Tonys Recap: Bette Midler, Ben Platt, and Rachel Bloom Steal the Show

On a night when there were not many surprises, the Jewish stars we know and love still shined bright

By Gabriela Geselowitz|June 12, 2017 12:40 PM

The Tony Awards have come and gone—and the only evidence we have to know that it wasn’t just a dream are all of these clips on the internet, and our trashed apartments from the ragers and/or fisticuffs the show inspired. In my household, at least.

This year’s was fairly low-key, as far as Tony Awards go, but make no mistake: the party was still a-rockin.’

Almost all of the winners were unsurprising. The two lead musical acting awards went, as expected, to Ben Platt [1] and Bette Midler, the latter of whom managed to defeat the “it’s time to wrap up your speech” orchestra, because she’s the Divine Miss M, dammit. She also later joked (maybe?) that she’s running for President.

And if you’re looking for some more Platt love, here are images [5] of the Dear Evan Hansen star performing at Camp Ramah in the Los Angeles area. He talks about it here [6] with Seth Meyers. Last night, he teared up during an emotional acceptance speech. But it was all smiles otherwise. He blew up the Internet with this reaction after host Kevin Spacey called him out.

Dear Evan Hansen won Best Musical, and much of its creative team won too, including songwriter Benj Pasek [12] who, with his partner, Justin Paul, is well on his way to joining the very, very exclusive EGOT club [13]. (Who could forget when Pasek, in February, won the Oscar for Best Original Song [12] and thanked his mom who let him “quit the JCC soccer league to be in a school musical”?) Book writer Steven Levenson is also having the year of his life [14].

Lots of musicals walked away with few or no awards, including War Paint [15], starring Patti Lupone, who shared this fantastic moment with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom.

As expected, the Middle Eastern political drama Oslo [19] took home Best Play, and Jewish actor Michael Aronov won the Featured Actor award for his portrayal of Israeli politician Uri Savir. But Oslo didn’t take home all the big prizes; Indecent [20] won two awards—Lighting, and Best Director for a very surprised, but extremely deserving, Rebecca Taichman.

Though the Jewiest musical of the season, Falsettos [21], didn’t win any awards (a hazard of closing early in the season), they did get to perform. The problem was you have to understand and like Falsettos to get it out of context, but trust me, it was good. Way better than most other awards—poor David Hyde Pierce had to do a number from Hello, Dolly! when everyone was really just there to see Bette.

The real MVP of the evening was, as she tends to be in everything she touches, Rachel Bloom, who became every theater kid with a dream as she served as backstage host. If you watch one thing from the Tonys, let it be clips of her wearing tiny hats, fangirling over celebrities, and generally being a delight.

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