“Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 movie, won the best new musical crown at the Tony Awards on a Sunday night when Broadway looked back to honor shows shuttered by COVID-19, mourn its fallen and also look forward to welcoming audiences again.
The show about the goings-on in a turn-of-the-century Parisian nightclub, updated with tunes like “Single Ladies” and “Firework” alongside the big hit “Lady Marmalade,” won 10 Tonys. The record is 12, won by “The Producers.”
Producer Carmen Pavlovic struck a philosophical note in her acceptance speech, sharing the award with all the shows that struggled in the past 18-month shutdown.
“It feels a little odd to me to be talking about one show as best musical. I feel that every show of last season deserves to be thought of as the best musical,” she said. “The shows that opened, the shows that closed not to return, the shows that nearly opened. And of course, the shows that paused and are fortunate enough to be reborn — best musical is all of those shows.”
“The Inheritance” by Matthew Lopez was named the best new play and won three other awards, and Charles Fuller’s “A Soldier’s Play” won best play revival and an acting award.
Lopez’s two-part, seven-hour epic uses “Howards End” as a starting point for a play that looks at gay life in the early 21st century. It also yielded wins for Andrew Burnap as best actor in a play, Stephen Daldry as best director, and Lois Smith as best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play.
Thomas Kirdahy, a producer, dedicated the award to his late husband, the playwright Terrence McNally. Lopez, the first Latin writer to win in the category, urged more plays to be produced from the Latin community. “We have so many stories inside us aching to come out. Let us tell you our stories,” he said.
The pandemic-delayed telecast kicked off with an energetic performance of “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from original Broadway cast members of “Hairspray!” Ali Stroker sang “What I Did for Love” from “A Chorus Line.” Jennifer Holliday also took the stage to deliver an unforgettable rendition of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from the musical “Dreamgirls.”
The singers performed for a masked and appreciative audience at a packed Winter Garden Theatre. Host Audra McDonald got a standing ovation when she took the stage. “You can’t stop the beat. The heart of New York City!” she said.
“Moulin Rouge! The Musical” won for scenic design, costume, lighting, sound design, orchestrations and a featured acting Tony for Broadway favorite Danny Burstein. Sonya Tayeh won for choreography in her Broadway debut, and Alex Timbers won the trophy for best direction of a musical.
In a surprise to no one, Aaron Tveit won the award for best leading actor in a musical for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical.” That’s because he was the only person nominated in the category. He thanked a long list of people, including his parents, brother, agents, manager and the cast and crew. “We are so privileged to get to do this,” he said, tearing up. “Because what we do changes peoples’ lives.”
Burstein, who won for featured actor in a musical and had not won six previous times, thanked the Broadway community for supporting him after the death last year of his wife, Rebecca Luker. “You were there for us, whether you just sent a note or sent your love, sent your prayers — sent bagels — it meant the world to us, and it’s something I’ll never forget.”
David Alan Grier won featured actor in a play for his role in “A Soldier’s Play,” which dissects entrenched Black-white racism as well as internal divisions in the Black military community during World War II. “To my other nominees: Tough bananas, I won,” he said. On stage, the director, Kenny Leon recited the names Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, killed by police. “We will never, ever forget you.”
Adrienne Warren won the Tony for best leading actress in a musical for her electric turn as Tina Turner in “Tina — The Tina Turner Musical.” Warren was considered the front-runner thanks to becoming a one-woman fireball of energy and exhilaration. She dedicated the win to three family members she lost while playing Turner — and thanked Turner herself.
Mary-Louise Parker won her second best lead actress Tony Award, winning for playing a Yale professor who treasures great literature but has made no room in her life for someone to share that love with in “The Sound Inside.” She thanked her dog, whom she was walking in the rain when she bumped into Mandy Greenfield from the Williamstown Theatre Festival, who told her about the play.
Burnap made his Broadway debut in “The Inheritance.” He thanked his mom, and the University of Rhode Island and joked that he felt grateful because “I got to act for seven hours.”
The sobering musical “Jagged Little Pill,” which plumbs Alanis Morissette’s 1995 breakthrough album to tell a story of an American family spiraling out of control, came into the night with a leading 15 Tony nominations. It left with wins for best book, and Lauren Patten won the award for best featured actress in a musical.
“A Christmas Carol” cleaned up with five technical awards: scenic design of a play, costumes, lighting, sound design and score. But no one from the production was on hand to accept any of the awards.
“Slave Play,” Jeremy O. Harris’ ground-breaking, bracing work that mixes race, sex, taboo desires and class, earned a dozen nominations, making it the most nominated play in Tony history. But it won nothing.
Sunday’s show was expanded from its typical three hours to four, with McDonald handing out Tonys for the first two hours and Leslie Odom Jr. hosting a “Broadway’s Back!” celebration for the second half with performances from the three top musicals.
The live special also included David Byrne and the cast of “American Utopia” playing “Burning Down the House” to a standing and clapping crowd. Byrne told them they might not remember how to dance after so long but they were welcome to try.
John Legend and the cast of “Ain’t Too Proud” performed “My Girl” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and Josh Groban and Odom Jr. sang “Beautiful City” from “Godspell,” dedicating it to educators. And Ben Platt and Anika Noni Rose sang “Move On” from “Sunday in the Park with George.” Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth reunited for the “Wicked” song “For Good.”
Members of Broadway’s royalty — Norm Lewis, Kelli O’Hara and Brian Stokes Mitchell — mourned the list of those who have died, which included icons like McNally, Harold Prince and Larry Kramer.
This season’s nominations were pulled from just 18 eligible plays and musicals from the 2019-2020 season, a fraction of the 34 shows the previous season. During most years, there are 26 competitive categories. This year there are 25 with several depleted ones.
The last Tony Awards ceremony was held in 2019. The virus forced Broadway theaters to abruptly close on March 12, 2020, knocking out all shows and scrambling the spring season. Several have restarted, including the so-called big three of “Wicked,” “Hamilton” and “The Lion King.”
Tungba Gospel Hits Records Stand
Ogo Tuntun, Olatunji Sunday Timothy has released his new album titled Gsopel Tungba.
The new album is now available in all music and video stores worldwide. According to Ogo Tuntun, the man behind BOSENLO L’AMERICA, he said the musical album has the following as its content; Gospel Tungba, Igba Laye and Fun Live.
The Nigerian America based singer said, “Gospel Tungba has a lot to offer music lovers. It’s a concept that is different from what people have been seeing.
It’s a dedicated gospel music that could be used to worship and at the same use to entertain people at different gatherings.”
Timothy Omo Ologo, a son of a Pastor took up music when he was very young in church and in no time, the talent embedded in him coupled with great passion he has for music has really helped him in his chosen career.
Gospel Tungba is marketed and distributed by Babalaje Music Industry, Lagos Nigeria.
Stars To Storm Oshodi As Highkay Dancent Marks Birthday On Friday
Important players in Music, movie, politics and the business sectors are expected to gather come Friday, 22nd of October to celebrate an icon, Innocent elota A K A. HighKay Dancent as he add another year.
The birthday celebration is scheduled to take place at the popular Oshodi Main Market Arena where he has other fleets of businesses.
Notable musicians who have worked with the showbiz promoter both in the past and present will be on the bandstand to thrill guests to live music.
Explaining why the celebration is so special, Dancent said “I just want to celebrate with my friends. It’s an open celebration where everyone is welcome because it’s going to take place inside Oshodi Arena”
ONLINE, Saidi Balogun’s Latest Work, Premieres 19th Of November
A suspense full Movie from the stable of Saidi Balogun Productions also known as African James bond is set to hit the screens from November 19th 2021.
The films journey into reality begins on the said 14th November with it premiere. The movie is titled ONLINE and it will hit the cinemas across the Nigeria from 19th of November.
ONLINE (Movie) is a psychological thriller of an online predator whose mental state is debatable.
It throws light on the perceptive nature of a vital part of some of the things happening on the internet
ONLINE (Movie) is a ITEC with an unusual story line with a lot of suspense and full of technicalities.
It is Directed By Saidi Balogun who has a track record of interpreting roles for over thirty years in the Nollywood industry
The Africa James bond has also produced a number of great movies in the past like Eti Keta, Omo Alhaja, You or I, Gbogbo Re and Modupemi to mention few.
He is the one and only African Actor to produce the first 2 cast movie in the world and He also produces an all white cast movie with him alone as the Black African man.
The movie ONLiNe was shot few months ago with state of the earth equipment, with a wonderful crew and cast which include:
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