5 firsts at the 2015 Tony Awards
It was a good evening for women writers, British stalwarts and Kelli O'Hara
First Tony Award won by Helen Mirren
Although it feels like Dame Helen has won every award out there, the Tony was the one major gong missing from her mantelpiece. No more, after her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience, which also won her the WhatsOnStage and Olivier awards over here, brought her yet another accolade. As she said herself last night, "you've done it again your Majesty".
First Tony Award won by a David Hare play
The number of plays by David Hare that have run on Broadway is now in double figures but, remarkably, last night's win for Skylight in the Best Revival category marks the first time one of them has won a Tony. Scott Rudin, who has produced seven of Hare's plays in New York, was a suitable candidate to collect the honour. He called it a "remarkable thing" that this is the first Hare production to win a Tony, and it's hard to disagree.
First Tony Award for Best Musical won by an all-female writing team
The night's big winner on the musicals front, Fun Home, is adapted from Alison Bechdel's 2006 graphic memoir about her coming-of-age in a family-run funeral home. Remarkably, it marks the first show written entirely by women - Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori - to win the top Tony prize. In a moving speech composer Tesori said: "we stand on the shoulders of other women who've come before us".
First Tony Award for a musical with a lesbian protagonist
Ok, this is a default win because Fun Home is in fact the first Broadway musical ever to feature a lesbian protagonist. Lisa Kron, who wrote the book and lyrics, told the Huffington Post: "People often say to me, 'This is so much bigger than just a story about a lesbian.' And I say, 'What has changed is your sense that a lesbian is an actual human being who can be as much of a prismatic reflection of the human experience as any other type of character. There's no explicit explanation, justification or apology in this show, and to me, that's a very exciting thing to put on stage."
First Tony Award for Kelli O'Hara (after five attempts)
"I don't need this but now that I have it I've got some things to say," said popular Broadway star Kelli O'Hara after winning her first Tony (for The King and I), having been nominated five times previously. She paid tribute to her parents, attending their sixth Tony Awards: "You don't have to pretend, it's ok this time." And, to top it all off, she then danced off the stage. Even Neil Patrick Harris looked impressed.