Gold rush for 'Red' at Tony Awards
"Red" -- the John Logan two-hander about abstract artist Mark Rothko and his assistant -- was the big winner at Sunday's Tony Awards, prevailing in six of its seven bids: best play, featured actor (Eddie Redmayne), director (Michael Grandage), lighting design (Neil Austin), scenic design (Christopher Oram) and sound design (Adam Cork). Logan picked up an Oscar nomination for his part in penning the original script for 2000 best picture champ "Gladiator" and was a nominee again in that same category four years later for "The Aviator."
The only race "Red" lost was best actor as Alfred Molina was edged out by two-time Oscar champ Denzel Washington ("Glory," "Training Day") who won his first Tony Award for the first rialto revival of "Fences." Washington prevailed in the part of Troy, a onetime baseball star turned sanitation worker who struggles to reconcile his past and present. When James Earl Jones originated this role in the 1987 production, he took home the second of his two Tonys.
The 1987 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner by August Wilson also won best revival of a play and a second Tony for Oscar nominee Viola Davis ("Doubt") as Troy's 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. Davis won the featured actress Tony in 2001 for another Wilson work, "King Hedley II."
While Redmayne repeated his Olivier Award-winning performance when making his Broadway debut in "Red," Scarlett Johansson was new to the stage when she appeared in "A View From the Bridge." The four-time Golden Globe nominee won her first major awards hardware for her featured performance as a lovesick teenager in this third rialto remounting of the Arthur Miller classic. Among those she edged out was stage vet Jessica Hecht as her aunt.
The other Tony Award on the play front went to Catherine Zuber for her lush costume designs for "The Royal Family." This was the fifth win out of eight nominations for Zuber. She won four in a row from 2005 to 2008 for "The Light in the Piazza," "Awake and Sing," "The Coast of Utopia" and "South Pacific."
Photo: "Red" playbill. Credit: Golden Theatre