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Musical “Moulin Rouge!” was the early big winner at the Broadway Tony Awards on Sunday in a delayed ceremony that doubled as a celebration for the return of live theater in New York after an unprecedented 18-month shutdown due to the pandemic.
“Tonight feels like a homecoming,” said host Audra McDonald. “The lights are on, we are here, we are back.”
The annual awards ceremony never took place in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic that shut down live performances for 18 months. Most reopened only a few weeks ago.
After six career nominations, veteran Danny Burstein won his first Tony for his supporting role in “Moulin Rouge! The musical. “The show, based on the 2001 film of the same name, won nine initial awards, including lead actor Aaron Tveit, direction, costume and design.
“A Christmas Carol,” a stage adaptation with music from the Charles Dickens novel, won five awards, while newcomer Adrienne Warren won Best Actress in a Musical for playing rock singer Tina Turner in “Tina. – The Tina Turner Musical “.
“I want to thank Tina Turner for trusting me to bring her story home,” Warren said.
Special awards were given to Talking Heads musician David Byrne for the stage production of his concert “American Utopia”; Lin-Manuel Miranda’s improvised program “Freestyle Love Supreme”; and the nonprofit Broadway Advocacy Coalition Against Racism fighting to make theater more diverse.
The top awards, for best play, best musical and best rerun of a play, will be awarded later Sunday during a two-hour special designed to promote Broadway and get people to buy tickets again. Audiences must be fully vaccinated and wear masks.
John Legend, Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Kristin Chenoweth, Ben Platt, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Idina Menzel are among the stars participating.
Many of the great shows, including “Hamilton”, “The Lion King” and “Wicked” had emotional reopens earlier this month marked by tears and joy both on and off stage.
None of the Tony-nominated works, including “Slave Play” about race and class, and “The Inheritance,” about the modern gay experience, are currently showing on Broadway or planning to return. “The Inheritance” garnered three opening awards, including directing and lead actor Andrew Burnap.