Often compared to the Oscars for theatre, these 75th Tony Awards, broadcast on CBS, concluded a season of renewal for Broadway, New York’s cultural heart, after 18 months of closure between spring 2020 and fall 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the big winners, is The Lehman Trilogy, a play by the Italian Stefano Massini, which tells the story of the American investment bank Lehman Brothers, founded in the 19th century by three immigrant brothers from Germany, and whose fall in 2008 triggered a global financial crisis.
She won five awards, including Best Play, Best Actor (Simon Russell Beale), and Best Director (Sam Mendes).
MJ the Musical, a successful biopic about Michael Jackson, which received the assent of the heirs and a mixed reception from critics because it largely ignores the accusations of pedophilia against the “King of Pop”, swept four awards, including Best Musical Actor, for 22-year-old Myles Frost. Two of the children of the star who died in 2009 at the age of 50, Paris and Prince Jackson, made an appearance on stage.
A Strange Loop, a favorite with 11 nominations, eventually won two Tonys, including the most prestigious, Best Musical and Best Musical Book for its author, Michael R. Jackson – unrelated to the “King of Pop”. – which received a standing ovation. A Strange Loop tells the torments of a theater usher, a budding artist, black and queer like Michael R. Jackson, who wants to become an author on Broadway.
Ariana DeBose, fresh off the Oscars for her role as Anita in the remake of West Side Story, said she was “proud” of Broadway’s efforts to open up to diversity.
After the pandemic and the death of George Floyd, an African-American killed by the police in June 2020, causing a vast movement against racism in the United States, Broadway reopened in the fall of 2021 with seven plays or musicals written by black authors, unheard of.