Tony Awards: ‘Moulin Rouge,’ ‘Inheritance,’ ‘Soldier’s Play’ Nab Top Prizes

The Tony Awards honoring the 2019-20 Broadway season were finally handed out Sunday night, with Moulin Rouge! The Musical named best musical, The Inheritance best play and A Soldier’s Play best revival of a play.

After a long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 74th annual Tony Awards returned to the stage as part of a four-hour event airing across CBS and Paramount+.

“We’re a little late, but we are here!” host Audra McDonald said at the start of the first portion of the show, noting that she could see “half” of the audience’s faces due to their wearing masks, an acknowledgment of the COVID precautions in place for the night’s event. “It’s wonderful to see half of your beautiful faces,” she began. “Like every show on Broadway, our audience is vaxxed and masked. Masks have made re-opening of theaters a reality, after more than 560 nights in the dark. The lights are on and we’re back.” (Attendees were required to be vaccinated, as per New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mandate that proof of vaccination will be required to participate in indoor activities, including live performances and entertainment.)

Meanwhile, David Alan Grier and Danny Burstein won the first two awards of the night. Grier won for best performance by a featured actor in a play for A Soldier’s Play, while Burstein took the Tony for best performance by a featured actor in a musical for Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

At the end of his speech, Grier quipped, “To the other nominees: Tough bananas, I won!”

Burstein noted that he’d lost his wife of more than 20 years, fellow Broadway star Rebecca Luker, who died of complications of ALS in December. He thanked his peers for their support during that time. “You were all there for us,” from expressing their sympathy to bringing bagels. “It meant the world to us, and it’s something I’ll never forget.”

Lois Smith, who turned 90 this year, won best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play for The Inheritance. She is now the oldest Tony winner of all time, breaking the record previously held by Cicely Tyson, who won at age 88. This marked Smith’s first Tony win for the role, which marked her return to Broadway after two decades.

Meanwhile, Lauren Patten won best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical for Jagged Little Pill. She addressed the controversy surrounding her character, Jo, and the criticism around the handling of that character’s gender identity, for which producers have apologized.

(Excerpt) Read more in: The Hollywood Reporter

Tony Awards: ‘Moulin Rouge,’ ‘Inheritance,’ ‘Soldier’s Play’ Nab Top Prizes

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