Big Tony Night: Memphis, Fences, And Fela!

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[Theater: TONYS]

Memphis, a musical about the segregated South in the 1950's, walked away with the Best Musical award at the 64th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall, Sunday. Memphis had scored seven nominations and received four awards.

Besides winning for Best Musical, the play Memphis also won awards for Best Original Score, Best Book and Best Orchestrations.

The Tonys honor the best performances on Broadway of the year.

Fences, a revival of August Wilson's 1987 play had scored 10 nominations, including nominations for lead actors Denzel Washington and Viola Davis for their performances.

Washington took home the Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Play for his role as Troy in Fences and co-star Davis took home the award for Best Leading Actress in a Play. "I knew I should've written something down," Washington later said.
His co-star observed: "I don't believe in luck--but I absolutely believe in the presence of God in my life."

Fela! which was nominated for 11 Tonys, received three awards in the categories of: Best Sound Design of a Musical; Best Choreography (Bill T. Jones); and, Best Costume Design of a Musical.  The musical is about Nigerian dancer and activist
Fela Kuti, also considered a founder of AfroBeat.

Besides this year's nominees, performers and presenters, other guests who walked the red carpet at the ceremony included: legendary music pioneers Aretha Franklin and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy.

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith who were producers of  Fela!, also walked the red carpet and were presenters. Rapper and hip hop mogul Jay Z who also produced Fela! along with the Smiths, was present at the ceremony along with wife singer and actress Beyonce.


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