The Irish did well at the Tony Awards, sweeping the best actor categories and landing a few prizes for their work in Hairspray, which was the runaway winner of the night.
Brian Dennehy pictured left won best leading actor in a drama for Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The Eugene O’Neill classic also won for best revival of a play and Vanessa Redgrave won best actress for her amazing portrayal of Mary Tyrone. Dennehy said in his speech, “The words of Eugene O’Neill, they’ve got to be heard and heard and heard. And thank you so much for giving us a chance to enunciate them.”
Denis O’Hare won for best featured actor in a drama for Take Me Out, which also won best play and best director. In the play, a major league baseball player comes out publicly as gay. O’Hare acknowledged his cast members in his acceptance speech, and said: “Acting is a team sport and we have the best team in the world.” O’Hare is building up a strong career, and he has been a box-office draw at New York’s The Irish Repertory Theatre for a while. He is reportedly slated to take on the lead role in a new production of Sweet Charity on Broadway in the fall.
Hairspray took the lion’s share of awards, winning eight in total. Jack O’Brien won best director of a musical for the production, and Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan won best book of a musical for Hairspray. ♦