BootLeg Betty

BetteBack 1974: Johnny Carson Presents Bette Midler With A Tony Award

Middletown Times Herald Record
River Niger‘ wins best play Tony
By JACK GAVER
UPI Drama Editor
April 22, 1974

NEW YORKcategories over a year’s period were announced Sunday night during a television special broadcast from the Shubert Theater before an audience that included hundreds of show business notables.

The winners:

Scenic designer: Franne- and Eugene Lee, “Candide.”
Lighting designer: Jules Fisher, “Ulysses in Nighttown.”
Costume designer: Franne Lee “Candide.”

Choreographer: Michael Bennett, “Seesaw.”

Supporting actress, musical: Janie Sell, “Over Here!”
Supporting actor, musical Tommy Tune. “Seesaw.”
Supporting actress, play: Frances Sternhagen. “The Good Doctor.”
Supporting actor, play Ed Flanders. “A Moon for the Misbegotten.”

Director, musical: Harold Prince. “Candide.”

Actor, musical: Christopher Plummer. “Cyrano.”
Director, play: Jose Quintero, “A Moon for the Misbegotten.”
Play: “The River Niger” by Joseph A. Walker: producer, Negro Ensemble Co., Inc.

The announcements of the winners were spaced out during the telecast of two hours, 20 minutes on the ABC network during which scenes from current musicals and other entertainment items were staged. It was the 28th time for the Tonys, large silvered medallion that are a memorial to director Antoinette Perry, first president
of the American Theater Wing which established the awards. The League of New York Theaters and Producers administers the annual affair for the Wing.

The nominees for the awards were selected for the league more than three weeks ago by a committee of seven critics and other theater persons. The secret ballot to decide winners involved approximately 435 persons connected in some way with the theater.

Nominated for best play honors were “The Au Pair Man,””Boom Boom Room.””The River Niger” and “Ulysses in Nighttown.”

Competing for best musical play recognition were “Over Here! “”Raisin” and “Seesaw.”

Previously the league had announced several honorary special awards as follows:

—Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten” as “an outstanding dramatic revival of a major American play.”

—The revival of “Candide” for “an outstanding contribution to the artistic development of the musical theater.”

—Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, authors and stars of “Good Evening.” for “a unique contribution to the theater of comedy.”

—Singers Bette Midler and Liza Minnelli for “superior concert entertainment on the Broadway stage.”

—Actors’ Equity Association “for 60 years of forceful and tireless effort -on -behalf of American actors and actresses.”

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