‘Moulin Rouge!’ and ‘The Inheritance’ are honored at the Tony Awards
âJaggedâ won Best Book by Diablo Cody and Best Actress Lauren Patten, who electrified audiences with her breathtaking rendition of Alanis Morissette’s âYou Oughta Knowâ. Patten’s performance has been the subject of some controversy as some fans perceived the character as non-binary in a pre-Broadway production and were dissatisfied with how the role was developing; The show’s producers said the character is “on a gender-wide journey with no known outcome”. In her acceptance speech, Patten thanked “my trans- and non-binary friends and colleagues who engaged in difficult conversations with me and who entered into a dialogue with me about my character”.
Among the multiple awards that Moulin Rouge won were a first Tony for director Alex Timbers and a record-breaking eighth place for costume designer Catherine Zuber. The show’s lead actor, Aaron Tveit, won in an unusual way for the first time – he was the only candidate in his category but needed the support of 60 percent of the category electorate to win, which he got. He burst into tears as he thanked the nominees and voters.
“Let us continue to strive to tell the stories that represent the many and not the few, by the many and not the few, for the many and not the few,” he said. “Because what we do changes people’s lives.”
None of the nominees for Best Musical had original music, so the first time that award went to a play – Jack Thorne’s new adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” which included music by Christopher Nightingale. This sparkling production from the Old Vic in London also won for set design, costume design, lighting design and sound design.
There was no best musical revival category this year, because even the only one that opened before the pandemic, âWest Side Storyâ, was not seen by enough voters. It was also not seen by many theater-goers: the producers decided not to reopen it.
A production of “A Soldier’s Play,” directed by Kenny Leon and produced by the non-profit Roundabout Theater Company, won the Tony for Best Revival of the Play. The play, a drama from 1981 by Charles Fuller, is about the murder of a black sergeant in the US Army; it won the Pulitzer Prize on its first release and was later converted into a Hollywood film, but didn’t make it to Broadway until 2020.
The production starred Blair Underwood and David Alan Grier. Grier received the evening’s first prize for best actor in a play.