Four hours full of spectacular musical numbers, ending with three famous musical duets from the past — Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel performing “For Good” from Wicked, Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal performing “What You Own” from Rent, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald performing “Wheels of a Dream” from Ragtime – without a single scene from a straight play, past, present or future.
A night proclaiming Broadway is back, in which everybody was required to wear masks. A night celebrating inclusion, the first half of which excluded anybody who didn’t subscribe to a live-streamed platform.
Half a live-streamed show that avoided any mention of the past 18 months of live-streamed theater.
Heartfelt commitments to bringing more artists to the table, in light of a year of Black Lives Matter, yet Jeremy O. Harris’ “Slave Play,” which at 12 nominations received more than any other straight play in Broadway history, did not win any of them. (After the end of the awards, it was announced that Slave Play would return to Broadway for an eight-week run, starting November 23.)
The Tony Awards, delayed 15 months, was a long night, full of contradictions — and also a glorious one.
Below, watch the duets, and the acceptance speeches from the eight Tony winning performers, followed by moments captured via Tweets.
Britton Smith, president of Broadway Advocacy Coalition: “I want to acknowledge that I’m only standing here because George Floyd’s murder and a global pandemic stopped all of us and brought us to our knees and reminded us that beyond costumes and beyond glamour beyond design was pain that we weren’t yet seeing. And it created this beautiful opening that allowed us to say enough to challenge, to speak up for white people to listen and adjust for black people to unite around rage around anger around hope around redesigning this very room. Whoa”
“Many people got into theater to find a place where you belong, and find a place where you can feel at home and feel comfortable and feel like yourself. Those things sometimes can be forgotten in professional theatre. What I really hope returning after it’s been taken away from us is that we really get back to that original love”