The poignant and groundbreaking coming-of-age show “Fun Home” was named best musical at the Tony Awards on Sunday, one of five big trophies it won on the way to making history for its composing team.
The adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel also won best play, lighting, scenic design and earned its director Marianne Elliott a Tony, too, with a total of six nominations going into the evening.
“Fun Home,” based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel about growing up with a closeted dad in a funeral home and the first musical to have a lesbian as its main character, won for best book, best lead actor in Michael Cerveris and best direction from Sam Gold. It came into the night with 12 nominations and left with the top trophies.
Cerveris won his second Tony for playing the closeted and suicidal father at the heart of “Fun Home” while O’Hara got her first Tony after six nominations, winning for her role as the English school teacher in the classic musical “The King and I.”
“I love what I do and I don’t need this but now that I have it I’ve some things to say,” she said. “My parents who are sitting next to me for the sixth time, you don’t have to pretend it’s OK this time.”
Songwriters Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron became the first female writing team to nab a Tony for musical score for “Fun Home.” But that milestone happened during a commercial break and viewers never saw it.
Two veteran Broadway stars — Cerveris and Kelli O’Hara of “The King and I” — took home lead acting Tonys.
The British had a big night, with “Skylight” winning for best revival, and Helen Mirren nabbing her first Tony for playing Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s “The Audience.” She already won an Oscar for playing the monarch in the movie “The Queen.”
“An American in Paris,” which had a co-leading 12 nominations, won four technical awards, including best scenic design and one for Christopher Wheeldon for best choreographer.
Co-hosts Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming infused the show with a low-key medley of jokes and songs that displayed their playful, daffy chemistry. Their costume quick-changes included Cumming in a hoop skirt and Chenoweth as E.T., her co-host cracking, “I said ‘Fun Home.'”
One of the show’s highlights came as Joel Grey, who recently announced he was gay, introduced “Fun Home” with his daughter, Jennifer Grey, who joked that the show was about a “brilliant and complicated father.” Joel Grey acknowledged that the topic was one his daughter “knew something about.”
Another highlight: Jason Alexander and Larry David bickering about awards and their show “Fish in the Dark.” David joked that the reason it got no nominations was due to anti-Semitism.
The telecast on CBS at Radio City Music Hall featured appearances by Jennifer Lopez, Sting, Jim Parsons, Amanda Seyfried, Kiefer Sutherland, Bryan Cranston, Sutton Foster, Jennifer Nettles, Taye Diggs and Ashley Tisdale, among many others. Some non-theater celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Monica Lewinsky and Anna Wintour were also in the audience.
Two Broadway favorites — Annaleigh Ashford and Christian Borle — won for best featured roles. He plays a sexy William Shakespeare in “Something Rotten!” and she played an incompetent ballet dancer in “You Can’t Take It With You.” It was her first and his second awards.
“I can’t believe I am standing here right now for the worst dancing that ever happened on Broadway,” Ashford said.
“The King and I” was crowned the best musical revival and it won for best actress in O’Hara and best musical costumes. One of its stars, Ruthie Ann Miles, won in her Broadway debut as best featured actress in a musical.
She read her speech off her phone and thanked, among many others, her husband. “Thank you for agreeing to come on this crazy ride. Where are you? There you are. There’s a lot of people here.”
Josh Groban led a moving “In Memoriam” section when he sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Carousel,” backed by the casts of all the shows appearing on the telecast.
The nominated musicals “On the Twentieth Century,” ”Something Rotten!” ”The Visit,” ”The King and I,” ”On the Town,” ”Fun Home” and “An American in Paris” had songs performed.
A few other non-nominated shows, including like Vanessa Hudgens’ “Gigi” and Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer with “Finding Neverland,” also got spots. The cast of “Jersey Boys” ended the show with “Oh What a Night.”
Producers are hoping to beat last year’s average of 7.02 million viewers. But as happened last year, the Tonys competed against Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
An American in Paris
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time-Winner
Hand to God
Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
The King and I-Winner
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century
BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
The Elephant Man
This Is Our Youth
You Can’t Take It With You
BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Michael Cerveris, Fun Home-Winner
Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
Ken Watanabe, The King and I
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town
BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY
Steven Boyer, Hand to God
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
Bill Nighy, Skylight
Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time-Winner
BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Beth Malone, Fun Home
Kelli O’Hara, The King and I-Winner
Chita Rivera, The Visit
BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Geneva Carr, Hand to God
Helen Mirren, The Audience–Winner
Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Ruth Wilson, Constellations
FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Christian Borle, Something Rotten!–Winner
Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris
Max von Essen, An American in Paris
FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Victoria Clarke, Gigi
Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I–Winner
Emily Skeggs, Fun Home
FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Matthew Beard, Skylight
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Richard McCabe, The Audience–Winner
Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play
FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With You-Winner
Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
Julie White, Airline Highway
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Sam Gold, Fun Home–Winner
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
John Rando, On the Town
Bartlett Sher, The King and I
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris
BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Stephen Daldry, Skylight
Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time–Winner
Scott Ellis, You Can’t Take It with You
Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God
BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
Craig Lucas, An American in Paris
Lisa Kron, Fun Home–Winner
Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, Something Rotten!
Terence McNally, The Visit
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, Fun Home-Winner
Sting, The Last Ship
Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten!
John Kander and Fred Ebb, The Visit
BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY
Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time–Winner
Bob Crowley, Skylight
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
David Rockwell, You Can’t Take It with You
BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris–Winner
David Rockwell, On the Twentieth Century
Michael Yeargan, The King and I
David Zinn, Fun Home
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY
Bob Crowley, The Audience
Jane Greenwood, You Can’t Take It with You
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two–Winner
David Zinn, Airline Highway
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Gregg Barnes, Something Rotten!
Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
William Ivey Long, On the Twentieth Century
Catherine Zuber, The King and I-Winner
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY
Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time–Winner
Paule Constable and David Plater, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
Natasha Katz, Skylight
Japhy Weideman, Airline Highway
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Donald Holder, The King and I
Natasha Katz, An American in Paris
Ben Stanton, Fun Home
Japhy Weideman, The Visit
Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, An American in Paris–Winner
John Clancy, Fun Home
Larry Hochman, Something Rotten!
Rob Mathes, The Last Ship