June 12 (UPI) -- Bette Midler praised the Broadway community after she won the Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award Sunday night for her performance in the revival of Hello, Dolly!
The 71-year-old singer and actress memorably said, "Shut that crap off!" when her acceptance speech was deemed too long and producers attempted to use music to get her to stop talking.
In the press room later, she opened up about how much it means for her to be part of the New York theater circle.
"I met all these great people, who are so kind and so generous. ... You hear all these stories about the Broadway community and I thought: 'I'm a loner. I don't go much for crowds.' So, the idea of a community was quite foreign to me because, when I started, there was no community -- I started in 1965 here in New York. There was no community. It was every man for himself and sometimes we had drinks, but it wasn't the way it is today. There are birthdays celebrated. There are weddings celebrated. There are people being born, people dying. It is real life in one theater. All this real life under one roof and you become family and I wasn't prepared for that. I was quite stunned by it. They embraced me to such a degree that I can only say, 'It's more than I deserve.' So, thank you. Thank you, Broadway community."
Hello, Dolly! was named Best Revival of a Musical Sunday and also earned the accolade for Best Costume Design. Midler's co-star Gavin Creel won the Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, as well.
Midler previously received a Special Tony Award for Adding Lustre to the Broadway Season in 1974.