The 2014 Tony Awards kicked off the Sunday, June 8 ceremony with the performance of "Sunny Side of the Street" from "After Midnight". The night's host, Hugh Jackman, greeted, "Welcome to the Tony's. The only place where you can see Rocky in the ring, Bryan Cranston in the Oval Office and Wolverine in tap shoes."
The first trophy of the night was handed out to Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play winner Mark Rylance of "Twelfth Night". The cast of "Les Miserables" revival then belted out "One Day More" before the second trophy was handed to "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" star Lena Hall for winning Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical.
There were two more performances; the cast of "Aladdin" performing "Never Had a Friend Like Me" and Idina Menzel performing "Always Starting Over" from "If/Then". James Monroe Iglehart later took the best supporting actor in a musical award for his role as genie in "Aladdin". Sophie Okonedo took the best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play for her role in "A Raisin in the Sun".
The big trophies were soon rolling out, starting with Audra McDonald of "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" accepting the award for best lead actress in a play. She gave a shoutout to Maya Angelou who recently passed away. "I am standing on Lena Horne's shoulders, I am standing on Maya Angelou's shoulders and most of all Billy Holiday, you deserved so much more than you were given," she said in the acceptance speech.
A short while later, Bryan Cranston won the best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play for his role in "All the Way". The award hand-out was intercepted by a performance from Neil Patrick Harris who dressed as full drag for a "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" number. "All the Way" topped Cranston's victory by taking the Best Play award.
"A Raisin in the Sun" won the best revival of a play while "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" took the best revival of a musical award. The last two nods were given to Jessie Mueller for her titular role in "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical" and "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder" for Best Musical.