5 ways the 2015 Tony Awards were better than the 2015 Oscars

The Tony Awards.

A rare lull in the action at the Tonys. Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images.


Too often dismissed as the Oscars' overeager, desperate-to-please little brother.

Indeed, as John Travolta famously taught us, even Broadway's most luminous stars barely even register as a blip on Hollywood's radar.

Mufphx Blzagosephinszj, according to Hollywood. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

But this needs to change immediately. Why? Because this year, little bro finally came into his own. And when it comes to rewarding exciting, diverse talent and telling stories that really matter, the Tony Awards are eating big brother's lunch.

Though it may be hard to believe, the 2015 Tony Awards proved conclusively that Broadway is better than Hollywood, and the Tonys would beat the Oscars in a cage fight 9 out of 10 times. Scientifically speaking, of course.

Here's how.

1. Of the 12 creative awards handed out at the Tonys, seven were won by women.

Marianne Elliott, winner for Best Direction of a Play. Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images.

Including some of the biggest awards of the evening, like Best Direction of a Play and Best Original Score.

Not only is Hollywood seriously lagging behind in this arena, it's barely in the race.

2. A musical by two women, based on a graphic novel by a woman, that looks frankly at sexual identity, same-sex relationships, and suicide won the evening's top prize.

Image by Jere Keys/Flickr.

If you haven't seen "Fun Home," stop what you're doing and get on a plane/bus/hovercraft/scooter to New York right away. Also, 11-year-old Sydney Lucas' performance on the telecast was one of the best things of all time ever.

3. A play featuring an autistic protagonist won the award for Best Play.

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images.

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" basically swept the non-musical awards, winning for Best Play as well as Best Leading Actor in a Play, for Alex Sharp's sensitive, nuanced, human portrayal of Christopher, a 15-year-old boy on the autism spectrum.

Neurodiversity FTW!

4. Best Actor in a Musical winner Michael Cerveris called on the Supreme Court to recognize everyone's freedom to marry in his acceptance speech.

Photo by Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images.

"If [Theater Educator of the Year] Corey Mitchell can teach his students to be their pure, wonderful selves, I hope that all of us can do that for everybody in our lives and across the country, and I hope the Supreme Court can recognize that too."
— Michael Cerveris

5. And Best Book of a Musical winner Lisa Kron reminded everyone that Broadway had its best year ever, not despite the fact that it told interesting, diverse stories from new perspectives, but because it did.


Lisa Kron (left), winner for Best Book of a Musical. Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images.

"This has been the most successful season in Broadway history because all of us have been going into all of these amazing rooms in our house where we live together that we haven't been in before. You guys, our house is so big.

Please, let's not all just go back into the living room."
— Lisa Kron


As Kron wisely pointed out in her speech, this year's Tonys were a step forward, even for Broadway.

Broadway played it safe for a long time. It wasn't even that long ago that, much like the Oscars, the Tonys were a total dude party.

As fun as this looks, no one likes a total dude party. Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images.

But this year was Broadway's most financially successful year ever. And it did so by producing more diverse work, with more women in creative and directorial positions, and without compromising on challenging storytelling.

Compared to the movie industry, Broadway is a tiny drop in the bucket. But if Broadway can change, so can Hollywood.

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