It has been a “great year for revivals in general – especially that one they’re reviving in Washington D.C.” Colbert began. “It started way off Broadway, in the 80’s, on 5th Avenue. Huge production values. Couple problems: the main character is totally unbelievable. And hair and makeup – jeesh! No!”
The D.C. production, Colbert noted of President Trump’s White House, “is supposed to have a four-year run, but reviews have not been kind. Could close early.”
CBS’s Late Show star added that Miss Saigon “the only pageant whose locker room our president hasn’t walked in on.”
Kevin Spacey, despite being best known these days as dastardly Francis Underwood in dystopian political drama House of Cards, eschewed politics in favor of well-received self-effacing humor in his opening as trophy-show host. Later in the ceremony, however, Spacey definitely mocked Trump – unless he was bashing CNN – when paid tribute to James Earl Jones, who in the audience, nothing he’s the voice of CNN and gave us the line, “This is CNN: The most trusted name in Fake News.” Still later, Spacey impersonated former President Bill Clinton, joking about Hillary’s fake email accounts, and observing, “We already had some surprising winners haven’t we? I’m not even talking about the Tony Awards.”
Colbert wasn’t alone in trashing Trump.
Cynthia Nixon, accepting her Tony for her role in Lillian Hellman’s Little Foxes, told viewers “It is a privilege to appear in Lillian Hellman’s eerily prescient play at this specific moment in history. Eighty years ago she wrote: ‘There are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it, and other people who just stand around and watch them do it.’
“My love, my gratitude and my undying respect go out to all the people in 2017 who are refusing to just stand and watch them do it.”
Sally Fields told viewers this year marks the 100th birthday of the American Theatre Wing, adding, “Born in perilous times, the [American Theatre] Wing, in its next century, will do what it has always done: illuminate the darkness with the blazing truth of art.”
Kevin Kline, accepting his Tony for his lead role in Present Laughter, made a point of ending his speech with: “I would like to thank a couple of organizations without whom probably half of the people in this room would not be here. That would be the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.” Trump’s proposed budget calls for elimination of both.
The audience also made a statement of sorts when they gave Jill Biden what may have been the biggest applause of the night, and a standing ovation, as she introduced a performance from Bandstand. Her husband, Veep Joe Biden was in the audience, and cameras cut to him throughout the night.