Cynthia Erivo has won a Tony award for her performance in The Color Purple, as part of an historic ceremony in which four musical acting gongs went to black actors for the first time.
Musical Hamilton was the big winner of the evening, taking home 11 gongs out of 16 for which it was nominated. The show has confirmed it will open in London next year.
Erivo’s turn in The Color Purple was one of two wins for the production that originated at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London. Erivo took home the best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical award, and the production also took the prize for best revival of a musical.
Menier Chocolate Factory artistic director David Babani said: “We are enormously proud of everyone involved with the production of The Color Purple on Broadway – and it’s an honour to be recognised in this way by the theatre community in New York.”
He described Erivo as “brilliant” and added: “It’s a wonderful time for the Menier at the moment with productions on both sides of the Atlantic playing to critical acclaim.”
Ivo van Hove’s A View from the Bridge, which opened at the Young Vic, also picked up two awards: for best director and best revival of a play. It had been nominated for five prizes, including best actor for Mark Strong.
King Charles III, which was also nominated for five awards, went home empty-handed, as did Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock, which had been up for four awards.
Alongside Erivo, the best actor in a leading role in a musical award went to Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr. Daveed Diggs and Renee Elise Goldsberry took the gongs for best actor and actress in a featured role in a musical, both for Hamilton.
The ceremony was hosted by British talent James Corden.