Across the pond in New York City last night, the Broadway community finally gathered to crown and celebrate the winners of the belated 2020 Tony Awards at the Winter Garden Theatre. Although this will be the ceremony forever remembered with an asterisk (due to the heavily diminished number of eligible Broadway productions that were able to officially open in NYC during the 2019-2020 season before the pandemic hit), it will also be remembered as the night when one spectacular (spectacular!) production swept the board. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Moulin Rouge…
Based on Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary 2001 film, Moulin Rouge! The Musical took home the most coveted Tony last night by beating both Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and Jagged Little Pill in the category of “Best Musical.” In fact, the mammoth production walked away with a staggering total of 10 Tony Awards, including “Best Direction of a Musical” for Alex Timbers, “Best Choreography” for Sonya Tayeh and “Best Orchestrations” for Katie Kresek, Charlie Rosen, Matt Stine and Justin Levine.
Perhaps the most emotional win of the night came as Danny Burstein (who plays Harold Zidler on Broadway) finally won his first, long-overdue Tony Award (for “Best Featured Actor in a Musical”) following six previous nominations. His fellow cast member Aaron Tveit, who starred in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s 2014 production of Assassins, unsurprisingly took home the Tony for “Best Leading Actor in a Musical” (in an uncontested category) for his performance as Christian.
From 12 November, London audiences will also be able to embrace the Bohemian lifestyle as the doors to the much-anticipated West End transfer of Moulin Rouge! The Musical open at the Piccadilly Theatre.
Congratulations also go to the outstanding Adrienne Warren, who originated the titular role in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical here in the West End. Her astonishing, tour-de-force performance in the Broadway transfer earned her a first Tony Award last night in the category of “Best Leading Actress in a Musical.” Relive her 2019 Olivier Awards performance here:
The original West End production continues to entertain London audiences as “Simply The Best” bio-musical in town at the Aldwych Theatre.
Other winners of note include Matthew Lopez’s heart-wrenching, two-part drama The Inheritance, which secured the top honour of “Best Play” (beating stiff competition from the likes of Jeremy O. Harris’ provocative Slave Play). The production had previously triumphed in the category of “Best New Play” at the 2019 Olivier Awards, following its runs at the Young Vic and Noel Coward Theatre, and our very own Stephen Daldry also did the double, adding a Tony Award for “Best Direction of a Play” last night to his 2019 “Best Director” Olivier. In addition, Andrew Burnap, who originated the role of Toby Darling in London, also took home a Tony in the category of “Best Leading Actor in a Play.”
We would also love to give a shout-out to a slew of British winners, who also triumphed in their respective categories last night. Congratulations to the Old Vic as the Broadway premiere of its production of A Christmas Carol secured an impressive total of five Tony Awards. Christopher Nightingale won “Best Score” for his musical efforts, Hugh Vanstone and Simon Baker took the prizes for “Best Lighting Design of a Play” and “Best Sound Design of a Play,” respectively, whilst Rob Howell scored a further two wins for A Christmas Carol single-handedly: “Best Scenic Design of a Play” and “Best Costume Design of a Play.” Two legendary, British-born designers also triumphed last night for their contributions to Moulin Rouge! The Musical with Derek McLane winning “Best Scenic Design of a Musical” and Catherine Zuber taking “Best Costume Design of a Musical,” marking her tenth Tony win in remarkable fashion.
All in all, the 74th Annual Tony Awards welcomed Broadway #BackOnStage in style last night and we simply cannot wait for the big winner of the night to raise the curtain at the Piccadilly Theatre in November here in the West End.