NEWSFLASH: Viola Davis, Katie Finneran, Levi Kreis, David Hyde Pierce, Eddie Redmayne, Denzel Washington and More Share Thoughts from the Press Room
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, who won as Lead Actor and Actress in a Play for the revival of August Wilson's Fences -- which was also named Outstanding Revival of a Play -- spoke about their relationship on and off the stage. "We had pretty immediate chemistry; I didn't do anything to force it," said Davis. "Chemistry is a chemical reaction," added Washington.
Washington also noted that he didn't see the pair as the play's stars. "The entire cast gets together in a circle before each show, and we end the day as one unit. No one of us is better than the other," he said. "As our director, Kenny Leon, says: 'This is music, and it takes the whole band to play it.'"
Douglas Hodge, who won as Lead Actor in a Play for La Cage Aux Folles, said he hoped to extend his contract past September, and that he was thoroughly enjoying the experience of playing in America. The show won Best Revival of a Musical and producer Sonia Friedman added that she hoped Hodge would be able to stay longer than first planned and continue to work alongside co-star Kelsey Grammer, adding that previous speculation that Grammer might switch from the role of Georges to Albin was extremely unlikely at this point. "They're such a wonderful team," she noted.
The show also earned a Best Director Tony for Terry Johnson, who seemed genuinely stunned by winning the trophy. "I hadn't done a musical before. I'm a text person -- but maybe it was the right choice to use me, since I decided to go back to Jerry Herman's words and Harvey Fierstein's words," he said. "In fact, the best gift I ever got is that Jerry liked the production, and the first thing Harvey told me after seeing it was: 'I only have notes for the author.'"
The night's big winner was Red, which picked up a total of six awards, including Best Play. Author John Logan admitted that he had not included anything about the wife of painter Mark Rothko, the subject of the play, "because I wanted to do a work play, not a life play." On a related note, Michael Grandage, who won the Tony for his direction of the play, stressed that he didn't think biographical-based works were meant to be a history lesson and that he believed finding a balance between entertaining audiences and providing accuracy was the key to a good work.
That sentiment will extend to Grandage's upcoming Broadway revival of Evita starring Elena Roger and Ricky Martin, which he said will be expanded from his previous production of the show for London's Donmar Warehouse. "I also want to go back to [composer] Andrew Lloyd Webber and work more on the music," he said.
Actor Eddie Redmayne, who was named Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Rothko's (fictional) assistant Eddie in Red, said he's found doing the two-character work invigorating. "Perhaps it's because I studied art history, or it's that these are arguments are so powerfully written, that it's easier to be passionate eight times a week then it looks, although it's tiring for sure."
He also noted that recent rumors of his being cast in Stephen Spielberg's film version of War Horse were "completely untrue," adding that fellow Tony winner Scarlett Johansson's husband, actor Ryan Reynolds, had even congratulated him earlier that night for getting the part.
The team from Best Musical winner Memphis was understandably excited that their six-year journey to Broadway had paid off with four Tonys. David Bryan, who picked up awards for his work on the score (with collaborator Joe Di Pietro) and orchestrations (with Daryl Waters) had perhaps the line of the night when he called his hit show "a future revival."
Katie Finneran, who was named Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her turn as Marge MacDougall in Promises, Promises shared how she sometimes spent the first act (when she's completely offstage) hanging out with co-star Kristin Chenoweth, and that she was able to actually watch the show from a trap door beneath the toilet in her dressing room. "I call it the view from the loo," she said. And while Marge is quite the lush, Finneran herself says she isn't much of a drinker. "But people think I'm drunk all the time, because I'm usually so giddy." She's certainly giddy about marrying actor Darren Goldstein, although the actress didn't detail her wedding plans.
Levi Kreis, who was named Best Featured Actor in a Play for his portrayal of rockabilly legend Jerry Lee Lewis in Million Dollar Quartet, seemed equally excited about winning his award and sharing the stage with Tony Award host and fellow nominee Sean Hayes in the award show's opening number. "Performing with Sean was a blast and I definitely want to do it again. He is a genuinely kind man."
Bill T. Jones won his second Tony for Best Choreography -- this one for Fela! -- and admitted it wasn't quite the same experience as winning his first for Spring Awakening. "You can't be a virgin twice," he said with a laugh. Jones has a lot on his plate, including bringing the musical to Fela's hometown of Lagos, Nigeria in October and then opening the show in London in November. And while he remains committed to his famed modern dance company, Jones is far from done with Broadway, mentioning that he's considering stage adaptations of the films Black Orpheus, Superfly, and Monsoon Wedding.
Finally, Isabelle Stevenson Award winner David Hyde Pierce, who was honored for his work with the Alzheimer's Association, said this Tony ceremony was very different than the one when he won for Best Actor in a Musical for Curtains. "They called a few weeks ago to tell me they were giving me this award, so I was not sweating bullets tonight. That made it more pleasant." Pierce also loved the fact that he got to present an award with his longtime Frasier co-star Kelsey Grammer. "We see each other all the time, but it was great not just to be on stage with him, but in front of the camera together again. That was really cool."
Pierce will be back on stage soon; he's rehearsing for the London production of La Bete, which will immediately transfer to Broadway in the fall. "I always pick my projects based on who I get to work with, and I am working with Joanna Lumley, Mark Rylance, and Matthew Warchus on this fascinating play. I am having the time of my life." As for whether he will play the role of J.B Biggley in the upcoming Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying opposite Daniel Radcliffe -- the part he played in the show's workshop production -- the actor would only say that it's still a possibility.