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  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER 'Moulin Rouge!,' gay play 'The Inheritance' win top Tonys
2021-09-27

This article shared 1429 times since Mon Sep 27, 2021
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Moulin Rouge! The Musical was the runaway winner at the Tony Awards on Sept. 26, snagging 10 awards.

Among its honors were Best Musical, Best Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Aaron Tveit), Best Performance By an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Danny Burstein), Best Choreography (by queer choreographer Sonya Tayeh) and Best Direction of a Musical (Alex Timbers), among others.

The Inheritance won for Best Play. Matthew Lopez's two-part play follows the interlinking lives of three generations of gay men searching for a community of their own—and a place to call home.

The production snagged four awards, also including Best Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play (Andrew Burnap), Best Performance By an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (Lois Smith) and Best Direction of a Play (Stephen Daldry).

The Alanis Morissette-based Jagged Little Pill took two awards, including Best Book of a Musical and Best Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Lauren Patten). The production is currently embroiled in controversy after two former cast members—including Black non-binary actor Nora Schell and Tony-nominated featured actress Celia Rose Gooding—released statements accusing the production of committing "harm to the trans and non-binary community, both onstage and off," Deadline reported. Gooding performed with other cast members of the show during the Tonys.

Patten, who is queer, thanked her non-binary and trans colleagues while accepting the award, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A Sept. 17 statement to the production's website and social media acknowledged missteps in how the show's producers publicly spoke about and identified Patton's character, Jo—a lovestruck teen dealing with religious parents, their sexuality and a souring relationship while also going on their own gender journey, which has no confirmed outcome in the show.

A day after the statement, Patten shared a video conversation with trans writer, actress and activist Shakina Nayfack to increase transparency around the conversations that were being had about Jo, and to be accountable for harm resulting from the erasure of Jo's gender journey.

Some of the other winners included the productions A Christmas Carol (Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre) and A Soldier's Play (Best Revival of a Play); and performers Mary-Louise Parker (Best Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, for The Sound Inside), Adrienne Warren (Best Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) and David Alan Grier (Best Performance By an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, for A Soldier's Play).

Also, director Kenny Leon—accepting the award for best play revival for his direction of A Soldier's Play—invoked the names of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Kobe Bryant and Melvin Van Peebles; reminded the Winter Garden Theatre audience that they were seated on Native American land; and urged Broadway to tell the stories of everyone in this country.

Splitting the traditional three hours into four, Tony organizers, Paramount+ and CBS presented a two-hour livestreamed 74th Annual Tony Awards and, immediately following, the two-hour broadcast concert special The Tony Awards Present: Broadway's Back!—an approach that was critically acclaimed, Deadline reported. In its opinion, Deadline felt "The no-nonsense presentation of award announcements and acceptance speeches was followed by a lively special that impressively showcased contemporary Broadway musicals on their home turfs and classic reunions that felt fresh and welcome."


This article shared 1429 times since Mon Sep 27, 2021
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