Fantasia says all the time how Patti LaBelle is her idol turned mama. So I’m sure it was an honor and privilege for her to perform with her and Gladys Knight this past weekend at the 2014 Tony Awards. The two legends and youngblood Fantasia opened the show singing “On the Sunny Side of the Street” in a choreographed number staged by Warren Carlyle. It showcased some of the highlights from the musical After Midnight. Fantasia finished her last show for the musical earlier that afternoon and Knight and LaBelle will succeed her this summer along with Natalie Cole. If you hadn’t heard, the show did exceptionally well and received seven Tony Nominations including one for Best Musical. It won last night for Best Choreography. You can watch the ladies’ performance below.
Last night was dusted with all types of Black Girl Magic as Sophie Okonedo took home the award for best featured actress in a play for her portrayal of Ruth in “A Raisin in the Sun.” And Audra McDonald made history, becoming the Tony Awards’ most celebrated actress ever. Last night she took home her sixth Tony for her role as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” During her acceptance speech McDonald cried openly and thanked her late parents for disregarding the doctor’s advice and not medicating her for being hyperactive. Thankfully, they directed her to theater instead. And she acknowledged her husband and children, specifically her daughter who she said she is nothing without. And then she thanked women like Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee, Maya Angelous and Billie Holiday. You can watch her speech below.
We’re so proud of all these ladies’ accomplishments and happy to see diversity flourishing on Broadway.