BDBB: The Black Dance and Broadway Blog

Covering black professionals and professional productions in the dance and theater worlds, plus general arts news

Theater: Black Actors Win Big at 2014 Tony Awards

Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva, Courtesy "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill"

Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva, Courtesy “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill”

Black actors and theater professionals enjoyed a big night at the 2014 Tony Awards.  The Tony Awards recognize the best performances and productions on Broadway.

Topping the list was Audra McDonald who made Tony history by winning her sixth Tony Award. McDonald, who won for her performance as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” not only broke a record for the actress to win the most Tony Awards, but she also became the first actress to win in all four acting categories.

Courtesy Disney Theatricals

Courtesy Disney Theatricals

James Monroe Iglehart, who plays the genial genie in Disney’s Broadway adaptation of “Aladdin” won the Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

Photo by Bridgette Lacombe, courtesy A Raisin in the Sun.

Photo by Bridgette Lacombe, courtesy A Raisin in the Sun.

The Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” accounted for the other Tony Awards going to blacks in theater. The production, which stars Denzel Washington, won for Best Revival of a Play. Kenny Leon won for Best Director of a Play and Sophie Okonedo won for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

 

The history-making win by McDonald has, not surprisingly, gained considerable notice, including this New York Times story which chronicled her trajectory in the theater world from ingenue to her current triumph.

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/how-audra-mcdonald-won-six-tony-awards/?action=click&contentCollection=Theater&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=article

 

The Times article noted that its reviewer Ben Brantley, in a 2003 review, said of McDonald, “she can play pretty much anything.”

Hear, hear.

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