Tony Awards 2017: Bette Midler Filibusters, Stephen Colbert Mocks Trump

Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey hosted 71st Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall

Stephen Colbert mocks President Trump at the 71st Tony Awards

Bette Midler won her first competitive Tony Award for best musical actress and gave a literal show-stopping acceptance speech for the honor. "Will you shut that crap off?" the Hello, Dolly! star quipped. The 71st annual Tony Awards took place Sunday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. 


"I'd like to thank all the Tony voters, many of whom I’ve actually dated," Midler cracked. The last time Midler was recognized at the Tony Awards was over 40 years ago when she won a special Tony Award in 1974, not long after she began her career on Broadway in the 1967 production of "Fiddler on the Roof." 

Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers wrote in his Hello Dolly review, "Midler brings all her gifts – showgirl, chanteuse, clown and heartbreaker. With warmth, delicacy and feeling, she finds the core of a character who is nowhere near as confident as the showstopper she's playing."


Hello Dolly also won the Tony for Best Musical Revival, which was announced by the night's other humorous high point, late-night host Stephen Colbert. The Late Show host couldn't resist a jab at President Trump while announcing the nominees.

"It's been a great year for revivals in general, especially that one they revived down in Washington, D.C.," said The Late Show host. "It started off-Broadway in the Eighties. Way off Broadway, over on 5th Avenue, huge production values. A couple of problems: the main character is totally unbelievable, and the hair and makeup: yeesh. This D.C. production is supposed to have a four-year run, but reviews have not been kind. Could close early. We don't know, we don't know. Best of luck to everyone involved."

Colbert's remarks were among the few political asides during the awards show. The host, two-time Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey, aimed the evening's jokes at himself rather than at Washington. He did impressions of Johnny Carson and Bill Clinton. He also comically wore an arm cast (a nod to the title character in Dear Evan Hansen).

Dear Evan Hansen was the evening's big winner. The quirky off-Broadway production about a young man struggling with social anxiety won the evening's marquee award for Best Musical. 

"To all young people watching at home, don’t waste any time trying to be like anybody but yourself, because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful," said 23-year-old actor Ben Platt in his moving acceptance speech. Platt won the Tony for best actor in a musical, which was one of six total wins for Dear Evan Hansen. The night's full list of winners is below.

Best Play:
"Oslo" (WINNER)
"A Doll's House, Part 2"
"Indecent"
"Sweat"

Best Musical:
"Dear Evan Hansen" (WINNER)
"Come From Away"
"Groundhog Day The Musical"
"Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"

Best Book of a Musical:
"Dear Evan Hansen" — Steven Levenson (WINNER)
"Come From Away" — Irene Sankoff and David Hein
"Groundhog Day The Musical" — Danny Rubin
"Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" — Dave Malloy

Best Original Score:
"Dear Evan Hansen" — Music & Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (WINNER)
"Come From Away" — Music & Lyrics: Irene Sankoff and David Hein
"Groundhog Day The Musical" — Music & Lyrics: Tim Minchin
"Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" — Music & Lyrics: Dave Malloy

Best Revival of a Play:
"August Wilson's Jitney" (WINNER)
"Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes"
"Present Laughter"
"Six Degrees of Separation"

Best Revival of a Musical:
"Hello, Dolly!" (WINNER)
"Falsettos"
"Miss Saigon"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play:
Kevin Kline, "Present Laughter" (WINNER)
Denis Arndt, "Heisenberg"
Chris Cooper, "A Doll's House, Part 2"
Corey Hawkins, "Six Degrees of Separation"
Jefferson Mays, "Oslo"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play:
Laurie Metcalf, "A Doll's House, Part 2" (WINNER)
Cate Blanchett, "The Present"
Jennifer Ehle, "Oslo"
Sally Field, "The Glass Menagerie"
Laura Linney, "Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical:
Ben Platt, "Dear Evan Hansen"(WINNER)
Christian Borle, "Falsettos"
Josh Groban, "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"
Andy Karl, "Groundhog Day The Musical"
David Hyde Pierce, "Hello, Dolly!"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical:
Bette Midler, "Hello, Dolly!" (WINNER)
Denee Benton, "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"
Christine Ebersole, "War Paint"
Patti LuPone, "War Paint"
Eva Noblezada, "Miss Saigon"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play:
Michael Aronov, "Oslo" (WINNER)
Danny DeVito, "Arthur Miller's The Price"
Nathan Lane, "The Front Page"
Richard Thomas, "Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes"
John Douglas Thompson, "August Wilson's Jitney"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play:
Cynthia Nixon, "Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes" (WINNER)
Johanna Day, "Sweat"
Jayne Houdyshell, "A Doll's House, Part 2"
Condola Rashad, "A Doll's House, Part 2"
Michelle Wilson, "Sweat"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical:
Gavin Creel, "Hello, Dolly!" (WINNER)
Mike Faist, "Dear Evan Hansen"
Andrew Rannells, "Falsettos"
Lucas Steele, "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"
Brandon Uranowitz, "Falsettos"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical:
Rachel Bay Jones, "Dear Evan Hansen" (WINNER)
Kate Baldwin, "Hello, Dolly!"
Stephanie J. Block, "Falsettos"
Jenn Colella, "Come From Away"
Mary Beth Peil, "Anastasia"

Best Scenic Design of a Play:
Nigel Hook, "The Play That Goes Wrong" (WINNER)
David Gallo, "August Wilson's Jitney"
Douglas W. Schmidt, "The Front Page"
Michael Yeargan, "Oslo"

Best Scenic Design of a Musical:
Mimi Lien, "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" (WINNER)
Rob Howell, "Groundhog Day The Musical"
David Korins, "War Paint"
Santo Loquasto, "Hello, Dolly!"

Best Costume Design of a Play:
Jane Greenwood, "Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes" (WINNER)
Susan Hilferty, "Present Laughter"
Toni-Leslie James, "August Wilson's Jitney"
David Zinn, "A Doll's House, Part 2"

Best Costume Design of a Musical:
Santo Loquasto, "Hello, Dolly!" (WINNER)
Linda Cho, "Anastasia"
Paloma Young, "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"
Catherine Zuber, "War Paint"

Best Lighting Design of a Play:
Christopher Akerlind, "Indecent" (WINNER)
Jane Cox, "August Wilson's Jitney"
Donald Holder, "Oslo"
Jennifer Tipton, "A Doll's House, Part 2"

Best Lighting Design of a Musical:
Bradley King, "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" (WINNER)
Howell Binkley, "Come From Away"
Natasha Katz, "Hello, Dolly!"
Japhy Weideman, "Dear Evan Hansen"

Best Direction of a Play:
Rebecca Taichman, "Indecent" (WINNER)
Sam Gold, "A Doll's House, Part 2"
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, "August Wilson's Jitney"
Bartlett Sher, "Oslo"
Daniel Sullivan, "Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes"

Best Direction of a Musical:
Christopher Ashley, "Come From Away" (WINNER)
Rachel Chavkin, "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"
Michael Greif, "Dear Evan Hansen"
Matthew Warchus, "Groundhog Day The Musical"
Jerry Zaks, "Hello, Dolly!"

Best Choreography:
Andy Blankenbuehler, "Bandstand" (WINNER)
Peter Darling and Ellen Kane, "Groundhog Day The Musical"
Kelly Devine, "Come From Away"
Denis Jones, "Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical"
Sam Pinkleton, "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"

Best Orchestrations:
Alex Lacamoire, "Dear Evan Hansen" (WINNER)
Bill Elliott and Greg Anthony Rassen, "Bandstand"
Larry Hochman, "Hello, Dolly!"
Dave Malloy, "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"