an up-and-coming Black singer in the '50s, when these relationships were taboo.
The Tony Awards were filled with exciting performances from all the musicals currently playing and those that have closed but were nominated. Other winners at the 64th annual Tony Awards included: "Red" for Best Play, Best Direction, Best Featured Actor, Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design. "American Idiot" won Best Scenic Design for a Musical, and Best Lighting Design for a Musical. "The Royal Family" won Best Costume Design for a Play.
"La Cage Aux Folles" won Best Direction of a Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. "A Little Night Music" won Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, "A View from the Bridge" won Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, "Million Dollar Quartet" received Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical, and "Promises, Promises" received Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.