Tony Awards 2013: watch Neil Patrick Harris open the show.

It Was a Historic Night at the Tonys

It Was a Historic Night at the Tonys

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Slate's Culture Blog
June 10 2013 11:22 AM

It Was a Historic Night at the Tonys

tony awards
Neil Patrick Harris hosting the 2013 Tony Awards


By now, it should come as no surprise that Neil Patrick Harris is a great Tony Awards host—last night was, after all, his fourth time leading the annual celebration of Broadway’s favorite shows and their creators. In his rousing, nearly eight-minute long opening number, Harris delivered a vibrant tribute to the nominees that night, among them Kinky Boots—which ended up setting the pace with six wins, including Best Musical—Matilda, and Pippin. Harris even brought out a singing and dancing Mike Tyson, who performed in his own one-man show last year, and found time to take a jab at Tom Hooper’s “live” singing adaptation of Les Misérables.

It was a great way to kick off a night that would turn out to be historic. Cyndi Lauper became the first woman to win the Tony for music and lyrics without a songwriting partner for her work on Kinky Boots, while for only the second time in the awards’ history, two women won in both directing categories: Diane Paulus for Pippin and Pam McKinnon for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? And also for just the second time, four of the major acting awards went to black performers: Billy Porter, Patina Miller, Courtney B. Vance, and Cicely Tyson, who, at 88, is also the oldest Tony winner ever.


You can check out a full list of the winners from last night here.

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.