The Tony Award for Best Musical went to A Strange Loop, in the most anticipated award of the night on Sunday. The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical is about a young Black gay man writing a musical about a Black gay man writing a musical.
Its composer, Michael R. Jackson, 41, who started writing A Strange Loop at 23 years old, got a standing ovation for winning Best Book of a Musical. Jackson ended his speech with “never settle and do your best.”
Newly minted Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose, for her portrayal as Anita in West Side Story, hosted the 75th Annual Tony Awards. She presented the final award alongside Chita Rivera, who originated Anita in West Side Story on Broadway in 1957.
Her opening number featured a mashup of songs throughout musical theater history from Cabaret, Bye Bye Birdie, Evita, Hairspray, and of course, West Side Story. The song was written by SIX’s Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, with orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire and Kurt Crowley. It was one of three songs DeBose performed throughout the night.
Joaquina Kalukango, who won Best Leading Actress in a Musical for Paradise Square, got a standing ovation during the broadcast’s performance of the show. She cried on stage accepting her award.
Newcomer and 22-year-old Myles Frost won for playing Michael Jackson in MJ. The show marks his Broadway debut. He was recruited to audition for the role after casting agents saw a video of him performing as Jackson in a high school talent show. “Mom, I made it,” he said during his acceptance speech. “I want to say this to all the little Black kids out there, ‘you can do it.’
Following the SIX performance, DeBose gave a special shoutout to Mallory Maedke, who went on at the last minute for Abby Mueller. “She was put into this number 12 hours ago. That’s what they do because the show must go on!”
Anthony Edwards introduced the performance of Girl From the North Country. He shared with the audience that earlier this spring, the show had no understudies or swings to go on. So Edwards stepped in to co-star with his wife, Mare Winningham, nominated for Best Actress in a Musical. “Sharing the stage with these performers was a once and lifetime opportunity,” Edwards said.
Simon Russell Beale won Best Actor in a Play for The Lehman Trilogy beating out his only other two co-stars nominated in the same category. Jesse Tyler Ferguson won Best Supporting Actor in a Play for Take Me Out. During his acceptance speech, he shared that he used to work at the theater gift shop on 44th Street hoping to be part of the Broadway community one day.
Patti LuPone won her third Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for Company. During her acceptance speech, she thanked the COVID safety team. Phylicia Rashad won her second Tony Award for her role in Skeleton Crew.
“Having Broadway back has been good for the soul,” Danny Burstein said alongside Tony Shalhoub presenting Best Actress in a Play. The award went to Deirdre O’Connell for Dana H., a play that closed early in the season.
Marianne Elliott earned her third Tony Award Sunday for Best Direction of a Musical for Company. The first person she thanked was the late composer Stephen Sondheim, “for trusting me to tell his story in a different way and putting a woman front and center.”
Matt Doyle won Best Featured Actor for his performance in Company. “Thank you for allowing your work to evolve and be seen in your genius,” he said of composer Stephen Sondheim.
Immediately following, Lin-Manuel Miranda introduced a tribute to Sondheim, who passed away in November 2021. Bernadette Peters, who originated The Witch in Into The Woods, performed a touching “Children Will Listen” from the musical (headed to Broadway this summer for a limited run) in his memory.
Billy Porter sang “On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady to pay tribute to those in the industry that passed away this year.
Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff, and the original company of Spring Awakening reunited to perform in honor of the musical’s 15-year anniversary.
Michele’s former Glee co-star, Darren Criss, wrote the music and lyrics for the opening number of Paramount+’s Tony Awards: Act One featuring Criss (American Buffalo) and Julianne Hough (POTUS) as the first hour’s hosts.
SIX’s Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss took home one of the coveted creative awards: Best Original Score. Marlow becomes the first out-nonbinary composer and lyricist to win a Tony Award.
Angela Lansbury was presented with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award during Paramount+ presentation of the Tony Awards, though she wasn’t in person to accept the award.
The Lehman Trilogy, which was a limited run and closed in January 2022, won Best Play. Take Me Out, another limited run that closed this weekend won Best Revival of a Play. Company won Best Revival of a Musical.
The overall theme of the 2022 Tony Awards was resilience, with many presenters and Tony winners referencing the struggles of “the show must go on,” after a difficult season embattled with COVID.
Last updated and effective as of January 14, 2019
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