NEW YORK • The supporters of Hadestown, a folk opera about a young couple's dark trek to the underworld, had a devil of a time on Sunday at the Tony Awards.
It won the most honours - eight - including best musical.
Based on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, the musical also bagged best director, score and supporting actor (Andre De Shields).
But director Rachel Chavkin was in no mood to say nice things, noting that she was the only woman currently directing a Broadway musical and calling for the theatre world to step up.
"It is a failure of imagination," she told the audience.
The Ferryman, a wrenching examination of a family during the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, won best play and best director for Sam Mendes.
Bryan Cranston won his second Tony as an unhinged television anchorman in Network, a stage adaptation of the 1976 movie.
He dedicated his award to journalists. In a veiled reference to repeated attacks on the press by United States President Donald Trump, Cranston said the media "is not the enemy of the people. Demagoguery is the enemy of the people".
Elaine May, 87, was named best actress in a play for her performance as a mentally declining woman in The Waverly Gallery.
The best actor in a musical Tony went to Santino Fontana for Tootsie, the hit show based on the 1982 movie, while Stephanie J. Block took home the lead actress award playing music legend Cher in The Cher Show.
A poignant moment came when the supporting musical actress statuette was given to Ali Stroker for her contribution in a reinvented staging of classic musical Oklahoma!, which won best revival of a musical.
She became the first actor performing in a wheelchair to win a Tony. "This award is for every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability, a limitation or a challenge who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena," said an emotional Stroker.
Best musical: Hadestown
Best play: The Ferryman
Best actor in a play: Bryan Cranston (Network)
Best actress in a play: Elaine May (The Waverly Gallery)
Best actor in a musical: Santino Fontana (Tootsie)
Best actress in a musical: Stephanie J. Block (The Cher Show)
Best director of a play: Sam Mendes (The Ferryman)
Best director of a musical: Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown)