'Red' and 'Memphis' each win 3 Tonys
| June 14, 2010 9:00 PM
NEW YORK — “Memphis” and “Red” each picked up three victories Sunday at the 2010 Tony Awards, while “American Idiot” and “Fela!” won two apiece.
“Memphis,” the rhythm ’n’ blues musical set in the 1950s, was cited for best orchestration, original score and best book of a musical, twice beating out “Fela!,” which won for best costume design of a musical and best sound design of a musical.
“Red,” the anguished two-man drama about painter Mark Rothko, was awarded a Tony for best lighting design of a play, best sound design and best scenic design. “American Idiot,” the Green Day musical, won best scenic design of a musical and best lighting design of a musical.
Two strikingly different musicals, “Fela!” and “La Cage aux Folles,” were the dominant nominees at Sunday’s star-laden Tonys.
“Fela!” — the innovative Afro-beat biography of Nigerian superstar Fela Anikulapo-Kuti — and “La Cage aux Folles” — a revival of the classic Jerry Herman-Harvey Fierstein musical farce — had 11 nominations.
They were followed by the revival of August Wilson’s “Fences,” with 10 nominations and “Memphis,” with eight.
The ceremony from Radio City Music Hall was hosted by Sean Hayes, the leading actor of the musical “Promises, Promises.”
Musical performances included numbers from “La Cage aux Folles” with Kelsey Grammer and “A Little Night Music” with Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The telecast also featured a special presentation of Tony-nominated plays and play revivals with appearances by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis from “Fences,” Anthony LaPaglia and Tony Shalhoub from “Lend Me a Tenor,” Liev Schrieber and Scarlett Johansson from “A View from the Bridge,” and more.
Also on hand: “Glee” cast members Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison; Katie Holmes and Daniel Radcliffe; Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith; and the punk-rock band Green Day, whose 2004 best-selling album “American Idiot” was adapted into one of this year’s Tony-nominated musicals.
Special Tony Awards for lifetime achievement was given to playwright Alan Ayckbourn (“The Norman Conquests,” a trilogy that won the play-revival Tony last year), and actress Marian Seldes (“A Delicate Balance,” “Equus,” “Deathtrap,” “Three Tall Women”).
Seldes accepted her honor wordlessly, waving at the audience and leaving the stage.
The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn., received the regional theater award.