Fordham alums have won 6 Tonys in past 7 years

Several recent graduates were featured during the Tony awards Sunday night, as Rams both brought home the gold and showed off their fancy footwork.

Most notably, Kenny Leon won Best Director of a Play for A Raisin in the Sun. Leon will reportedly be the  Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham this fall; he would be a fitting choice , since Washington has starred in Leon-directed productions of Raisin and Fences on Broadway.

Washington, FCLC ’77, made a $2 million gift in 2011 to endow the chair “in order to offer the next generation of students positive influences,” according to a Fordham press release. Past holders of the chair have included actors Phylicia Rashad and Joe Morton.

John Johnson, FCLC ’02, won two Tony Awards of his own. He produced both Raisin, which won Best Revival of a Play, and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which took the Best Musical honor.

Johnson also produced Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, last year’s winner of Best Play. At the 2013 Tony Awards, he said producers needed to be “eclectic professionals…which Fordham taught me right from the outset.”

Five Fordham graduates were featured in production numbers, including four from the same show. Marija Juliette Abney, FCLC ’07; Taeler Elyse Cyrus, FCLC ’08; Erin N. Moore, FCLC ’05 and Monique Smith, FCLC ’02 are all dancers in After Midnight.

The four graduates of the Ailey/ Fordham B.F.A. in Dance program showed off their show’s Tony-winning choreography during a performance of “On the Sunny Side of the Street/It Don’t Mean a Thing,” which featured appearances by Fantasia Barrino, Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight.

Melanie Moore, FCLC ’14, was featured in a teaser for the new Broadway-aimed musical Finding Neverland, opening in Massachusetts this summer. Moore, who won season eight of “So You Think You Can Dance,” played Peter Pan during the song “Neverland,” which was performed by Jennifer Hudson.

Many other Fordham grads have taken home Tony gold in recent years. Julie White, FCLC ’85, won Best Lead Actress in a Play in 2007 for The Little Dog Laughed. John Benjamin Hickey, FCLC ’85, won Best Featured Actor in a Play in 2011 for The Normal Heart.

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