New York “Red,” the anguished two-man drama about painter Mark Rothko and the timeless tug of war between art and commerce, was a big winner Sunday at the 2010 Tony Awards, receiving the best play prize and five other honors.
“This to me is the moment of my lifetime,” said “Red” playwright John Logan.
The play picked up Tonys for Michael Grandage, who won for best director of a play, and Eddie Redmayne, for featured performance by an actor in a play. Redmayne portrayed the young, increasingly disillusioned assistant to Rothko, the abstract expressionist who agonizes over whether to accept a lucrative commission for the Four Seasons restaurant in New York City.
“This is the stuff dreams are made of. Wow,” Redmayne said, clutching his prize.
“Red,” starring Alfred Molina as Rothko, was also awarded a Tony for best lighting design of a play, best sound design and best scenic design.
“Memphis,” the rhythm ’n’ blues musical set in the American South in the 1950s, won four Tonys, including best musical. A tale of segregation and integration, “Memphis” was also cited for its orchestration, original score and book of a musical.
Three Hollywood stars, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Denzel Washington and Scarlett Johansson, were first-time nominees and winners.
“Fences,” a revival of August Wilson’s deeply personal drama about family, won for best revival of a play. Its two stars, Washington and Viola Davis, won for best actors in a play.
Zeta-Jones won for best actress in a musical as the amorous actress in the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music.”
“Fela!” — the innovative Afro-beat biography of Nigerian superstar Fela Anikulapo-Kuti — and “La Cage aux Folles” — a revival of the classic Jerry Herman-Harvey Fierstein musical farce — each had 11 nominations, but won just three Tonys apiece.
“La Cage Aux Folles” won for best revival of a musical, for David Hodge as best lead actor in a musical and director Terry Johnson for best direction of a musical. “Fela!” won for Bill T. Jones’ choreography, best costume design of a musical and best sound design of a musical.
Johansson won for best featured performance as an actress in a play for her Broadway debut, the object of her uncle’s lust in Arthur Miller’s “A View From a Bridge.”