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Birmingham folks come home with a handful of Tony Awards

The Best Revival of a Musical win for “Once on This Island” at Sunday night’s Tony Awards brought theater’s highest honor to a contingent from Red Mountain Theatre Company.

RMTC, its Executive Director Keith Cromwell and patrons Raymond and Kathryn Harbert all are Tony winners as producers of the award-winning musical.

“What an amazing feeling that it was almost 20 years ago when I was on that stage performing in the ‘Holiday Spectacular,’” Cromwell said. “What an amazing way to return to the great Radio City Music Hall, as part of the Tony Award-winning team that made ‘Once on This Island’ happen.”

The recognition will help RMTC continue to fulfill its mission, Cromwell said.

Red Mountain Theatre Company is determined to use the transformational qualities of theater to further the momentum and renaissance of Birmingham,” he said. “The honor of winning a Tony Award for this beautiful production will allow us to more deeply engage, educate and enrich our amazing community.”

Kathryn Harbert, president of the theater’s board of directors, said she and her husband were “thrilled.”

“This will bring RMTC more recognition of the great work they do – and more closely connect them to the larger Broadway community,” she said.

“Once on This Island” was one of the night’s big winners, along with “The Band’s Visit” (Best Musical), “Angels in America” (Best Revival of a Play) and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” (Best Play).

Other Alabama actors had strong connections to a number of the awards:

–Lindsay Mendez won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Carrie Pipperidge in Broadway’s “Carousel.” Who steps in for Mendez when she’s away? Birmingham’s Scarlett Walker, who is in the ensemble every night and understudies the role of Carrie Pipperidge, which she has played several times since going on May 27 for the first time.
–He lost the Best Featured Actor in a Musical award to Ari’el Stachel of “The Band’s Visit,” but Norbert Leo Butz, as Alfred Doolittle in “My Fair Lady,” performed on the awards show with the cast. Butz, a two-time Tony Award winner, got an early start at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, where he graduated in the MFA program.
–His show didn’t win the big award, but Birmingham’s DeMarius Copes was right there on the Tony Award stage performing with the cast of “Mean Girls,” one of the nominees for Best Musical.
–Hoover’s Vasthy Mompoint also performed on stage, as part of the ensemble for another Best Musical nominee, “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)