‘And the Winner Is…’ A look back on the dazzling performances, big winners and bigger surprises of the 2013 Tony Awards

Patina Miller won Leading Actress in a Musical at last night’s Tony Awards

It’s come and gone, once again! The Tony Awards left its viewers stunned and enthralled as always with its super performances and touching acceptance speeches and, of course, quite a few surprises along the way!

The ceremony was hosted by television star and Broadway veteran Neil Patrick Harris (isn’t he always the host?) last evening and if you remember this article, you’ll see that all three of my predictions for what kind of antics Harris would cook up for us were correct. In fact, all of them occurred within the first five minutes of the show. That classic musical number to begin to evening’s festivities showcased characters of Broadway’s current season and many more, and it was by far the best Tonys opening Harris has ever taken part in. The Radio City Music Hall audience leapt to their feet and applauded for ages and, with that, the explosive performance kick-started an incredibly exciting evening for viewers and nominees alike!

The telecast featured musical performances from the casts of Matilda the MusicalMotown the Musical, Kinky Boots, PippinA Christmas StoryBring It On: The MusicalRodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderellaand AnnieThere was also a performance by Harris, Megan HiltyAndrew Rannells, and Laura Benanti in which they made light of their recently departed television programs on NBC.

Two huge surprises of the evening were the victories in the categories of Best Leading Actor in a Play and Best Featured Actor in a Musical. In two shocking twists, Letts and Ebert earned these honors respectively, beating out the likes of Nathan LaneTom HanksTerrence Mann and Will Chase. However both of these wins were still well-deserved!

The night ended with Harris and Audra McDonald dropping their microphones after a theatre-infused rendition of “Empire State of Mind.”

Overall, the ceremony was spectacular. Can’t expect anything less from Broadway folk!

If there’s something that truly sums up the Tony Awards, it was one line in Harris’ opening song:

“There’s a kid in the middle of nowhere who’s sitting there living for Tony performances; singing and flipping along with the Pippins, and Wickeds, and Kinkys, Matildas, and Mormanses. So we might reassure that kid, and do something to spur that kid, ‘cause I promise you, all of us up here tonight, we were that kid.”

Here is a quick list of some of the evening’s lucky winners:

BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY: Courtney B. Vance, Lucky Guy

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Judith Light, The Assembled Parties

BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Gabriel Ebert, Matilda the Musical (first time nominee!)

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Andrea Martin, Pippin

BEST LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY: Tracy Letts, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

BEST LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Billy Porter, Kinky Boots (first time nominee!)

BEST LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful (first time nominee!)

BEST LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Patina Miller, Pippin (marking the first time an award has been given to both a man and a woman for their portrayals of the same character)

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL: Diane Paulus, Pippin

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY: Pam MacKinnon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots (first time nominee, and first woman to win a Tony Award for composing a Broadway show by herself!)

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL: Dennis Kelly, Matilda the Musical

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS: Stephen Oremus, Kinky Boots

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

BEST PLAY: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL: Pippin

BEST MUSICAL: Kinky Boots

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