Ben Platt and Billy Porter brought down the house with karaoke renditions of Broadway classics, and six other things you missed during the 2019 Tonys.
From karaoke to more standing ovations, the festivities continued even while the cameras weren’t rolling at the 2019 Tony Awards.
Hosted by James Corden, the 73rd annual awards show, broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York, featured performances from several nominated musical ensembles, disses to the silver screen, and the first wheelchair-using actor to win a Tony.
But amid all the glitz and glamour televised around the United States, the star-studded audience were on their feet during the commercial breaks to praise winners awarded off-screen.
Of the awards handed out between segments, Ain’t Too Proud choreographer Sergio Trujillo received a standing ovation upon sharing his immigration story while accepting the award for best choreography, and Pose star Billy Porter sang on stage.
Here’s a list of all the things that camera missed at the 2019 Tonys.
Best choreography winner Sergio Trujillo received a standing ovation upon sharing his immigration story: Before the televised awards began, the Aint Too Proud choreographer was met with a standing ovation when he accepted the award for best choreography. In his speech, Trujillo spoke about moving to New York over 30 years ago as an “illegal immigrant.”
“To the Dreamers out there…the American dream is still alive,” Trujillo told the audience.
Judith Light received the Isabelle Stevenson Award off camera: Light received a standing ovation as she accepts Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award.
“I must acknowledge that it is here in this theater community that I have been inspired to do this work,” Light said in her acceptance speech. “For those of you who are our future generations, please remember you are our legacy. There is nothing to get in life, only what you give.”
Ben Platt sang a karaoke rendition of “Tomorrow”: During the commercial break, Corden sought attendees to do karaoke, just as he did when he hosted the Tonys a few years ago. His victim? Ben Platt, who sang “Tomorrow” from Annie.
Billy Porter belted “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”: The actor, who stole the show earlier with his uterus-themed gown, not-so-begrudgingly climbed on stage to belt the Gypsy classic in another commercial break round of karaoke.
Both Terrence McNally and Rosemary Harris received lifetime achievement honors: Actor Danny Burstein presented the 91-year-old Harris, who added to her long list of theater credits in this year’s My Fair Lady, with a lifetime achievement award during a commercial break.
Later in the night, McNally was presented with the honor “not a moment too soon.” Last year, the 80-year-old playwright premiered a new play, Fire and Air, off-Broadway.
Stephanie J. Block gushed about Cher’s sweet messages: After winning best leading actress in a musical for her portrayal of the Cher, Block expressed her admiration for the singer, who texted her before the awards show began.
“If you get seven or eight dings, I pretty much know it’s going to be sweet Cher on the other side,” The Cher Show actress said. “She was sending love. She’s so proud of the show…It’s all very Cher. She’s so authentically herself whether it’s an email or a text message or in person.”
Bryan Cranston teased retirement: After attempting to leave the awards show during the opening number (as part of Corden’s bit), the actor ponder an early retirement after winning his second Tony for best actor. Cranston won earlier in the night for his starring role in the stage adaptation of Network, and previously won a Tony Award for his portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson in All the Way in 2014.
“No it means retirement, two for two? I love it, I do. It’s really the most fun and connection that an actor can have to be onstage. It drains the hell out of me though it really does,” Cranston told reporters. “I seem to be attracted to really damaged characters. I keep thinking of a comedy where I’m sippin’ tea and that’d be nice. Unless something really catches me and I sense a journey for someone even if it’s unattainable, I’m attracted to that damage. I have to go recuperate and then come back.”