2012 Tony Awards: The Winners' Remarks - All the Speeches!
The 2012 Tony Awards, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing and hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, are over. The ceremony was broadcast tonight, June 10, in a live three-hour ceremony from the Beacon Theatre, on the CBS television network.
Below, BroadwayWorld brings you a recap of the winners' remarks. Whether you missed an honoree or just want to re-live the moment, scroll down to read each winner's acceptance speech!
Judith Light, Best Featured Actress in a Play for OTHER DESERT CITIES: "Oh my god, oh my god, thank you so much. I feel like I am the luckiest girl in New York tonight. I get to stand here in front of all of you and thank you and tell you how much I love all of you and this magnificent community. I get to thank the American Theatre Wing, the Tony voters, Lincoln Center Theater, the amazing women I am acknowledged with in this category. I get to thank my beautiful cast, my Stockard, my Stacey, my Beth, my Tommy, I love being out there with you every minute. Our crew, our box office, our understudies, my Charlie, my wonderful designers who helped me create this character, Ivana Chubbuck, Alan Nierob, Jack Yayton, Jason Gutman, Bob Gersh, Jonathan Stoler for your love all these years and your great management. Robert Desiderio, my husband, I love you beyond words and measure. Herb Hamsher, my manager of 34 years, if it were not for you, I would literally not be standing here, you have changed my life - as have all of you. I love you, thank you. Daddy, this is for you!”
Michael McGrath, Best Featured Actor in a Musical for NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT: "Wow. Thank you so very much. I want to start off by thanking my entire NICE WORK family - I look forward to going to work every night and performing with them on the great stage of the Imperial Theatre. It's a thrill for me to be on Broadway, it's what I always wanted to do when I was a kid and I'm getting the chance to do it. There are so many people to thank along the way - it's a list as long as a football field. I want to say thanks to Tommy Brent, who gave me my start. And I want to thank my family, watching up in Worchester, Massachusetts, right now. I want to thank my wife, Toni DiBuono. Just a little foreshadowing: 'Baby, you're the greatest.'"
John Tiffany, Best Direction of a Musical for ONCE: "Whoa. That’s amazing. ONCE is a story about when people believe in each other, they can move on in life and so many people have believed in this project and me doing this. From Glenn Hansard and John Carney allowing us to take their brilliant work and Mel Kenyon who started the ball rolling, the brilliant producers, the most amazing creative team, and we’re so lucky to have the most amazing cast lead by Cristin and Steve from the very beginning. From ART to the New York Theater Workshop to the Shubert Organizations and the Jacobs - but you know, also, there are people that believe in me, and two of them are here tonight,and they give me the strength to keep on keepin’ on and they stay in my life unlike the characters in Once: Vicky Featherstone and Steven Hogarth. My family as well, who gave me the gift of music, I’d just to like acknowledge you with this, thank you."
Mike Nichols, Best Direction of a Play for DEATH OF A SALESMAN: "I'm extremely touched that you did that, but you used up part of my ninety seconds! I've been up here before, not at last year's Tonys, but this was my neighborhood movie theater as a kid. On a Saturday matinee, I once won a neighborhood pie-eating contest. It was nice. But this is nicer. You see before you a happy man. I have to thank Rebecca Miller because she trusted us to do Arthur Miller's greatest play. And I got to do his play and I got to do it with a cast from heaven. I can't talk about them. [Bleeped]. Oh, bleep it out. Let me just say this. It's a great team, a great team of designers, don't you think? These actors do something astonishing. Not only from the first day did they knock it all out, they keep getting better every night, which is not fair. There finally is the play. It gets truer as time goes by. There's not a person in this theatre that doesn't know what it is to be a salesman. And, as we know, a salesman has got to dream. It goes with the territory."
Christian Borle, Best Featured Actor in a Play for PETER AND THE STARCATCHER: "Thank you. It has been my great priviliege to work on PETER AND THE STARCATCHER for the past three years, and I have been racking my brain in figuring out a way to thank everybody in a matter of seconds - including some names and excluding others seems to go against everything that has made this experience so special. So you’re all spared! In keeping with the communal ensemble nature of this beautifully written and brilliantly directed play, I want to thank the entire STARCATCHER family equally - except Kevin Del Aguila, my partner in crime, because even in a prequel, Captain Hook without perfect comic timing. I wouldn’t be here without my incredible teachers in Pittsburgh, and my dear friends - one of my dear friends, Joe Mahoda, has changed my life forever - if he has become the most mentioned agent on network television as of late, it is because he does what he does with class, impeccible taste, and a true love of what we do. Thank you for making this so much fun, I feel very lucky that my sister Caroline and my mother are here tonight. Thank you for making my mom very, very happy for this great honor and this perfect moment in time. Thank you."
Judy Kaye, Best Featured Actress in a Musical for NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT: "I guess chandeliers have been very, very good to me. I want to thank the Tony nominators, all of the Tony voters, thank you so much. I want to thank the audiences across the country I have played before. It's so good to be back on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre and the audiences there have been magnificent. I want to thank everybody associated with NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT: our gorgeous cast, crew, company, the best damn band on Broadway, our creative team. I want to thank Joe DiPietro, Kathleen Marshall, Marty Pakledinaz and especially David Chase for his wonderful arrangements. I want to thank my friend and agent Robert Malcolm, he's been watching over me like a mama cat for years now. On a personal note I want to thank my darling husband, David Greene, who knows the care and feeding of the diva. Thank you for your unwavering love and support. I want to dedicate this to my dad. We lost him last week, and like me he was a lifelong fan of the brilliance of George and Ira Gershwin. Thank you, daddy, and thank you all. Good night.
Alan Menken (Music) and Jack Feldman (Lyrics), Best Score for NEWSIES: Menken: "It’s been such an incredible, improbable journey for NEWSIES. From poor Newsies, the movie that made nothing at the box office, that won us the Razzie for Worst Song of the Year, which we did cut from the show."
Menken: “To this. Jack, we’re kings of New York. We really owe it to, first of all, the generation of kids that adopted this movie and insisted that it be brought to the stage. And then to Walt Disney Theatrical and Tom Schumacher and everybody there who listened to them and produced it birilliantly and helped us bring it to the stage. To Harvey Fierstein, who I feel incomplete without him being up here with us, we love you so much, Harvey. Jeff Calhoun, Chris Gatelli, all the wonderful designers who brough this to the stage. My great music team, guys I love you. We’re going to thank you later. Janice, my love, our cast, my daughters Anna and Nora, who told us we’d win this, and I didn’t believe you. Jack?"
Feldman: “I just want to thank my loving partner, Matthew, I love you. My best buddy Mark Sendroff, my amazing family, our amazing NEWSIES family. When I was around five years old, running around telling everyone I wanted to write Broadway shows, it didn’t really occur to me that it would take 56 years to actually accomplish that. But, it was worth the wait. Look, Ma, a Tony!"
Scott Rudin, Accepting Best Revival of a Play for DEATH OF A SALESMAN: It would be completely obscene to be accepting this without the people behind me. This is the Loman family. They are an extraordinary company. They left their blood on the stage every night at the Barrymore and there would be nothing here without them. And I accept this on behalf of a group of partners over there, who I value enormously and I'm very grateful to. And mostly I want to thank Mike Nichols, who hired me when I was nineteen to be the casting director of ANNIE. That's 34 years ago, it's a life of working together, a wonderful friendship and a wonderful partnership. I think he's done the best work of his life here. All I ever wanted to do was produce plays. When I was a kid, I worked for Kermit Bloomgarden, and at my desk I stared out the windowcard of DEATH OF A SALESMAN and hoped that one day I would produce a play as good as this. I never dreamt that it would be this. Thank you.
Bruce Norris and Jordan Roth, Accepting Best Play for CLYBOURNE PARK: Norris: "Oh, my lord. I’m covered in sweat. I’m completely sweaty. It’s been two-and-a-half years since we first did this play down on 42nd Street and in all that time it took to go eight blocks, which I guess has something to do with Midtown traffic. I’ve made so many friends in regional theaters around this country, and in other theaters around the world, who have worked on this play, and I have to name a few of them: obviously Clarence Horizons and Tim Sanford; Howard Shalwitz at Wooly Mammoth Theater in D.C.; Dominic Cooke at the Royal Court; Mark Taper Forum, André Bishop from Lincoln Center Theater. I also have to thank my father and my sister who are here tonight in the theater...my agent Mary Harden, and my girlfriend, Caroline, and I also have to thank Lorraine Hansberry, who actually built the neighborhood of Clybourne Park. We just moved in and depressed the property values."
Roth: “There are those rare people who look at the world and see things the rest of us don’t see until they show us. These are the writers. There are a special few who can take that and turn it back into a world, these are the directors, the designers. There are fearless beings who can live in that world and show us who we are, those are our actors. They are dedicated people who know why that world matters so very much. Crew, theater staff, producers, investors, managers, marketers, and then there are the people who step forward and say, ‘show me this world. Open, change me.’ These are our audiences. And when all of these people come together and say, ‘yes,’ there is theater. On behalf of all of us at Clybourne Park, Jujamcyn, the Walter Kerr, RedAwning, The Spokes [Agency], Cerino Poyne, O&M, we say ‘thank you’ to everyone who says ‘yes.’”
Jeffrey Richards, Accepting Best Revival of a Musical for THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS: "I want to thank George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward for writing this extraordinary musical work. And I want to thank the Gershwin estate for giving permission for us to do this show and a mission to bring PORGY AND BESS into the 21st century. And we did that because of a visionary director, Diane Paulus, who gave us a great home to incubate this show at the American Repertory Theatre - that's A.R.T. at Harvard - and with her collaborators, Suzan-Lori Parks, Diedre Murray and Ron Brown gave a fierce and passionate PORGY & BESS. We salute Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, Phillip Boykin, David Alan Grier. Thank you for this great honor."
Hugh Jackman, Special Tony Award: Thank you. The Tony Awards Administration Committee, thank you. I feel it is my privilege as to many of you down here - look at that, [spins Tony] that was good - just to appear oin stage every night on Broadway. To get something like this is an embarrasment of riches, I can’t thank you enough. About ten years ago, Jack, Ricky, and Glen who run this show brilliantly asked me to come and host the Tony awards. I thought they were smoking crack at the time. I pretty much told them that, I said, 'Guys, this is pretty much the biggest night of the Broadway community, you want me to host it? I’ve never actually appeared on Broadway. They said, 'Yeah.' I pretty much ignored every instinct I had and said yes and I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. Because the welcome I’ve received, when you receive hospitality, when you don’t expect it, and really when you don’t deserve it, is what you’ll never forget. I’ll never forget my time with you, this theater community. It is something I treasure almost as much as anything. I want to thank you all so much for that. I have an unbelievable team: many people in this room think Hollywood agents don’t care about theater. You guys don’t know Patrick Whitesell, Luke Wilson, and all my other gang that’s helped me. My theatrical team, Roger Fox, Warren Patrick, Heidi, Maggie, all you guys. I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me. But, as I hold this in my hand, there’s something I’ll hold in here, which is the real reason I’m here today, why any of this is possible. Come here, baby [motions to wife]. Why any of this means anything, and that is because my incredible wife and my kids support me. I love you with all my heart. I know how much you hate public speaking, this is probably the greatest thing you’ve ever done for me. Really. It means the world to me. I love you, thank you so much!
Steve Kazee, Best Leading Actor in a Musical for ONCE: "Arthur O'Shaughnessy wrote an ode that 'We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams,' and I would like to thank the American Theatre Wing and the League. Jim Carnahan, for giving me this opportunity. New York Theatre Workshop. Our beautiful creative team: John Tiffany, Enda Walsh, Steven Hoggett, Martin Lowe, Clive Goodwin, Bob Crowley, Natasha Katz, the list goes on and on and on. But most of all I want to say thank you to my cast, and to my beautiful leading lady who has held me up for the past two months. My mother passed on Easter Sunday, and I came back to the show and this cast has carried me around - and made me feel alive - and I will never be able to fully repay them. And they haven't been mentioned here tonight, and I'm telling you that this ensemble and this woman are some of the most talented, wonderful people I've ever worked with in my life. My mother told me once - she always told me to stand up there and show them whose little boy you are. And I'm showing you today that I'm the son of Kathy Withrow Kazee who lost a fight with cancer on Easter Sunday this year, and I miss you every day and I feel you here with me tonight - and I thank you all so much for this award. Thank you."
James Corden, Best Actor in a Musical for ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS: "Stop. Stop. I have to thank - I have to say, John Lithgow, James Earl Jones, Frank Langella, and my favorite actor in the world, Philip Seymour Hoffman, to be on a list with you is enough. And holding this, honestly, it just reminds me that there is no such thing as ‘best.’ Honestly, I am overwhelmed. Sir Nicholas Hytner and Richard Bean and Cal McCrystal, our brilliant cast: Tom Edden, Ollie, and Jemima and Danny and Claire and Suzie and everyone, I share this with them, completely. Our producer, Bob Boyett, who took a huge risk bringing this ridiculously silly play to your city. Your city, the audiences here who have embraced our show, like we never ever imagined they could. Every night is a joy. My agent, Ruth Young and Andrew Whites, Sharon Jackson, John Buzzetti, and Ori at WME. My girlfriend, who - I’m so sorry, this is ridiculous - good, good, it’s good it’s not hot in here, isn’t it? My girlfriend, Julia, gave birth to our son like five days before we started rehearsals, and she’s my baby mama and I can’t wait to marry her. Seriously, I would not be holding this if it wasn’t for her. She made me say, ‘us’ instead of ‘I,’ and ‘we’ instead of ‘me.’ And I love her. Thank you very much!"
Nina Arianda, Best Actress in a Play for VENUS IN FUR: "Aah! Hi. [To presenter Christopher Plummer.] You were my first crush. When that whistle was blowing in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, you made my day. Thank you so much! Oh, this means the world to me. My hands are shaking, sorry. Thank you so much to the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League. I'd like to thank James Calleri for seeing me at NYU grad in THE CLEAN HOUSE, and he stuck by me and brought me in to audition for VENUS IN FUR. To everybody at CSC. To Wes Bentley, who started this downtown with me. Everybody at MTC. To Lynne and Barry and the whole family there. To our wonderful producers: Jon, Scott and Jessica. To the head of our ship, Mr. Walter Bobbie, you have done more for me than you'll ever know, sir, and I thank you so much. To David Ives, who has written I would say one of the strongest female parts that I've ever read and it is an honor to do your play. To an incredible partner and incredible friend and incredible man, Hugh Dancy, thank you so much. To my family and my friends and my parents who are sitting here tonight. [Music.] I might not do this again, hold on - you have done more for me than anybody. I love you so much. I have a week left with Vanda and I'm going to cherish it. Thank you so much."
Audra McDonald, Best Actress in a Musical for THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS: “I was a little girl with a potbelly and afro puffs, hyper-active, and overdramatic. And I found the theater. And I found my home. And I found a place to express myself, and I was so grateful, even at the age of 9. And to think that theater would be so good to me is mind-blowing. I’m so grateful to be a part of this company, Porgy and Bess. Diane Paulus, and Jeffrey, and Rebecca and Jerry, for bringing this show to us. To be in love with Norm Lewis every night, to be raped by Philip Boykin every night, to snort drugs with David Alan Grier every night. And the entire company: they are filled with light, and soul and spirit. They move me. I want to thank my family, I want to thank the man I’m going to marry, Will Swenson, for telling me to do this. I’m so glad I listened to you. I want to thank my Wee Posse of Three. And Zoe, my sweet little girl, I want you to know something: this is an amazing night for Mommy, but February 14th, 2001, the day you were born, it was the best night ever. Never forget that. I love you. Thank you so very much, thank you.”
Frederick Zollo, Accepting Best Musical for ONCE: "Isn't it great? THE BOOK OF MORMON has won it - oh, I guess not. On behalf of Barbara Broccoli, John Hart, Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Michael Wilson, Orin Wolf, the Shuberts, New York Theatre Workshop, A.R.T. and Robert Cole, we thank you for this great honor. WE thank Glen Hansard and Marketa for their great score, we thank John Carney for the film. The creative team you have honored tonight, boy are they good, and how about that company led by Kazee and Milioti and Elizabeth A. Davis. There's a story that Harold Clurman used to tell, and it goes like this: 'Once upon a time in czarist Russia, there was a wealthy family with many children. The mother was very ill and the children were weeping. To comfort them, the nanny gathered them in her arms and told them not to worry. She knew of an elixir, she said, and if you put a drop of the elixir on your tongue you would never be ill and if you drank some you would never die. She said the name of this elixir was the theatre. This story changed the life of one of those children, Constantin Stanislavski. All of us who work in the theatre have drunk from that elixir and our lives have changed. And we're proud to say that once serves it up every night at the Jacobs Theatre and if you'd like, you can wash it down with a cold beer."