Longtime Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member Laurie Metcalf now has a Tony Award to keep her three Emmys company.
Metcalf won the Tony for best actress in a play Sunday night for her acclaimed work in “A Doll’s House, Part 2.” It was her fourth nomination in a three-decade-plus stage career.
Accepting the trophy at Radio City Music Hall, Metcalf kept her speech simple, thanking the play’s co-stars, director and playwright, as well as producer Scott Rudin for gambling that the Henrik Ibsen sequel could go directly to Broadway. She also thanked her youngest children, Mae and Donovan, for letting her “do what I love doing the most: working in the theater.”
In Lucas Hnath’s play, Metcalf portrays Ibsen’s creation Nora as she returns from her time away to confront her former husband, grown daughter and nanny.
Metcalf won her Emmys for her 1988-97 role as Jackie Harris, the protagonist’s sister on “Roseanne.” She plans to revisit the part in a revival of the series next season on ABC.
In a statement Sunday night, Steppenwolf artistic director Anna D. Shapiro congratulated Metcalf and said she “helped define the reputation and style that Steppenwolf is known for through her iconic performances and has become a legend in American Theatre. She is riveting in every role she takes on, and it is such a pleasure to be able to celebrate her work with this Tony.”
Other winners also had ties to Chicago:
• The late August Wilson’s “Jitney,” winner of best revival of a play, was staged at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 1999. Written in 1979 and first produced in 1982 at Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Repertory Theater, “Jitney” is part of the Pulitzer Prize winner’s “20th Century Cycle,” a series of dramas detailing the African-American experience through each decade from the 1900s through the 1990s. Wilson and the Goodman forged a 20-year relationship during which the theater company became the first in the world to produce all 10 plays in the “Cycle.” This was the first time “Jitney” was eligible for Tony consideration, having previously been produced Off Broadway and in regional productions only. Prior to the 2016-2017 season, it was the only one of his “Cycle” plays that had not been seen on a Broadway stage.
• Ben Platt, named best lead actor in a musical for “Dear Evan Hansen,” is familiar to Chicago audiences for his lead role in the first national tour of “The Book of Mormon.”
Contributing: Miriam Di Nunzio