Last night’s Tony Awards were a beautiful, boisterous exercise in one of the stage’s highest cooperatives of talent, creativity and performance. As always, the presenters were of high profile, the productions were high octane and the mood was joyous and familial. Much different than many of the red-carpet-laden awards shows of Hollywood, the Tonys seem to create camaraderie and a fellowship of support, both in talent and in human perspective.
Host, Hugh Jackman, quipped progressively, (stage) left and right, on sexuality, gender and human rights. Throughout his narrations and jokes, the night appeared to go seamlessly without a cameraman needing to pass over a single sour audience reaction.
But one of the best reactions of the night had to be from the radiant, Audra McDonald, winning for her role in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. She started by first thanking her mom and dad, both have passed on, for “disobeying the doctor’s orders and not medicating their hyperactive girl, and finding out what she was into, instead.”
The Tonys darling continues to tearfully thank her husband and stepsons before turning to her attention to another special lady: “I am nothing without you. Do you understand? Mommy is nothing without you,” McDonald emotes to her daughter, Zoe, who beams back with a full, proud smile. In this moment she became the first person to ever receive six Tonys, as well as the first to win across four different performance categories! Her emotions were more than genuine, and more than deserved.
What we at Salted had to love just as much was the magnanimous tribute — nay, ode — to the women who defined the spirit, created the roles and paved the way for McDonald to be where she is now… where no man or woman has yet been.
“And finally… I want to thank all the shoulders of the strong, and brave, and courageous women that I am standing on; I am standing on Lena Horne’s shoulders. I am standing on Maya Angelou’s shoulders. I am standing on Diane Carroll, and Ruby Dee. And, most of all, Billie Holiday: you deserved so much more than you were given when you were on this planet, and this is for you, Billie.”
#Tonys2014 #LadyDay #AudraMcDonald #ProudSpeech #StrengthoftheWoman
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill: