Eva Price holds her Tony Award backstage.
Eva Price holds her Tony Award backstage. (ap photo)

Chelmsford's Eva Price captured another Tony Award on Sunday night when the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic"Oklahoma!," which she produced, won the award for Best Revival of a Musical.

"'Oklahoma!' reminds us that when we try to define who we are as a community, by creating an outsider, it can end in tragedy," Price said in her heart-warming acceptance speech, surrounded by the show's cast and crew on stage at Radio City Music Hall during the televised awards ceremony.

The ground-breaking revival of the classic is stripped down to reveal the darker psychological truths at its core. Directed by Daniel Fish, the production tells a story of a community circling its violence against an outsider and the violence of the frontier that shaped America. It is a new "Oklahoma!," reimagined for the 21st century 76 years after Rodgers & Hammerstein reinvented the American musical with their original production.

In her speech, Price said, "Near the end of 'Oklahoma!,' Laurey's trying to make sense of great loss, and Aunt Eller tells her, 'Lots of things happen to folks. That's how it is, cradle to grave. You gotta be hearty. You gotta be tough. Because the sweet and tender things in life happen to those who are tough.'"

Price continued, "We are living through difficult times, but we have to be hearty and we have to be tough, because the sweet and tender things in life can happen and they're too wonderful to miss. And this is pretty sweet and tender, so thank you so much!"

Price, 39, won the Tony Award for Best Musical two years ago for "Dear Evan Hansen," another ground-breaking show.


The daughter of former Chelmsford residents Judit and Richard Price, who now live in Florida, Price grew up in Chelmsford. She first fell in love with theater at the age of 8 after seeing her first show, "South Pacific." She thanked her parents for taking her in Sunday night's acceptance speech.

"I don't remember a time when I didn't love Broadway. As a kid, I was in productions at school, camp and in local non-professional theaters in the area," she told The Sun two years ago after her "Dear Evan Hansen" win.

One of Broadway's top producers, she has shepherded more than 20 shows and is recognized for her great collaborative spirit and strong support of those she works with. She produced the national tour of "The Lion," starring Ben Scheuer, created by Scheuer and former MRT Artistic Director Sean Daniels, who directed it. The national tour of "The Lion" launched four years ago at MRT.

The "Oklahoma!" revival is set to play at New York's Circle in the Square Theatre through Jan. 19, with a national tour set to launch that month.

Nancye Tuttle's email is nancyedt@verizon.net.