NEW YORK – The murderous romp A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder has gotten a lot of love at the Tony Awards – it nabbed the best new musical trophy on a night that saw Audra McDonald, Bryan Cranston and Neil Patrick Harris all take home big awards.
The musical A Gentlemen’s Guide opened rather quietly and has had a steady increase in interest, peaking with its huge win over Disney’s Aladdin and the built-in love of Carole King songs from Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. The show nabbed a total of four wins, including best book of a musical.
McDonald became the Tony’s most decorated actress, while Cranston won a best actor trophy for his Broadway debut. Harris took home best actor.
McDonald won her sixth Tony for portraying Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, putting her ahead of five-time winners Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris for the most competitive wins by an actress.
The latest win – for best lead actress in a play – also makes McDonald the first grand-slam performance winner.
Cranston won the best lead actor in a play Tony for playing former President Lyndon B. Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way, which also was crowned best play.
Jessie Mueller beat some strong Broadway veterans in Sutton Foster, Idina Menzel and Kelli O’Hara to take home the best actress in a musical Tony for playing the title character in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Hugh Jackman kicked off the show with a bounce, hopping up and down during his opening number Sunday.
The Australian greeted many of the night’s featured performers as he cheerfully bounded past them backstage. He then joined the cast of the musical After Midnight for a rousing rendition of It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got that Swing).