Out of all the winners (and also-rans) in the 26 competitive categories at the 2022 Tony Awards, 18 results stand out as particularly noteworthy when considered in the context of history. So what were this year’s most interesting facts, records, and milestones? Check out the complete list of winners here.
1. The following productions that received multiple Tony nominations, but went home empty-handed were “American Buffalo,” “Caroline, or Change,” “Clyde’s,” “For Colored Girls,” “Flying Over Sunset,” “Hangmen,” “How I Learned to Drive,” “Macbeth,” “Mr. Saturday Night,” “The Music Man,” “POTUS,” and “Trouble in Mind.”
2. The following individuals who had multiple nominations this year, but went home empty-handed were set designer Beowulf Boritt (“Flying Over Sunset” and “POTUS”), director/choreographer Camille A. Brown (“For Colored Girls”), actor/book writer Billy Crystal (“Mr. Saturday Night”), director/book writer Conor McPherson (“Girl From the North Country”), and playwright/book writer Lynn Nottage, who made history as the very first person to have been nominated in the categories of Best Play (for “Clyde’s”) and Best Book of a Musical (for “MJ”) in the same year.
3. The following individuals who had previously gone undefeated at the Tonys saw the end of their winning streaks this year: Bradley King, who won Best Lighting Design of a Musical twice before for “The Great Comet” in 2017 as well as “Hadestown” in 2019, lost that award for “Flying Over Sunset”; and Tracy Letts, who prevailed in the categories of Best Play for “August: Osage County” in 2008 and Best Lead Actor in a Play for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in 2013, lost the former category for “The Minutes.”
4. Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss (“Six”) are the first team of songwriters to win Best Original Score since Benj Pasek & Justin Paul for “Dear Evan Hansen” in 2017. Not to mention that Marlow is also the very first non-binary winner of this award.
5. Christopher Wheeldon (“MJ”) is the first person to win Best Choreography multiple times since Andy Blankenbuehler. Wheeldon previously won for “An American in Paris” back in 2015. Blankenbuehler has prevailed three times for “In the Heights” in 2008, “Hamilton” in 2016, and “Bandstand” in 2017.
6. “Company” not only marks Patti LuPone‘s third Tony Award overall, but also her first win in the category of Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She previously won twice before in Best Lead Actress in a Musical for “Evita” in 1980 and “Gypsy” in 2008.
7. Marianne Elliot (“Company”) is not only now a three-time Tony-winning director, but she’s also the first woman to have won accolades for helming both plays and musicals from the American Theatre Wing. Her first two prizes were in Best Direction of a Play for “War Horse” (in collaboration with Tom Morris) in 2011 and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” in 2015. Not to mention that she is also now the fifth woman in history to have won the Tony for Best Direction of a Musical following Julie Taymor for “The Lion King” in 1998, Susan Stroman for “The Producers” in 2001, Diane Paulus for “Pippin” in 2013, and Rachel Chavkin for “Hadestown” in 2019. Plus, Elliott is also the first winner in this category for helming a revival as opposed to a new work since the aforementioned Paulus.
8. What both of this year’s directing winners have in common is that they have both previously helmed a revival of “Company” in London’s West End. Sam Mendes, who won Best Direction of a Play for “The Lehman Trilogy,” directed a production back in 1995. Meanwhile, Marianne Elliott’s staging that is currently running on the main stem originated in London in 2018. This is also the first time since 2010 that both directing awards went to Brits. The winners then were Michael Grandage for the play “Red” and Terry Johnson for the musical revival “La Cage aux Folles.”
9. Phylicia Rashad is now the fourth actress in history to have won exactly two Tonys, one for Best Lead Actress in a Play (for “A Raisin in the Sun” in 2004) and one for Best Featured Actress in a Play (for “Skeleton Crew” this year). The other three ladies on that list are Sandy Dennis, Laurie Metcalf, and Cynthia Nixon. While there are others who have won both such as Shirley Booth, Zoe Caldwell, and Irene Worth, they each prevailed in one of those two categories multiple times.
10. “Take Me Out” is now the third Best Revival of a Play winner to have prevailed without a directing nomination since this category was established in 1994. The previous two were “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 2001 and “The Boys in the Band” in 2019. But this is the first time in this category that a production managed to do so up against a contender with a directing bid (“For Colored Girls”) And Scott Ellis, who has had 24 Broadway directing credits since 1994, has finally helmed a show that won a Tony in a top production category.
11. When Matt Doyle won Best Featured Actor in a Musical for “Company,” one of the people who presented it to him was Raúl Esparza, who earned a Best Lead Actor in a Musical nomination for his performance as Bobby in the previous Broadway revival of “Company” back in 2007.
12. Michael R. Jackson (“A Strange Loop”) is the first African-American to have won the Tony for Best Book of a Musical since Stew for “Passing Strange” in 2008.
13. With “Company” winning five Tonys overall, this marks the first time since 2008 that a musical revival won more awards than any of the new ones. Back then, “South Pacific” received seven accolades, which was the most awards that night. This year “Company” tied with “The Lehman Trilogy” for the most Tonys of the evening. The last time a play and a musical production managed to accomplish that tie was in 2015 when “Curious Incident” and “Fun Home” both walked away with five trophies too.
14. “The Lehman Trilogy” is the fourth consecutive Tony winner for Best Play to have previously originated in London’s West End. The previous three were “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” in 2018, “The Ferryman” in 2019, and “The Inheritance” last year. This is also the very first time we’ve had four British imports in a row win Best Play.
15. Deirdre O’Connell (“Dana H.”) is the first performer to have won Best Lead Actress in a Play for a show that didn’t have a corresponding nomination for Best Play nor Best Play Revival since Helen Mirren for “The Audience” back in 2015.
16. At age 22, Myles Frost (“MJ”) is now the youngest sole Tony winner for Best Lead Actor in a Musical. That record was previously held by Ben Platt, who was 23 when he won for “Dear Evan Hansen” in 2017. Although David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish were all in their teens when they won for sharing the title role in “Billy Elliot” in 2009.
17. “A Strange Loop” is not only the first completely original show to have won the Tony for Best Musical since “Dear Evan Hansen,” but also the first champion in that category to have only one other win under its belt since “42nd Street” way back in 1981.
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