With Tony for 'The Band's Visit,' Ari'el Stachel Embraces His Roots

Andrew Garfield

Broadway thumbed its nose at Tina Fey and touristy musicals Sunday night by showering "The Band's Visit", a lovely, human show, with 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

It was a night of contrasts Sunday at the Tony Awards. Of those 14, nine were also first-time nominees, including Lindsay Mendez (Featured Actress in a Musical for Carousel) and David Cromer (Direction of a Musical for The Band's Visit). The musical also won Best Revival, Best Choreography, and Best Leading Actress in a Musical, among others.

The award speech for Best Musical at the end of the night even included some butchered Hebrew (it seems a producer was just trying to say "I love you" to his kids), and echoed the recurring themes of the evening of diversity and tolerance ("In the end we are far more alike than different."). Ari'el Stachel, who won for best featured actor, praised the show for "telling a small story about Arabs and Israelis getting along, at a time that we need that more than ever".

Andrew Garfield has dedicated his Tony Award to the LGBT community.

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He was referencing the U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down last week that ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission discriminated against baker Jack Phillips by forcing him to create a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage.

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"So I dedicate this award to the countless LGBTQ who have fought and died to protect that spirit", he said. It is a spirit that says no to bigotry, no to shame, no to exclusion. "I fall in love with her every time", he said of future Leading Actress victor Katrina Lenk. "It just may take a bit longer".

Jackson, 82, returning to Broadway after 30 years and a lengthy term as a British politician, was named best actress for her tour de force performance in Edward Albee's Three Tall Women.

Most winners and presenters avoided mentioning Mr. Trump, or Trump-ism by name, while making it clear that their sympathies were with the resistance. And then he did it again. The announcement was made on June 10 at Radio City Music Hall. He also declared, "I'm an immigrant, and I'm not an animal" - referring to Trump's recent remarks that some people living in a country illegally or without legal permission are "animals".

Garfield won best actor in a play for his acclaimed performance in the Angels In America revival, a monumental two-part drama about AIDS during the Reagan years. He told viewers they have "21 weeks to save our democracy and heal our planet".

The cast of "Once on This Island" performs onstage during the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

As for the Audra connection, Mendez has tried to keep the six-time Tony victor out of mind while crafting her own take on the role.