New York – A gender-swapped revival of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Company’ capitalized on the affection Broadway has for the late, iconic composer by winning five statuettes, including Best Musical Revival. “The Lehman Trilogy” was crowned Best New Play.
“Company” is an exploration of a single person’s conflicted feelings about commitment, traditionally focusing on a 35-year-old bachelor. This time it was a bachelor party and the sexes of several couples were swapped.
Marianne Elliott made Tony history by becoming the only woman to win three Tonys for directing, the last for “Company.” She thanked Sondheim for letting her put a woman “front and center.” She dedicated her award to all who fight to keep theaters open.
Patti LuPone won Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her work in the revival, thanking COVID-19 safety officials in her acceptance speech. Matt Doyle won Best Featured Actor in a Musical for “Company.”
Spanning 150 years and spanning three and a half hours, “The Lehman Trilogy” illustrates the trajectory of Western capitalism by following the fortunes of a single family to the financial crash of 2008. In addition to honors for best game, Sam Mendes won the award for Best Direction. of a play, praising the season for its “creeping creativity”.
Michael R. Jackson’s “A Strange Loop,” a theatrical meta-journey about a playwright writing a musical, won the Tony for best book by a musical. “MJ,” an organic musical of the King of Pop’s greatest hits, won three Tony Awards, including Best Choreography.
‘Take Me Out’ won Best Play Revival and ‘Modern Family’ star Jesse Tyler Ferguson won the Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his work. “Mom, dad, thank you for letting me move to New York when I was 17,” said Ferguson, who also thanked his understudy and her husband.
Host Ariana DeBose kicked off her part of the show in a sparkling white jumpsuit and wide-brimmed hat, dancing and singing along to the song “This Is Your Round of Applause,” which mixed in tunes from favorite musicals, like “Chicago”, “The Wiz”, “Evita”, “Rent”, “Hair”, “Cabaret”, “Hairspray” and “West Side Story”, the remake of the film for which she recently won an Oscar.
Still breathless as she greeted viewers, she told the crowd that this was “Broadway got its groove back” season.
Phylicia Rashad won Best Featured Actress in a Play for “Skeleton Crew,” Dominique Morisseau’s play about blue-collar job insecurity set in a Detroit auto stamping plant. “It’s wonderful to present humanity in all its fullness,” she said.
The season was marked by the embrace of seven black playwrights, from contemporary writers like Dominique Morisseau, Keenan Scott II and Antoinette Nwandu, to underrated historical playwrights like Alice Childress and Ntozake Shange. DeBose said Broadway was more representative.
DeBose celebrated black voices and onstage talent – while noting that two Broadway theaters have been renamed for black icons James Earl Jones and Lena Horne – saying The Great White Way was now a nickname “as opposed to a practical Guide. “
DeBose also praised the heroic efforts of stunt doubles, swingers and vigils to keep shows going through pandemic peaks, noting that she and many other Tony nominees had once been unadvertised stunt doubles and swingers.
Having been freed from technical rewards management, the main telecast had a less frenetic and more airy feel. DeBose was an assured, funny, and versatile host, roaming seats, sitting on Andrew Garfield’s lap, dancing with Sam Rockwell, and tricking Laurence Fishburne into doing a Daffy Duck impersonation.
Some of the show’s highlights included the massive cast of “The Music Man” filling the huge Radio City stage with “Seventy-Six Trombones,” as well as Prince Jackson and Paris Jackson introducing the show to their father before the cast of “MJ” does dance. to an energetic “Smooth Criminal”. Billy Crystal taught the crowd “Yiddish scatting”.
Numerous acceptance speeches thanked audiences for braving the spikes of COVID-19 to come see performances, and Marsha Gay Harden applauded 150 security guards invited as guests at the Tonys.
Earlier, Darren Criss and Julianne Hough kicked off the four-hour awards, handing out mostly design prizes. Criss opened the telecast with the original song, “Set the Stage,” as he and Hough energetically danced on ladders, on laundry baskets and on sliding theater seats to celebrate the artists who bring theater to life.
The night’s top prize — for best score — went to “Six: The Musical,” with music and lyrics by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. Marlow became the first non-binary composer-lyricist to win a Tony. “Six: The Musical” also won Best Costume Design for a Musical.
The “Company” revival landed Best Scenic Design for a Musical. The best orchestrations went to “Girl From the North Country”. “The Lehman Trilogy” won for Best Scenic Design of a Play and Lighting Design of a Play.
“The Skin of Our Teeth” won Best Costume Design for a Play, “MJ” won Best Choreography, Best Lighting for a Musical and Sound Design for a Musical, while “Dana H. ” won for the sound design of a play.
The season – with 34 new productions – represents a full return to theaters after nearly two years of pandemic-enforced shutdown. In the last Tonys nine months ago, winners were drawn from just 18 eligible plays and musicals, and many competitive categories were sold out.
The show featured performances from this year’s Tony Award-nominated musicals, including “A Strange Loop”, “Company”, “Girl from the North Country”, “MJ”, “Mr. Saturday Night”, “Music Man”, “Paradise Square” and “Six”. The original cast members of the 2007 Tony-winning musical “Spring Awakening” have reunited for a performance.
Sondheim, the iconic composer who died in late 2021, was honored in a special segment by Bernadette Peters singing his song “Children Will Listen.” Angela Lansbury, who was honored by lifetime achievement Tony, was not in attendance, so her “Sweeney Todd” co-star Len Cariou accepted on her behalf.
“A Strange Loop,” entered the show with 11 Tony nominations. Close behind with 10 nominations each are ‘MJ’, an organic musical from the King of Pop stuffed with his greatest hits, and ‘Paradise Square’, a musical about Irish immigrants and black Americans scrambling to survive. in New York during the Civil War.
The best actresses in a musical are Sharon D Clarke of the revival of “Caroline, or Change” and Joaquina Kalukango of “Paradise Square”. The best actor in a musical may be Jaquel Spivey of “A Strange Loop” against Myles Frost as the King of Pop in “MJ the Musical.”
“The Lehman Trilogy,” was the leading contender for best new play, while David Morse in a revival of Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive” is the leading contender for best actor in a play. Her co-star, Mary-Louise Parker, could become the first actor to receive the Tonys for Best Actress in a Play back-to-back.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
A partial list of winners for the 75th Tony Awards, to be held in New York on Sunday:
– Best Play: “The Lehman Trilogy”.
– Best cover of a musical: “Compagnie”.
– Best cover of a song: “Take Me Out”.
– Featured Actor, Play: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Take Me Out”
– Featured Actress, Play: Phylicia Rashad, “Skeleton Crew”
– Featured Actress, Musical: Patti LuPone, “Company.”
– Featured Actor, Musical: Matt Doyle, “Company”.
– Best Direction of a Play: Sam Mendes, “The Lehman Trilogy”.
— Best Direction of a Musical: Marianne Elliott, “Company”.
– Best Music: “Six: The Musical,” with music and lyrics by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss.
— Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon, “MJ”.
— Costume Design: Montana Levi Blanco, “The Skin of Our Teeth”.
– Costume Design, Musical: Gabriella Slade, “Six: The Musical”
– Scenic design, acting: Es Devlin, “The Lehman Trilogy”.
– Scenic design, musical comedy: Bunny Christie, “Compagnie”.
– Lighting design, acting: Jon Clark, “The Lehman Trilogy”.
– Lighting Design, Musical: Natasha Katz, “MJ”.
— Sound design, acting: Mikhail Fiksel, “Dana H.”
— Sound Design, Musical: Gareth Owen, “MJ”.
— Best orchestrations: Simon Hale, “Girl from the North Country”.