Two-time Oscar champ Denzel Washington ("Glory," "Training Day") won his first Tony Award for the first rialto revival of "Fences," the 1987 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner by August Wilson. Washington took the prize for his performance as Troy, a one-time baseball star turned sanitation worker who struggles to reconcile his past and present. Critics drew favorable comparisons with James Earl Jones, who originated this role for which he won the second of his two Tonys.
Oscar nominee Viola Davis ("Doubt") won the lead actress award for her work as the long-suffering wife Rose. That part won Mary Alice the featured actress Tony for the original production but producers petitioned to boost Davis to the lead race.
While Davis was the unanimous choice of our pundits, they were divided as to whether Washington or Alfred Molina ("Red") would win the lead actor race. Five years ago, Washington was snubbed for his Shakespearean performance as Marcus Brutus in "Julius Caesar." While that production was a runaway hit as is "Fences," critical opinion was mixed and it was not an awards contender. However, Washington has always endeared himself to the close-knit theater community with his no-nonsense attitude.