Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Dear Evan Hansen wins best musical at 2017 Tony Awards

Best musical went to Dear Evan Hansen, a musical about anxiety disorder and coming of age in the internet era.

He also mimicked Bill Clinton during the 71st annual Broadway awards at New York City's Radio City Music Hall on Sunday. Previous host Whoopi Goldberg and talk-show host Stephen Colbert appeared in the number to give him pep talks, and Billy Crystal appeared via tape, telling him, "The right host has to be charming and amusing".

Host Kevin Spacey managed to portray two USA leaders in one telecast - former president Bill Clinton and Frank Underwood, the fictional president he plays on Netflix's political thriller "House of Cards".

However, the focus of the evening was not on the host, but instead on the actors and actresses themselves, who not only performed but won big.

Similarly, Ben Platt's painful and raw depiction of teenage loneliness in today's world has been praised by every and anyone, even critics, like Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair, who found Platt to be the one redeeming part of a "shallow" and "cynical" show.

The musical "Dear Evan Hansen", about a boy who gets caught up in a lie after the death of a classmate, was awarded Best New Musical. The performance effectively transported the audience to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, where 38 planes and their 6,500 passengers were redirected after the awful attacks of September 11th. "Don't waste any time trying to be anyone but yourself because the things that make you odd are what make you powerful.thank you", Platt said in his acceptance speech, speaking directly to the young people. Clearly, the most respected Broadway musical that went home with the most awards was Dear Evan Hansen, and Hello Dolly!, Oslo, and specific actors and actresses also stood out.

Meanwhile, the much-hyped revival of Hello, Dolly! won Best Revival of a Musical; Best Actress in a Musical for its star, Bette Midler; and Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Broadway veteran Gavin Creel. Colbert also brought his usual political flair to the stage, referencing the way that plays can be closed early in relation to what he insinuated could be a shorter term for President Trump than expected.

Best leading actress in a musical: Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly! It came away with two Tony awards for best set and lighting. Watch Midler's speech and play-off dodge, below.

She gave a four-minute acceptance speech that forced organisers to play music over the top in an attempt to drive her off stage. But when the rest of the cast joined him for the song's choral section, his voice continued to gain power until the number's triumphant finale, giving the show one of the strongest showcases of the evening. (The final Best Musical nominee, Groundhog Day, went home empty-handed).

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