New York – “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 hyperactive film, took an insurmountable lead at the Tony Awards, earning nine trophies, including best new musical still on the air. “The Inheritance” by Matthew Lopez was named Best New Drama.
Lopez’s two-part, seven-hour epic uses “Howard’s End” as the starting point of a play that looks at gay life in the early 21st century. It won Andrew Burnap for Best Actor in a Play, Stephen Daldry as Best Director, and Lois Smith for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play. One producer, Thomas Kirdahi, dedicated the award to her late husband, playwright Terrence McNally. Lopez urged the Latin community to produce more plays. Charles Fuller’s “A Soldier’s Play” won Best Drama Revival.
Pandemic-delayed broadcasts called “Hairspray!” The original Broadway cast of U.S. debuted with an energetic performance of “You Can’t Stop the Beat”. Jennifer Holiday also took the stage to perform an unforgettable rendition of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from the musical “Dreamgirls.”
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The singers performed for a masked and appreciative audience at the packed Winter Garden Theatre. Host Audra McDonald received a standing ovation as she took the stage. “You can’t stop the beat. Heart of New York City!” he said.
“Moulin Rouge! The Musical” won Tonys for beautiful design, costume, lighting, sound design, orchestration and a featured performance for Broadway favorite Danny Burstein. Sonya Tayeh won for choreography on her Broadway debut, and Alex Timbers won the trophy for Best Direction of a Musical.
To no one’s surprise, Aaron Tweet won Best Leading Actor in a Musical for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical.” This is because he was the only person to be nominated in this category. He thanked a long list of people, including his parents, brother, agents, manager and the cast and crew. “We are very privileged to do this,” he said tearfully. “Because what we do changes people’s lives.”
Burstein, who won for featured actor in a musical and didn’t win six times last year, thanked the Broadway community for supporting him following his wife’s death after his death, Rebecca Luker. “You were there for us, whether you just sent a note or sent your love, sent your prayers – sent bagels – it meant the world to us, and that is something I will never forget.”
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David Alan Grier won Featured Actor in a Play for his role in “A Soldier’s Play”. “To my other candidates: Tough Bananas, I won,” he said. On stage, director Kenny Lyons recited the names of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. “we will never forget you.”
Adrienne Warren won a Tony for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her electric turn as Tina Turner in “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical”. Warren was considered a frontrunner for the award for being a female fireball of energy and enthusiasm. She dedicated the victory to the three members of the loser’s family, playing Turner—and thanked Turner himself.
Mary-Louise Parker won her second Best Lead Actress Tony Award, winning for playing a Yale professor who treasures great literature, but for sharing that love with someone in “The Sound Inside”. There is no place in his life. She thanked her dog, whom she was walking in the rain, when she bumped into Mandy Greenfield from the Williamstown Theater Festival, who told her about the play.
Burnap made his Broadway debut in “The Inheritance”. He thanked his mother and the University of Rhode Island and joked that he felt grateful because “I got to act for seven hours.”
The sobering musical “Jagged Little Pill”, which featured Alanis Morissette’s breakthrough 1995 album telling the story of an American family spiraling out of control, garnered a major 15 Tony nominations overnight. It won for Best Book, and Lauren Patton won Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
“A Christmas Carol” was cleaned up with five technical awards: a play’s beautiful design, costumes, lighting, sound design and score. No one from the production was on hand to accept any awards.
Sunday’s show was extended from its usual three hours to four hours, with McDonald’s handing out Tonys for the first two hours and Leslie Odom Jr. to “Broadway Back!” hosted. Celebrations for the second part with three top musical performances.
The live special included David Byrne and the cast of “American Utopia” standing and clapping as they played “Burning Down the House”, and John Legend and the cast of “Ain’t Too Proud” from “My Girl” and “My Girl”. There’s not much pride in begging.”
“Slave Play,” Jeremy O. Harris’ groundbreaking, groundbreaking work that blends race, gender, taboo desires, and class earned a dozen nominations, making it the most nominated play in Tony history. But it won nothing.
This season’s nominations were drawn from only 18 character plays and musicals from the 2019-2020 season, a fraction of the 34 shows from the previous season. During most years, there are 26 competing categories. This year there are 25 of which there are many less.
The last Tony Awards ceremony was held in 2019. The virus forced Broadway theaters to close abruptly on March 12, 2020, leading to the closure of all shows and the start of the spring season. Many have been remastered, including the so-called big three of “Wicked,” “Hamilton” and “The Lion King.”