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The 74th Annual Tony Awards


Hello everybody!


Happy Tony Sunday!


It is Broadway’s biggest night, and tonight is even bigger as it is the awards show for the 2019/2020 season which ended early when theatres were shut down due to COVID-19.


But let’s start with a little bit of history about the Tony Awards:


The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre (often referred to as the “Tony”), is considered the most prestigious award in the American Theatre. The award was founded by The American Theatre Wing in 1947 to recognize those who showed “distinguished stage acting and technical achievement” and is named after actress, director, and performer, Antoinette Perry.


Like everything else, the ceremony will be different this year, and here is all the information you need to tune in:


The 74th Tony Awards will be presented tonight at 7pm tonight on Paramount+! The ceremony will be hosted by Audra McDonald, with Leslie Odom Jr. taking over at 9pm for Broadway’s Back, the event’s second half, which will feature performances from a gathering of Broadway stars to celebrate the return of live theatre.


There are a lot of varying opinions on this year’s event and it has been the topic of discussion, which I will get to in a minute.


Because while there is a lot to discuss about the theatre industry, changes to the ceremony, or even having a ceremony at all, it does not take away the honour presented to this year’s nominees.


So let’s meet them:


BEST PLAY:


Grand Horizons - Beth Whol

The Inheritance - Matthew Lopez

Sea Wall/A Life - Simon Stephens and Nick Payne

Slave Play - Jeremy O. Harris

The Sound Inside - Adam Rapp


BEST MUSICAL:


Jagged Little Pill

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Tina! The Tina Turner Musical


BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL:


Jagged Little Pill - Diablo Cody

Moulin Rouge! The Musical - John Logan

Tina! The Tina Turner Musical - Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar, and Kees Prins


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE:


A Christmas Carol - Christopher Nightingale

The Inheritance - Paul Englishby

The Rose Tattoo - Fitz Patton and James Michael Webb

Slave Play - Lindsay Jones

The Sound Inside - Daniel Kluger


BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY:


Betrayal

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune - Terrence McNally

A Soldier’s Play - Charles Fuller


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY:


Ian Barford - Linda Vista

Andrew Burnap - The Inheritance

Jake Gyllenhaal - Sea Wall/A Life

Tom Hiddleston - Betrayal

Tom Sturridge - Sea Wall/A Life

Blair Underwood - A Soldier’s Play


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY:


Joaquina Kalukango - Slave Play

Laura Linney - My Name Is Lucy Barton

Audra McDonald - Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

Mary-Louise Parker - The Sound Inside


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 MUSICAL:


Karen Olivo - Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Elizabeth Stanley - Jagged Little Pill

Adrienne Warren - Tina! The Tina Turner Musical


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY:


Ato Blankson-Wood - Slave Play

James Cusati-Moyer - Slave Play

David Alan Grier - A Soldier’s Play

John Benjamin Hickey - The Inheritance

Paul Hilton - The Inheritance


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY:


Jane Alexander - Grand Horizons

Chalia La Tour - Slave Play

Annie McNamara - Slave Play

Lois Smith - The Inheritance

Cora Vander Broek - Linda Vista


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL:


Danny Burstein - Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Derek Klena - Jagged Little Pill

Sean Allan Krill - Jagged Little Pill

Sahr Ngaujah - Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Daniel J. Watts - Tina! The Tina Turner Musical


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL:


Kathryn Gallagher - Jagged Little Pill

Celia Rose Gooding - Jagged Little Pill

Robyn Hurder - Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Lauren Patten - Jagged Little Pill

Myra Lucretia Taylor - Tina! The Tina Turner Musical


BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY:


Bob Crowley - The Inheritance

Soutra Gilmour - Betrayal

Rob Howell - A Christmas Carol

Derek McLane - A Soldier’s Play

Clint Ramos - Slave Play


BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL:


Ricardo Hernandez and Lucy Mackinnon - Jagged Little Pill

Derek McLane - Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Mark Thompson and Jeff Sugg - Tina! The Tina Turner Musical


BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY:


Dede Ayite - Slave Play

Dede Ayite - A Soldier’s Play

Bob Crowley - The Inheritance

Rob Howell - A Christmas Carol

Clint Ramos - The Rose Tattoo


BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL:


Emily Rebholz - Jagged Little Pill

Mark Thompson - Tina! The Tina Turner Musical

Catherine Zuber - Moulin Rouge! The Musical


BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY:


Jiyoun Chang - Slave Play

John Clark - The Inheritance

Heather Gilbert - The Sound Inside

Allen Lee Hughes - A Soldier’s Play

Hugh Vanstone - A Christmas Carol


BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL:


Bruno Poet - Tina! The Tina Turner Musical

Justin Townsend - Jagged Little Pill

Justin Townsend - Tina! The Tina Turner Musical


BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A PLAY:


Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid - The Inheritance

Simon Baker - A Christmas Carol

Lindsay Jones - Slave Play

Daniel Kluger - Sea Wall/A Life

Daniel Kluger - The Sound Inside


BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL:


Jonathan Deans - Jagged Little Pill

Peter Hylenski - Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Nevin Steinberg - Tina! The Tina Turner Musical


BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY:


David Cromer - The Sound Inside

Stephen Daldry - The Inheritance

Kenny Leon - A Soldier’s Play

Jamie Lloyd - Betrayal

Robert O’Hara - Slave Play


BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL:


Phyllida Lloyd - Tina! The Tina Turner Musical

Diane Paulus - Jagged Little Pill

Alex Timbers - Moulin Rouge! The Musical


BEST CHOREOGRAPHY:


Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui - Jagged Little Pill

Sonya Tayeh - Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Anthony Van Laast - Tina! The Tina Turner Musical


BEST ORCHESTRATIONS:


Tom Kitt - Jagged Little Pill

Justin Levine with Katie Kresek, Charlie Rosen, and Matt Stine - Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Ethan Popp - Tina! The Tina Turner Musical


SPECIAL TONY AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE THEATRE RECIPIENT:


Graciela Daniele


SPECIAL TONY AWARD RECIPIENTS:


The Broadway Advocacy Coalition

David Bryne’s American Utopia

Freestyle Love Supreme


ISABELLE STEVENSON TONY AWARD RECIPIENT:


Julie Halston


TONY HONORS FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE THEATRE RECIPIENTS:


Fred Gallo

Irene Gandy

Beverly Jenkins

New Federal Theatre, Woody King Jr., Founder


You can check back tomorrow, when I will have updated this post with the winners in each category!


That being said, EVERYONE working in and supporting the theatre arts right now is a winner in my heart, especially after the hits we have taken during the last year. It’s been terrifying and very sad, but theatre humans have rallied and breathed new life into the art form.


But that doesn’t mean the industry isn’t in dire need of change.


The theatre arts need to become more accessible, equitable, diverse, and safe. Especially when it comes to including and uplifting BIPOC, trans and non-binary artists.


There were many conflicting opinions on the Tonys this year, including discussions about putting it behind a paywall (but most of us are going to use the free trial anyways, right?), and the shows and artists who were ineligible for the awards or unable to open last year.


For me, I believe that creating a safe space for everyone is something that should come before the glitz and glam of this commercial event.


That being said, I understand that the financial benefits of the Tony Awards are very important after a year of Broadway being dark.


There’s a lot to think about and even more to discuss, but when it comes to tonight’s ceremony, many of us are wondering whether or not to tune in.


I guess it depends on the individual.


In my opinion, I think the industry should celebrate coming out of its shutdown. I believe that you can criticize and push for change in the theatre and still celebrate what it is. Truly loving something means wanting it to be the best version of itself.


So watch the Tonys, or don’t. But continue to talk about what needs to change in the industry and ask the hard questions.


There is a lot to celebrate tonight, and I will be raising a glass to not just the fabulous nominees, but to every brilliant theatre person who uses their gifts to make magic for others. I honour the resilience of our industry, and hope that we can use our adaptability to create the change we wish to see.


Happy Tony Sunday, everyone!

Let’s come back better next year.


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