Moulin Rouge! The Musical, the stage adaptation of the 2001 film, won the Tony Award for Best Musical tonight. The Inheritance, Matthew López’s elegiac two-part drama about the AIDS scourge inspired by E.M Forster’s Howards End, won the Tony Award tonight for Best Play.
López, after thanking and acknowledging three queer artists who inspired him (Forster, Terrence McNally and Miguel Pinero), noted that he was the first Latinx playwright to win a Tony Award for Best Play. He said that while the Latinx community made up 19% of the U.S. population, the number drops to only 2% on Broadway. “This must change,” he said.
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With the Best Play award going to The Inheritance, Slave Play, nominated for 12 Tonys, ended the night with no awards. The shut out is easily the biggest upset of the night.
Earlier in the broadcast, director Kenny Leon, accepting the award for best play revival for his direction of A Soldier’s Play, invoked the names of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Kobe Bryant and Melvin Van Peebles, reminded the Winter Garden Theatre audience that they were seated on Native American land and urged Broadway to tell the stories of all Americans.
“We need to hear all of the stories,” Leon said. “When we hear all of the stories we are better.”
A Soldier’s Play won the first award presented during Broadway’s Back!, the CBS concert portion of tonight’s Tony festivities. Earlier in the evening, during the Paramount+ livestream of most of the awards, came the first big surprises of the night: Andrew Burnap of The Inheritance won the Tony for his lead performance in the play, beating out other better known nominees including Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Sturridge, Blair Underwood and Ian Barford. And Mary-Louise Parker won for her lead performance in the play The Sound Inside, in a category some thought would go to Slave Play actress Joaquina Kalukango.
With only three categories left to be presented – Best Play, Best Musical and Best Revival of a Play will be handed out during the CBS portion of tonight’s Emmy festivities – Slave Play, the controversial, groundbreaking and much-discussed play by Jeremy O. Harris has so far been entirely shut out. Of 11 nominations, including five acting nominees and director Robert O’Hara, presented during the livestream portion of the ceremony, Slave Play won none. It’s sole remained shot going into the CBS portion of the evening – the Best Play category – also yielded no trophy.
In perhaps the least surprising moments, Aaron Tveit, the sole nominee in the leading actor/musical category, won, delivering a good-natured and moving speech in which he thanked the late Terrence McNally, and Adrienne Warren, star of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, won the lead actress/musical trophy. Warren, aside from Tveit, was considered the night’s shoo-in for her star-making performance as music icon Tina Turner.
Stephen Daldry and Alex Timbers won the Tony Awards for their direction of, respectively, The Inheritance and Moulin Rouge! The Musical.
Daldry, accepting the award for Best direction of a play, made special mention of the many people who died “in that other pandemic, AIDS,” the subject of the Matthew Lopez play The Inheritance. Timbers, accepting for best direction of a musical, included Baz Luhrmann, director of the 2001 film version of Moulin Rouge!, in his thank-yous.
A Christmas Carol, adapted from the Charles Dickens classic by playwright Jack Thorne and which starred Campbell Scott as Scrooge during the 2019 holiday season won the Tonys for scenic design, costume design, lighting and sound design for a play, and also took the award for Best Original Score.
Lauren Patten, winning the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for her role in Jagged Little Pill thanked her trans and non-binary colleagues for engaging in a dialogue about her character Jo.
“I want to thank my trans and nonbinary friends and colleagues who have engaged with me in difficult conversations that have joined me in dialogue about my character, Jo,” Patten said. “I believe that the future for the change we need to see on Broadway comes from these kinds of conversations that are full of honesty and empathy and respect for our shared humanity. And I am so excited to see the action that comes from them, and to see where that leads our future as theatre artists in this country.”
Jagged Little Pill writer Diablo Cody won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, but did not address the recent controversies.
The writing of Patten’s character drew criticism from the trans and non-binary communities after the production revised the character named Jo from non-binary in a pre-Broadway staging to a gay cis female character for Broadway. Producers later apologized and outlined steps they plan to take to address the matter.
David Alan Grier won the Tony Award for actor in a featured role in a play for his performance in A Soldier’s Play, and Danny Burstein then was awarded the trophy for featured actor in a musical for Moulin Rouge!
Veteran stage actor Lois Smith won for her featured role in the play The Inheritance.
Moulin Rouge! took the same quartet of major design awards in the musical categories: Scenic, costume, lighting and sound design.
The 74th Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Audra McDonald, will be livestreamed tonight at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, exclusively on Paramount+. The presentation will honor the outstanding shows, performances and artistry of the 2019-2020 Broadway season, which was brought to a halt in March 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!, hosted by Leslie Odom, Jr., airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.
Below find the complete list of Tony nominees, special award recipients and honorees. Deadline will update this winners list as the awards are announced.
74th ANNUAL TONY AWARDS WINNERS LIST
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Lois Smith, The Inheritance
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol
Best Costume Design of a Play
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Hugh Vanstone, A Christmas Carol
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Best Sound Design of a Play
Simon Baker, A Christmas Carol
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
A Christmas Carol
Music: Christopher Nightingale
Best Book of a Musical
Jagged Little Pill
Katie Kresek, Charlie Rosen, Matt Stine and Justin Levine, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Best Direction of a Play
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance
Best Direction of a Musical
Alex Timbers, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Andrew Burnap, The Inheritance
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Aaron Tveit, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Mary-Louise Parker, The Sound Inside
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Adrienne Warren, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical
Best Revival of a Play
A Soldier’s Play Charles Fuller
Author: Matthew López
Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Special Tony Awards were presented to:
The Broadway Advocacy Coalition, an arts-based advocacy nonprofit dedicated to building the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to use storytelling as a way of dismantling the systems that perpetuate racism. The organization was founded in 2016 by several Black members of the Broadway community as a direct response to the nation’s pandemic of rac:ism and police brutality, and has since grown into a multidisciplinary organization which unites artists, legal experts and community advocates to create lasting impact and collaborations on policy issues ranging from criminal justice reform to education equity to immigration.
David Byrne’s American Utopia, the Broadway theatrical concert production described by the Tony Awards administration committee as “a jubilant celebration of live music, community, and connection.” The production recently returned to Broadway for a limited engagement.
Freestyle Love Supreme, created by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale, was developed in the basement of The Drama Bookshop in 2004 and slowly worked its way to Broadway’s Booth Theatre in 2019. Directed by Kail, the acclaimed show features a comedic improvisational musical structure, and a rotating cast. Freestyle Love Supreme will return to Broadway for a strictly limited engagement at the Booth on Thursday, October 7.
Tony Honors For Excellence in the Theater were previously announced for:
Fred Gallo, President of PRG Scenic Technologies. Gallo, a former stagehand and production carpenter, co-founded Scenic Technologies leading to the formation of his company PRG, one of the world’s leading suppliers of scenery and automation for theatrical productions.
Irene Gandy, the first Black female press agent member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, and a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and a producer for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill starring Audra MacDonald.
Beverly Jenkins, a professional stage manager for over 30 years, currently the production stage manager for the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Hadestown.
Woodie King, Jr., founder of the New Federal Theatre, a groundbreaking company with a mission to integrate artists of color and women into the mainstream of American theater.
The 2020 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award was previously announced for:
Actress Julie Halston for her work and advocacy in raising funding and awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.
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