This show, which focuses on the happenings in a Parisian nightclub at the turn of the century, won 10 Tonys. It featured songs like "Single Ladies", "Firework," and the big hit "Lady Marmalade." The Producers won the record with 12,
Carmen Pavlovic, producer, struck a philosophical note with her acceptance speech. She shared the award with all shows that had struggled during the 18-month shutdown.
"It feels strange to me to talk about one show being the best musical. She said that she believes every show from the last season should be considered the best musical. "The shows that opened, those that closed and did not return, and the shows that almost opened. The shows that were unable to continue are those that have been reborn.
Matthew Lopez's "The Inheritance", a new play, was awarded the best and received three other awards. Charles Fuller's play "A Soldier's Play", won best revival and an acting award.
Lopez's seven-hour, two-part epic uses "Howards End” as the starting point for a play about gay life in the 21st century. It won Andrew Burnap the best actor in a drama, Stephen Daldry the best director, Lois Smith for best actress performance in a leading role in a drama, and Lois Smith for best performance in a supporting role in a comedy.
Thomas Kirdahy (a producer) dedicated the award in his honor to Terrence McNally, the playwright. Lopez, the first Latino writer in this category to win, called for more Latino plays to be produced. We all have stories within us that we long to tell. He said, "Let us tell you our stories."
The pandemic-delayed television broadcast began with an energetic rendition of "You Can't Stop the Beat", by original Broadway cast members of "Hairspray." Ali Stroker sang "What Did You Do for Love?" from "A Chorus Line." Jennifer Holliday performed "And I'm Telling You That I'm Not Going" from the musical, "Dreamgirls."
The singers performed in front of a packed Winter Garden Theatre. Audra McDonald, the host, received a standing ovation as she took to the stage. "You can't stop moving. She said, "The heart of New York City!"
"Moulin Rouge! The Musical won for sound design, scenic design, costumes, lighting design, orchestrations, and a featured actor Tony for Broadway favourite Danny Burstein. Sonya Tayeh was awarded the choreography award for her Broadway debut. Alex Timbers took home the trophy for best musical direction.
Surprise surprise! Aaron Tveit won for his musical "Moulin Rouge" the award for best lead actor in a musical. He was the only nominee in this category. He thanked his family, brother, agents and manager, as well as the cast and crew. He said, "We are so fortunate to be able to do this," and he was tearing up. "Because what you do changes lives."
Burstein won the award for featured actor in musical. He had never won six times before. Burstein thanked the Broadway community and said that it meant the world to him, regardless of whether he sent a note or sent his love. "It meant the whole world to me, and it's something that I will never forget."
David Alan Grier was named featured actor in a production for his performance in "A Soldier's Play," a play that dissects the entrenched racism of Black-whites and internal divisions within the Black military community during World War II. He said, "To my other nominations: Tough bananas. I won." Kenny Leon, the director, recited on stage the names of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, who were both killed by police. "We will never forget you."
Adrienne Warren won Tony for best lead actress in musical for her performance as Tina Turner in Tina -- The Tina Turner Musical. Warren was a fiery, energetic woman who exuded energy and excitement. She dedicated her win to the three relatives she lost playing Turner and thanked Turner.
Mary-Louise Parker was awarded the Tony Award for her second best lead actor role as a Yale professor. She won for her portrayal of a Yale professor who loves great literature, but doesn't have the time or space in her life to share it with anyone.
Burnap was a Broadway star in "The Inheritance". He thanked his mother and the University of Rhode Island. He joked that he was grateful for "7 hours of acting."
The dark musical "Jagged Little Pill", which uses Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album to tell the story of a family in turmoil, was nominated for 15 Tony Awards. It won for best book and Lauren Patten won for best featured actress in musical.
"A Christmas Carol" was awarded five technical awards, including scenic design of a play and costumes, sound design, and score. The awards were not accepted by any member of the production.
"Slave Play," Jeremy O. Harris’ groundbreaking, bracing play that mixes race and sex with class, received a dozen nominations. It is now the most-nominated Tony play. It was not nominated.
Sunday's show was extended from its usual three hour duration to four hours. McDonald's gave out Tonys for two hours, while Leslie Odom Jr. hosted a "Broadway’s Back!" celebration in the second part with performances from three of the top musicals.
David Byrne, along with the cast of American Utopia, performed "Burning Down the House" in a live special to a standing ovation. Byrne explained that they might not be able to remember how to dance after so many years, but they were encouraged to learn.
John Legend and the cast from "Ain't Too Proud” performed "My Girl", "Ain't Too Proud to Be" and Josh Groban, Odom Jr. sang “Beautiful City” from "Godspell," dedicating this song to educators. Ben Platt, Anika Noni rose and Anika Platt sang "Move on" from "Sunday In the Park with George". Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel reunited to sing "For Good" from the "Wicked".
Norm Lewis, Kelli Ola, and Brian Stokes Mitchell, members of Broadway's royal family, mourned the death of icons such as McNally, Harold Prince, and Larry Kramer.
The 18 eligible musicals and plays that were part of the 2019-2020 season were used to determine this season's nominations. This is a fraction compared to the 34 shows from the previous season. There are 26 categories that compete in most years. There are 25 categories this year, with many depleted.
The 2019 Tony Awards ceremony was the last. Broadway theaters were forced to close abruptly on March 12, 2020 by the virus. This wiped out all performances and ruined the spring season. Many have been restarted, including "Wicked", "Hamilton" or "The Lion King."