Alfred Molina (Mark Rothko) and Eddie Redmayne (Ken) in Red. (Photo: Johan Persson)
Did you hear? Mark Rothko won a Tony! Well, technically, it was John Logan‘s play about the artist that triumphed, collecting a whopping six awards—some majors (best play, best featured actor, best direction) along with best scenic design, lighting design, and sound design at last night’s Tony Awards, held at Radio City Music Hall. And if you noticed the likes of Catherine Zuber and Marina Draghici (winners in costume design for The Royal Family and Fela!, respectively) clutching slightly heftier statuettes, it’s because the Tony Award recently underwent a gentle, size-boosting redesign. The pedestal-mounted medallions handed out this year were a couple of inches taller and a couple of pounds heavier than their predecessors.
Erik Piepenburg of The New York Times recently speculated on what a complete overhaul of the Tony might look like by rounding up a diverse crew of design luminaries to try their hand at redesigning the staid statuette. Winterhouse’s Jessica Helfand and Alex Knowlton devised a trophy applause sign that erupts in cheers when lifted, while Harry Allen sketched an elegant pair of glass hands clapping (fashion designer Peter Som played to the crowd with jazz hands, designed to be cast in bronze). But Milton Glaser had other ideas. “Since the Oscar is the most universally known award in the drama world, why don’t we simply do our version of it?” he asked. “Tony, for noninsiders, has a totally different meaning than for those in the theater.” He offered this “less idealized and more realistic” take on the Academy’s golden man.