Unlike last year, when Robin Wagner, William Ivey Long, and Peter Kaczorowski swept the Tony Awards for their design work on The Producers, design winners at this year’s Tony Awards, held last night at Radio City Music Hall, came from three different productions.
Tim Hatley, a newcomer this season to Broadway who designed two very different but very evocative sets for revivals of The Crucible and Private Lives, won for the latter. Hatley beat out such veterans as Douglas Schmidt for Into the Woods and John Lee Beatty for Morning’s at Seven, as well as fellow newcomer Daniel Ostling for Metamorphoses. Private Lives also won Tonys for best revival and best actress in a play (Lindsay Duncan).
Martin Pakledinaz won the best costume Tony for his work on Thoroughly Modern Millie, inexplicably the only designer nominated from that production. This race was widely considered to be a tossup between Pakledinaz and Susan Hilferty for her work on the revival of Into the Woods; other nominees were the legendary Jane Greenwood for Morning’s at Seven (who incidentally has never won a Tony—can you imagine?) and Jenny Beavan for Private Lives. In his acceptance speech, Pakledinaz honored the three Millies in his life: his mother in Michigan, costume designer Theoni Aldredge, and costume builder Barbara Matera, who died earlier this year. Millie was the big winner of the night, earning additional awards for orchestration (Doug Besterman and the late Ralph Burns), choreography (Rob Ashford), featured actress (Harriet Harris), lead actress (Sutton Foster), and musical.
In the lighting category, the very busy Brian MacDevitt won for his work on Into the Woods, beating out Paul Gallo (The Crucible), David Hersey (Oklahoma!), and Natasha Katz (Sweet Smell of Success). MacDevitt gave one of the funniest speeches of the night, reading initially from a prepared speech before realizing “this is really bad,” and skipping to the end, then acknowledging that his wife, who is pregnant, was at Roosevelt Hospital “giving birth to a kidney stone.” Into the Woods also won for best musical revival.
Other multiple winners included Urinetown (score, book, and director) and Fortune’s Fool (actor and featured actor). Among the nominees that went away empty handed were Mamma Mia!, Morning’s at Seven, Thou Shalt Not, and Topdog/Underdog.