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

It ain't even close.

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.

More
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Life for a shelter dog, even if it's a comfortable shelter administered by the ASPCA with as many amenities as can be afforded, is still not the same as having the comfort and safety of a forever home. Professional violinist Martin Agee knows that and that's why he volunteers himself and his instrument to help.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Believe
True
Macy's