NEW YORK (AP) — Bryan Cranston won as expected at the Tony Awards and Mark Rylance added to his haul. Neil Patrick Harris got his first, which seems like an awfully small number for him. And Audra McDonald? Was there any doubt the Meryl Streep of Broadway wouldn't take home a prize? But behind the big headlines, there were four breakout, first-time wins from rising stars who deserve another look.
SIS WON A TONY
Jessie Mueller, who plays Carole King and beat out heavyweights Kelli O'Hara, Sutton Foster and Idina Menzel for best leading actress in a musical, is the third of four children raised by actors in Chicago. She previously starred in "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" with Harry Connick Jr. and replaced O'Hara in "Nice Work If You Can Get It." All of Mueller's siblings are in the business. At one point late last year, her sister Abby was in "Kinky Boots" nearby on Broadway, her brother Matt was appearing in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" in Chicago and her brother Andrew was in the off-Broadway production of "Peter and the Starcatcher." Her father wasn't able to come to the opening of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical." Why? He was performing in "42nd Street" back home.
ONE WINNER, TWO NAMES
Lena Hall won the Tony for best supporting actress in a musical, but another lady went up to cradle the award: Celina Carvajal. The young lady had been using Carvajal for her acting credits and Hall for her singing career. Now it's Hall all the time and that name has been increasingly cemented in the public eye as she tackled the role of drag king, roadie and husband to Neil Patrick Harris' transgender East Berlin rocker in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Hall previously starred as the success-hungry fiancee Nicola in "Kinky Boots" and has been in "Cats" and "Tarzan" on Broadway. She's also making a name for herself with her band The Deafening.