A gender-flipped revival of Stephen Sondheim’s classic 1970 musical Company and the new play The Lehman Trilogy each won five awards at the 2022 Tony Awards. The awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Sunday (June 12).
MJ, a jukebox musical built around the music of Michael Jackson, won four awards. Myles Frost won best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical for playing the superstar. He is the third performer in four years to win a Tony for playing a pop icon, following Stephanie J. Block as Star (Cher) in The Cher Show and Adrienne Warren as Tina Turner in Tina. The stronger-than-expected showing for MJ came in the same venue where Jackson experienced one of his biggest professional disappointments – when he went 0-4 at the 30th Annual Grammy Awards in March 1988 with Bad, his follow-up to the Grammy-sweeping Thriller.
A Strange Loop won just two awards, but one was the night’s biggest award, best musical. Michael R. Jackson wrote the book, music and lyrics for A Strange Loop, which bills itself as “The Big, Black & Queer American Musical.” Jackson is just the fifth individual to single-handedly write the book, music and lyrics for a Tony winner for best musical since the inception of the category in 1949. The previous individuals to achieve this feat were Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1986), Jonathan Larson (Rent, 1996), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, 2016) and Anaïs Mitchell (Hadestown, 2019). As you can see, the incidence of Tony winning musicals that were the creative output of just one individual are sharply on the rise.
A Strange Loop won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Rent and Hamilton also won that award, as have just four other Tony winners for best musical – South Pacific (1950), Fiorello! (1960), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1962) and A Chorus Line (1976).
Jennifer Hudson was one of 44 individuals or entities who received a producer’s credit (and thus a Tony Award) for A Strange Loop. With this award, she becomes the 17th individual to become an EGOT. She is the third-youngest person to complete the awards sweep (trailing Robert Lopez and John Legend) and the third Black EGOT (following Whoopi Goldberg and Legend). Other credited producers of the show included such bold-faced names as RuPaul, Don Cheadle, Alan Cumming, Mindy Kaling and Billy Porter.
Company won best revival of a musical for a second time. A 2007 revival also won that award. Company is the third musical to win best revival of a musical twice. Revivals of The King and I and La Cage Aux Folles were also won that award twice. All three of these shows won best musical in their original incarnations.
Two actors from Company won Tonys. (No actors in previous productions of the show had won Tonys.) Broadway legend Patti LuPone won best featured actress for playing Joanne, a role originated by another Broadway legend, Elaine Stritch. Matt Doyle won best featured actor for playing Jamie, the gender-switched role originated by Beth Howland (as Amy). This was the third Tony win for LuPone, who won best actress in a musical in Evita and Gypsy.
Marianne Elliott won best direction in a musical for Company. She previously won two Tonys for best direction in a play for co-directing War Horse (2011) and directing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (2015). Elliott, 55, is the first woman to win in both of these categories.
Simon Hale won best orchestrations for his work on Girl from The North Country, a musical of Bob Dylan songs. Hale was nominated in the same category three years ago for Tootsie.
Sam Mendes won best direction of a play for The Lehman Trilogy. Mendes won that same award three years ago for The Ferryman. Mendes won an Oscar for best director for 1999’s American Beauty.
for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, which received seven nods, was shut out, as was The Music Man, which received six nods.
Bernadette Peters sang “Children Will Listen” from Into the Wood (1987) in tribute to Stephen Sondheim, who died in November. This is the second major awards show to pay tribute to Sondheim. On the Grammys in April, Cynthia Erivo, Ben Platt, Leslie Odom Jr. and Rachel Zegler sang three Sondheim songs (“Not a Day Goes By,” “Send in the Clowns” and “Somewhere”) as part of the In Memoriam segment.
Billy Porter sang “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady (1956) over the In Memoriam spot – an unexpected but apt choice. The heartfelt ballad from the Lerner & Loewe classic gave the spot added poignance.
Angela Lansbury, a five-time Tony winner who hosted the Tony telecast five times (more than anyone else), received a lifetime achievement award. Lansbury, 96, was not present to accept the award in person.
The 75th Annual Tony Awards, hosted by recent Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, were broadcast live coast-to-coast on CBS on Sunday, June 12, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET/5 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT. This marked the first time in Tony history that the show aired live coast-to-coast. (Yeah!) Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss produced the show, with Weiss also directing.
Girl From The North Country, Producers: Tristan Baker & Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Steven Lappin, Sony Music Entertainment/Sony ATV, David Mirvish, Len Blavatnik, The Dodgers, Eric & Marsi Gardiner, Dianne Roberts, John Gore Organization, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Tommy Mottola, Independent Presenters Network, Rod Kaats, Diana DiMenna, Mary Beth O’Connor, Barbara H. Freitag, Patrick Catullo, Aaron Lustbader, The Old Vic, Matthew Warchus, Kate Varah, Georgia Gatti, The Public Theater, Oskar Eustis, Patrick Willingham, Mandy Hackett
MJ, Producers: Lia Vollack, John Branca, John McClain, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertaiment, Roy Furman, Cue to Cue Productions, James L. Nederlander, Kumiko Yoshii, Naoya Kinoshita, Latitude Link, Candy Spelling, Stephen C. Byrd, John Gore Organization, Sandy Robertson, Ed Walson, Peter W. May, CJ ENM, Martin Bandier, Michael Cassel Group, Albert Nocciolino, Playful Productions, Ken Schur, Willette & Manny Klausner, Doug Morris, Michael David, Estate of Michael Jackson
Mr. Saturday Night, Producers: James L. Nederlander, Face Productions, Inc., Hunter Arnold, Michael Cohl, TEG Dainty, Candy Spelling, Steve Traxler, Marc David Levine, Caiola Productions, Crossroads Live, Jamie deRoy, Roy Furman, Arny Granat, Grove Entertainment, John Gore Organization, Wolf Gutterman, Van Kaplan, Larry Magid, Peter May, Carl Moellenberg, Beth W. Newburger, Albert Nocciolino, Eva Price, Iris Smith, The Shubert Organization, Howard Tenenbaum, Barry and Fran Weissler
Paradise Square, Producers: Garth H. Drabinsky, Peter LeDonne, Jeffrey A. Sine, Matthew C. Blank, Joe Crowley, RSR Finance LLC, Hunter & Mariana Milborne, Len Blavatnik, Joseph Coffey, Sherry Wright & Craig Haffner, Bernard Abrams, James Scrivanich, Rick Chad, Arthur M. Kraus, Broadway & Beyond Theatricals, Brian Luborsky, Gilbert & Elisa Palter, The Shubert Organization, Terry Schnuck, Urban One, Inc., Robert Wolf, Richard Stursberg, Mark W. Everson, Sanjay Govil, Jeremiah J. Harris, Amabel James, Sheila C. Johnson, Dennis Mehiel, Louise H. & John G. Beard, Henry R. Muñoz, III & Kyle Ferari Muñoz, Walter Swett, Zachary Florence, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
WINNER: A Strange LoopProducers: Barbara Whitman, Pasek, Paul & Stafford, Hunter Arnold, Marcia Goldberg, Alex Levy & James Achilles, Osh Ashruf, A Choir Full Productions, Don Cheadle & Bridgid Coulter Cheadle, Paul Oakley Stovall, Jimmy Wilson, Annapurna Theatre, Robyn Coles, Creative Partners Productions, Robyn Gottesdiener, Kayla Greenspan, Grove Entertainment, Kuhn, Lewis & Scott, Frank Marshall, Maximum Effort Productions Inc., Joey Monda, Richard Mumby, Phenomenal Media & Meena Harris, Marc Platt & Debra Martin Chase, Laurie Tisch, Yonge Street Theatricals, Dodge Hall Productions/JJ Malley, Cody Renard Richard, John Gore Organization, James L. Nederlander, The Shubert Organization, RuPaul Charles, Alan Cumming, Ilana Glazer, Jennifer Hudson, Mindy Kaling, Billy Porter, Page 73 Productions, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons
Caroline, or Change, Producers: Roundabout Theatre Company, Todd Haimes, Julia C. Levy, Sydney Beers, Steve Dow, Lot’s Wife, Hunter Arnold, Caiola Productions/Willette & Manny Klausner, Chambers -D’Angora/Joseph & Alyson Graci
WINNER: Company, Producers: Elliott & Harper Productions, The Shubert Organization, Catherine Schreiber, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Crossroads Live, Anapurna Theatre, Hunter Arnold, No Guarantees, Jon B. Platt, Michael Watt, John Gore Organization, Tim Levy, Grove – REG, Hornos – Mollenberg, Levine – Federman – Adler, Beard – Merrie – Robbins, LD Entertainment/Madison Wells Live, Benjamin Lowy/Roben Alive, Daryl Roth/Tom Tuft, Salmira Productions/Caiola Productions, Aged in Wood/Lee – Sachs, Berinstein – Lane/42nd.club, Boyett – Miller/Hodges – Kukieiski, Finn – DeVito/Independent Presenters Network, Armstrong – Ross/Gilad – Rogowsky, Boardman – Koenigsberg/Zell – Seriff, Concord Theatricals – Scott Sanders Productions/Abrams – May, deRoy – Brunish/Jenen – Rubin, Fakston Productions/Sabi – Lerner – Ketner, Maggio – Abrams/Hopkins – Tackel, Levy & Chauviere, Jujamcyn Theaters
Sharon D Clarke, Caroline, or ChangeCarmen Cusack, Flying Over Sunset Sutton Foster, The Music ManWINNER: Joaquina Kalukango, Paradise SquareMare Winningham, Girl From the North Country
Jeannette Bayardelle, Girl From the North Country Shoshana Bean, Mr. Saturday Night Jayne Houdyshell, The Music Man L Morgan Lee, A Strange LoopWINNER: Patti LuPone, CompanyJennifer Simard, Company
Stephen Brackett, A Strange LoopWINNER: Marianne Elliott, CompanyConor McPherson, Girl From the North CountryLucy Moss & Jamie Armitage, SIX: The MusicalChristopher Wheeldon, MJ
Girl From the North Country, Conor McPherson MJ, Lynn NottageMr. Saturday Night, Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz & Babaloo MandelParadise Square, Christina Anderson, Craig Lucas & Larry KirwanWINNER: A Strange Loop, Michael R. Jackson
Flying Over Sunset, Music: Tom Kitt, Lyrics: Michael KorieMr. Saturday Night, Music: Jason Robert Brown, Lyrics: Amanda GreenParadise Square, Music: Jason Howland, Lyrics: Nathan Tysen & Masi AsareWINNER: SIX: The Musical, Music and Lyrics: Toby Marlow & Lucy MossA Strange Loop, Music & Lyrics: Michael R. Jackson
Camille A. Brown, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enufWarren Carlyle, The Music ManCarrie-Anne Ingrouille, SIX: The MusicalBill T. Jones, Paradise SquareWINNER: Christopher Wheeldon, MJ
David Cullen, Company Tom Curran, SIX: The MusicalWINNER: Simon Hale, Girl from The North CountryJason Michael Webb and David Holcenberg, MJCharlie Rosen, A Strange Loop
Beowulf Boritt and 59 Productions, Flying Over SunsetWINNER: Bunny Christie, CompanyArnulfo Maldonado, A Strange LoopDerek McLane and Peter Nigrini, MJAllen Moyer, Paradise Square
Fly Davis, Caroline, or Change Toni-Leslie James, Paradise SquareWilliam Ivey Long, Diana, The MusicalSanto Loquasto, The Music ManWINNER: Gabriella Slade, SIX: The MusicalPaul Tazewell, MJ
Neil Austin, CompanyTim Deiling, SIX: The MusicalDonald Holder, Paradise SquareWINNER: Natasha Katz, MJBradley King, Flying Over Sunset Jen Schriever, A Strange Loop
Simon Baker, Girl From The North CountryPaul Gatehouse, SIX: The Musical Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Company Drew Levy, A Strange LoopWINNER: Gareth Owen, MJ
HangmenAuthor: Martin McDonagh; Producers: Robert Fox, Jean Doumanian, Elizabeth I. McCann, Craig Balsam, Atlantic Theater Company, Jon B. Platt, Len Blavatnik, Richard Fishman, John Gore Organization, Stephanie P. McClelland, David Mirvish, The Shubert Organization, Jamie deRoy/Sandy Robertson, Patrick Myles/Alexander ‘Sandy’ Marshall, M. Kilburg Reedy/Excelsior Entertainment, Playful Productions, The Royal Court Theatre
WINNER: The Lehman Trilogy, Author: Stefano Massini, Ben Power; Producers: National Theatre, Neal Street Productions, Barry Diller, David Geffen, Kash Bennett, Lisa Burger, Caro Newling, Ambassador Theatre Group, Stephanie P. McClelland, Annapurna Theatre, Delman Whitney, Craig Balsam/Heni Koenigsberg/John Yonover, Fiery Angel/Seth A. Goldstein, Starry Night Entertainment, Gavin Kalin Productions, Paul & Selina Burdell/Bill Damaschke, 42nd.club/Phil & Claire Kenny, CatWenJam Productions, Amanda Dubois, Glass Half Full Productions, Dede Harris/Linda B. Rubin, Kallish Weinstein Creative, Kors Le Pere Theatricals LLC, James L. Nederlander, No Guarantees, Mark Pigott KBE, KStJ, Playing Field, Catherine Schreiber/Adam Zell, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Richard Winkler/Alan Shorr/Dawn Smalberg, The Shubert Organization, Independent Presenters Network, John Gore Organization, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Jillian Robbins
The Minutes, Author: Tracy Letts; Producers: Jeffrey Richards, Rebecca Gold, Carl Moellenberg, Spencer Ross, Louise Gund, Elizabeth Armstrong, Blakeman Entertainment, HornosBerger, Across the River Productions, Stewart F. Lane/Bonnie Comley/Leah Lane, Jayne Baron Sherman, Kathleen K. Johnson, Emily Dobbs, Robert Flicker, Jacob Soroken Porter, The Shubert Organization, Steppenwolf Theatre Company
American Buffalo, Producers: Jeffrey Richards, Steve Traxler, Stephanie P. McClelland, GFour Productions, Spencer Ross, Gemini Theatrical, Chris and Ashlee Clarke, Suna Said Maslin, Ted & Richard Liebowitz/Cue to Cue Productions, Patty Baker/Good Productions, Brad Blume, Caiola Productions, Joanna Carson, Arthur Kern, Willette Klausner, Jeremiah J. Harris and Darren P. Deverna, Van Kaplan, Patrick Myles/David Luff, Alexander Marshall, Ambassador Theatre Group, Kathleen K. Johnson, Diego Kolankowsky, Steve and Jacob Levy, Morwin Schmookler, Brian Moreland, Jacob Soroken Porter, The Shubert Organization
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enufProducers: Nelle Nugent, Ron Simons, Kenneth Teaton, Ellen Ferguson and Vivian Phillips, Willette and Manny Klausner, Hunter Arnold, Dale Franzen, Valencia Yearwood, One Community, Audible, Dennis Grimaldi, Terry Nardozzi and Tracey Knight Narang, Grace Nordhoff/Mickalene Thomas, Angelina Fiordellisi/Caiola Productions, The Public Theater, Oskar Eustis, Patrick Willingham, Mandy Hackett
WINNER: Simon Russell Beale, The Lehman TrilogyAdam Godley, The Lehman TrilogyAdrian Lester, The Lehman Trilogy David Morse, How I Learned to DriveSam Rockwell, American Buffalo Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Lackawanna Blues David Threlfall, Hangmen
Gabby Beans, The Skin of Our Teeth LaChanze, Trouble in MindRuth Negga, MacbethWINNER: Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H.Mary-Louise Parker, How I Learned to Drive
Alfie Allen, Hangmen Chuck Cooper, Trouble in MindWINNER: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Take Me OutRon Cephas Jones, Clyde’sMichael Oberholtzer, Take Me OutJesse Williams, Take Me Out
Uzo Aduba, Clyde’sRachel Dratch, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him AliveKenita R. Miller, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enufWINNER: Phylicia Rashad, Skeleton Crew Julie White, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him AliveKara Young, Clyde’s
Lileana Blain-Cruz, The Skin of Our TeethCamille A. Brown, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enufWINNER: Sam Mendes, The Lehman TrilogyNeil Pepe, American BuffaloLes Waters, Dana H.
Beowulf Boritt, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him AliveMichael Carnahan and Nicholas Hussong, Skeleton CrewWINNER: Es Devlin, The Lehman TrilogyAnna Fleischle, HangmenScott Pask, American BuffaloAdam Rigg, The Skin of Our Teeth
WINNER: Montana Levi Blanco, The Skin of Our TeethSarafina Bush, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enufEmilio Sosa, Trouble in MindJane Greenwood, Neil Simon’s Plaza SuiteJennifer Moeller, Clyde’s
Joshua Carr, HangmenJiyoun Chang, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enufWINNER: Jon Clark, The Lehman TrilogyJane Cox, MacbethYi Zhao, The Skin of Our Teeth
Justin Ellington, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enufWINNER: Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H.Palmer Hefferan, The Skin of Our TeethNick Powell and Dominic Bilkey, The Lehman TrilogyMikaal Sulaiman, Macbeth