The British stars were among the big winners of the Tony Awards, on a night of historic moments that also saw Jennifer Hudson achieve EGOT status and the ceremony’s first non-binary winner was announced.
EGOT status refers to artists who have won all four major entertainment awards – an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony – with Hudson winning her award as a producer for A Strange Loop, which won Best Musical.
75th Leadership Categories Tony Awardheld at Radio City Music Hall in New York, were dominated by British directors Mr. Sam Mendes and Marianne Elliott, while the award for best lead actor in a play went to veteran actor Simon Russell Beale.
British composer Toby Marlow also made history as the first non-binary Tony winner, winning the award for best original score (music and/or lyrics) written for the theater, for the historical musical Six, alongside by co-creator Lucy Moss.
Stars at the event included Jessica Chastain, Samuel L Jackson, Cynthia Erivo and Hugh Jackman.
Opening with a medley of songs from famous musicals such as Chicago, Hamilton and West Side Story, Oscar-winning actress and host Ariana DeBose said she was proud to be present at an evening celebrating growing inclusion in theatre.
“I’m so proud to host the first Tony Awards since Broadway got back on its feet…I’m so proud that theater increasingly reflects the community that adores it,” she told the audience. .
“And while we haven’t solved all of our problems, I feel like the phrase Great White Way is becoming more of a nickname than a how-to guide.”
Beale, who was named best actor for his performance in The Lehman Trilogy – directed by Mendes – said the accolade was a “huge honour” but he felt “shy” to win in front of his British co-stars.
“We all did the same amount of work,” he said.
A three-act play by Italian novelist and playwright Stefano Massini, The Lehman Trilogy follows the lives of three immigrant brothers upon their arrival in the United States.
Mendes won Best Direction of a Play for his work on the production, which also received the Tony for Best Play, while Marianne Elliott won her third Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. a musical for Company. She paid tribute to late composer Stephen Sondheim in his acceptance speech.
“Thank you first and foremost to Stephen Sondheim for trusting me to tell his story in a different way and put a woman first,” Elliott said.
The final award of the night, Best Musical, was won by A Strange Loop, created by Michael R Jackson, which also won Best Book of a Musical.
Dressed in a long pink kaftan over his formal wear, Jackson told the audience about his journey as a young gay black man, having started writing when he was 23.
“Never settle for anything less than the best you can do,” he said.
Hudson earned her a Tony as producer of the musical, following her Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Dreamgirls in 2006, and an Emmy for her role as producer in Baba Yaga in 2021.
She is also a two-time Grammy winner, having won Best R&B Album in 2009 and Best Musical Theater Album in 2017.
EGOT status, artists who have won all four major entertainment awards – an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony, has only been awarded to 16 other stars, the list including Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rita Moreno , John Legend and Whoopi Goldberg.
Elsewhere, Jesse Taylor Ferguson won Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Take Me Out, while Broadway veteran Patti LuPone won Best Featured Actress in a Musical, for her role in Company.
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