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Arts & Entertainment

Tony Awards 2015: 'Fun Home' scores landmark win with all-female composing team




Jeanine Tesori (L) and Lisa Kron pose backstage during the American Theatre Wing's 69th Annual Tony Awards at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 7, 2015.
Jeanine Tesori (L) and Lisa Kron pose backstage during the American Theatre Wing's 69th Annual Tony Awards at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 7, 2015.
Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images
Jeanine Tesori (L) and Lisa Kron pose backstage during the American Theatre Wing's 69th Annual Tony Awards at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 7, 2015.
Alex Sharp poses backstage with his award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" during the American Theatre Wing's 69th Annual Tony Awards at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 7, 2015.
KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images
Jeanine Tesori (L) and Lisa Kron pose backstage during the American Theatre Wing's 69th Annual Tony Awards at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 7, 2015.
The cast of "Fun Home," winner of the award for Best Musical, pose backstage during the American Theatre Wing's 69th Annual Tony Awards at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 7, 2015.
Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images


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Broadway history was made Sunday night when Tony Award voters gave the best new musical accolade to "Fun Home," making it the first time an all-female composing team has been awarded.

"It absolutely was a landmark event," says Jesse Green, theater critic for New York Magazine.

The musical, adapted from Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir, is about a young female cartoonist coming to understand her own sexuality as a lesbian in college — while her father comes out as a gay man. Some considered it a surprise win. 

"The content is so unusual for Broadway, and not only the content but the style," Green says. "It's really dark — of course it's also very funny — and it's very musical, but not the kind of razzmatazz you normally expect a Tony Award to go to." 

Another interesting grab was Alex Sharp for best actor in a leading role in "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," a year after he graduated from Juilliard. But the 25-year-old's win isn't a big surprise.

"He gave a really nuanced and athletic performance in the show where the main character whom he played isn't necessarily so verbally expressive, so a lot comes down to the body and the movements, which were staged by the director and choreographer almost as if it were a musical," Green says.

Other than Helen Mirren, actors who had a foot in Hollywood didn't win any races. Big names like Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan were nominated but didn't come out as champs.

"It wasn't a great night for them, but not because there's a prejudice against Hollywood actors who do a good job — that they didn't win is just a circumstance of the year. There were a lot of really good performances and when it comes to that, sometimes voters will choose, just on the basis of their hearts — not the basis of being bedazzled." 

The best acceptance speech?

"It was Lisa Kron's speech for winning book of a musical for 'Fun Home,' and ironically was a prayer, almost, that we come to see that Broadway is like a house that has many more rooms in it than we thought it did and not ignore those rooms. Ironically, that speech was left in some room that wasn't visited by the American audience last night."

It didn't air on the television broadcast, but you can watch it here.

Here's the full list of award winners:

Tony Awards 2015: Winners List



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