The arty and original “Hadestown” was leading the Tony Awards with six wins Sunday, including a rare win for a woman director of a musical, while Ali Stroker made history as the first actor in a wheelchair to win a Tony Award.

Stroker, paralyzed from the chest down due to a car crash when she was 2, won for featured actresses in a musical for her work in a dark revival of “Oklahoma!”

“This award is for every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability, who has a limitation or a challenge, who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena,” she said. “You are.”

Rachel Chavkin, the only woman to helm a new Broadway musical this season, won the Tony for best director of a musical for “Hadestown.” She told the crowd she was sorry to be such a rarity on Broadway.

“There are so many women who are ready to go. There are so many people of color who are ready to go.” A lack of strides in embracing diversity on Broadway, she said, “is not a pipeline issue” but a lack of imagination.

Other winners included the legendary Elaine May, who took home her first ever Tony for best leading actress, playing the Alzheimer’s-afflicted grandmother in Kenneth Lonergan’s comic drama “The Waverly Gallery.”

Andre DeShields captured featured actor in a musical for “Hadestown,” his first Tony at the age of 73. In his speech, he gave “three cardinal rules of my sustainability and longevity.

“One, surround yourself with people whose eyes light up when they see you coming. Two, slowly is the fastest way to get to where you want to be, and three, the top of one mountain is the bottom of the next, so keep climbing.”

Oscar-winning director and producer Sam Mendes has won his first directing Tony Award for guiding “The Ferryman.”

The play is a vigorous family epic set in Northern Ireland in 1981 during the Troubles. It requires a 21-person cast, plus a baby and animals.

Mendes’ previous Broadway work included “Cabaret,” ‘’The Vertical Hour, “Gypsy,” ‘’The Blue Room” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” He won an Oscar for directing “American Beauty.”

‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ tops X-Men at the box office

LOS ANGELES — After nearly 20 years and a dozen films, the current manifestation of X-Men movies is going out with a whimper.

Scorched by poor reviews, the $200 million “Dark Phoenix” earned a franchise low of $33 million from 3,721 North American locations over the weekend for a second place finish, according to studio estimates Sunday. First place went instead to “The Secret Life of Pets 2.”

The Universal Pictures and Illumination sequel, featuring the voices of Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish and Harrison Ford in his first animated role, grossed an estimated $47.1 million in ticket sales. Although less than half of what the first film opened to in 2016, it’s still a major win for the studio, considering the production budget was around $80 million. Its global total is already sitting at $97 million.

The Associated Press

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright, Telegraph Herald. This story cannot be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior authorization from the TH.