NEW YORK — The murderous romp A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder has gotten a lot of love at the Tony Awards — it nabbed the best new musical trophy on a night that saw Audra McDonald, Bryan Cranston and Neil Patrick Harris all take home big awards.
The musical, in which a poor man comically eliminates the eight heirs ahead of him for a title, opened rather quietly and has had a steady increase in interest, peaking with its huge win over Disney's Aladdin and the built-in love of Carole King songs from Beautiful — The Carole King Musical. The show nabbed a total of four wins, including best book of a musical.
McDonald became the Tony's most decorated actress, while Cranston won a best actor trophy for his Broadway debut. Harris took home best actor in a musical after years of handing out the awards to others.
Cranston won the best lead actor in a play Tony for playing former President Lyndon B. Johnson in Robert Schenkkan's All the Way. which also was crowned best play.
Jessie Mueller beat some strong Broadway veterans in Sutton Foster, Idina Menzel and Kelli O'Hara to take home the best actress in a musical Tony for playing the title character in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. She thanked the iconic singer-songwriter and all her competitors.
Hugh Jackman kicked off the show with a bounce, hopping up and down like a kangaroo during his opening number Sunday. Big, high-kicking musical numbers from After Midnight, Aladdin, Rocky and Hedwig and the Angry Inch kept the energy level up.