“Shut that crap off!” - Bette Midler silences orchestra at 2017 Tony Awards

'Dear Evan Hansen' was the big winner at the annual Broadway awards show

“Shut that crap off!” - Bette Midler silences orchestra at 2017 Tony Awards

Glenn Close hands Bette Midler her award at the Radio City Music Hall in New York [Michael Zorn/AP/PA photowire service]

After years of stories about his own sexuality, Kevin Spacey kicked off his hosting duties at the 2016 Tony Awards with an all-singing, all-dancing opening medley that openly courted controversy.

The two-time Oscar-winner, who claimed his only Tony Award in 1991, also mocked the current state of American politics, appearing on the New York stage in his current guise as President Frank Underwood. The House of Cards star was joined by his onscreen wife Robin Wright, with Spacey also going on to impersonate former Democratic President Bill Clinton during the live telecast.

At one point, dressed as Sunset Boulevard’s Norma Desmond, Spacey turned to the crowd and sang, "I'm coming out," then adding: "Wait, no... wait."

The energetic 11-minute opening number saw Spacey tap dancing and going through several costume changes, with nods to many of the show’s nominated for the biggest night for Broadway performers.

“I can’t believe how many people do that eight times a week,” a panting Spacey quipped after the opening number ended.

There were few surprises as the awards were handed out; Oscar-winner Kevin Kline took home ‘Best Leading Actor in a Play’ for Present Laughter, using his acceptance speech to criticise the Trump administration’s cutting funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Dear Evan Hansen was named ‘Best Musical’, with its lead Ben Blatt taking home the prize for ‘Best Leading Actor in a Musical’ as well.

Veteran actress Bette Midler took the equivalent prize for her role in the revival of Hello, Dolly! Giving a crowd-pleasing acceptance speech, the actress battled the orchestra when it tried to play her off, shouting to them “Shut that crap off!”

The full list of this year’s Tony Winners reads as follows:

Best play

Winner: Oslo

Also nominated: A Doll's House, Part 2; Indecent; Sweat

Best musical

Winner: Dear Evan Hansen

Also nominated: Come From Away; Groundhog Day; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Best revival of a play

Winner: Jitney

Also nominated: The Little Foxes; Present Laughter; Six Degrees of Separation

Best revival of a musical

Winner: Hello, Dolly!

Also nominated: Falsettos; Miss Saigon

Best book of a musical

Winner: Dear Evan Hansen

Also nominated: Come From Away; Groundhog Day; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Best original score

Winner: Dear Evan Hansen

Also nominated: Come From Away; Groundhog Day; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Best leading actor in a play

Winner: Kevin Kline, Present Laughter

Also nominated: Denis Arndt, Heisenberg; Chris Cooper, A Doll's House, Part 2; Corey Hawkins, Six Degrees of Separation; Jefferson Mays, Oslo

Best leading actress in a play

Winner: Laurie Metcalf, A Doll's House, Part 2

Also nominated: Cate Blanchett, The Present; Jennifer Ehle, Oslo; Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie; Laura Linney, The Little Foxes

Best leading actor in a musical

Winner: Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen

Also nominated: Christian Borle, Falsettos; Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Andy Karl, Groundhog Day; David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly!

Best leading actress in a musical

Winner: Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!

Also nominated: Denee Benton, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Christine Ebersole, War Paint; Patti LuPone, War Paint; Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon

Best featured actor in a play

Winner: Michael Aronov, Oslo

Also nominated: Danny DeVito, The Price; Nathan Lane, The Front Page; Richard Thomas, The Little Foxes; John Douglas Thompson, Jitney

Best featured actress in a play

Winner: Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes

Also nominated: Johanna Day, Sweat; Jayne Houdyshell, A Doll's House, Part 2; Condola Rashad, A Doll's House, Part 2; Michelle Wilson, Sweat role as Miranda in

Best featured actor in a musical

Winner: Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!

Also nominated: Mike Faist, Dear Evan Hansen; Andrew Rannells, Falsettos; Lucas Steele, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Brandon Uranowitz, Falsettos

Best featured actress in a musical

Winner: Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen

Also nominated: Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly!; Stephanie J Block, Falsettos; Jenn Colella, Come From Away; Mary Beth Peil, Anastasia

Best scenic design of a play

Winner: The Play That Goes Wrong

Also nominated: The Front Page, Jitney; Oslo

Best scenic design of a musical

Winner: Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Also nominated: Groundhog Day; Hello, Dolly!; War Paint

Best costume design of a play

Winner: The Little Foxes

Also nominated: A Doll's House, Part 2; Jitney; Present Laughter

Best costume design of a musical

Winner: Hello, Dolly!

Also nominated: Anastasia; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; War Paint

Best lighting design from a play

Winner: Indecent

Also nominated: A Doll's House, Part 2; Jitney; Oslo

Best lighting design from a musical

Winner: Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Also nominated: Come From Away; Dear Evan Hansen; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Best direction of a play

Winner: Rebecca Taichman, Indecent

Also nominated: Sam Gold, A Doll's House, Part 2; Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jitney; Bartlett Sher, Oslo; Daniel Sullivan, The Little Foxes

Best direction of a musical

Winner: Christopher Ashley, Come From Away

Also nominated: Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Michael Greif, Dear Evan Hansen; Matthew Warchus, Groundhog Day; Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly!

Best choreography

Winner: Bandstand

Also nominated: Come and Away; Groundhog Day; Holiday Inn; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Best orchestrations

Winner: Dear Evan Hansen

Also nominated: Bandstand; Hello, Dolly!; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Special Tony Award for lifetime achievement in the theatre

James Earl Jones

Special Tony Award

Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, sound designers for The Encounter

Regional Theatre Tony Award

Dallas Theater Center, Dallas

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Baayork Lee

Tony Honours for excellence in the theatre

Nina Lannan; Alan Wasser

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