‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Top Tony Musical

Kevin Spacey tap dances at the Tony Awards

71st Annual Tony Awards emcee Kevin Spacey leads is a musical party liner. (Photo courtesy of the Tony Awards)

The La La Land songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are back winning awards, as part of the Tony-winning team for best musical for Dear Evan Hansen, which took home six trophies last night.

It wasn’t the only big musical winner at the 71st Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall June 11. Box office hit Hello Dolly! nabbed best musical revival and a best actress in a Musical statue for Bette Midler.

Hansen’s wins included for book, score, orchestration, best featured actress in a musical for Rachel Bay Jones, and actor in a musical for Ben Platt, who shared words that no doubt resounded with many aspiring musicians and creatives struggling to grow up: “The things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful,” Platt said as he accepted his award.

The music duo of Pasek and Paul won their first Oscar earlier this  year for the La La Land song “City of Stars” (an award shard with La La Land composer Justin Hurwitz) and also won best original song at the Golden Globes.

Cast of Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen picked up six trophies, including best musical. (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Host Kevin Spacey demonstrated his showman’s chops, tap-danced in tie and tails and performed highlights from the four nominated musicals: Come From Away, Groundhog Day the Musical and  Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.

The story of travelers in Newfoundland in the wake of the 9/1 attacks, Come From Away earned the best director award for Christopher Ashley.

The 71st Annual Tony Awards aired on CBS in the 8-11 p.m. slot. Without the high-profile of a multi-category smash like Hamilton and hottie host James Corden, as in 2016, this year’s Tony show declined in ratings. Sunday evening’s telecast captured a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49, or 6 million viewers — a decline of approximately 44% in the demo and 31% in total viewers. The 2016 telecast drew a 1.6 and 8.7 million viewers.

The decline is somewhat at odds with New York theater’s real world results, which saw record grosses of $1.45 billion for the 2016-17 season. The 5.5 percent increase on the previous season’s earning includes a slight attendance dip (from 13.32 million in the 2015-16 season to 13.27 million) reflecting increased ticket prices.

For a complete list of winners, click here.

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