LuPone won Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her work in the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company,” and she thanked COVID-19 safety officials in her acceptance speech. ‘Modern Family’ star Jesse Tyler Ferguson won the Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his work in the revival of ‘Take Me Out.’
“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 a .
Still breathless as she greeted viewers, she told the crowd that this was “Broadway got its groove back” season.
“ Back to recommendation stories
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.
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 exhausted.
The telecast will feature 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 Award-winning musical “Spring Awakening” will also team up and perform.
Stephen Sondheim, the iconic composer who passed away at the end of 2021, will be 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,” a theatrical meta-journey about a playwright writing a musical, enters 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,” Stefano Massini’s play spanning 150 years about what led to the collapse of financial giant Lehman Brothers, is the top contender for Best New Game, while David Morse in a revival of ” Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive is the main 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.