Home Entertainment Tony Awards 2023: ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ and ‘Leopoldstadt’ take top honors

Tony Awards 2023: ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ and ‘Leopoldstadt’ take top honors

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NEW YORK — “Kimberly Akimbo,” a melodically bright and heartfelt tale of New Jersey teens who are aging five times faster than usual, will be unveiled at the 76th Annual Tony Awards Sunday night. It won major awards, including Best Musical and top honors in four categories. Other awards include Best Book Award, Best Music Award, Best Actress in a Musical or Best Actress, among others.

As many expected, the Tony Award for Best Picture went to 85-year-old Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt. A Holocaust play inspired by the playwright’s discovery of his Jewish roots in his later years. Winner of ‘Ain’t No Mo’, ‘The Cost of Living’, ‘Between Riverside and Crazy’ and ‘Fat Ham’ and four trophies including Best Theater Director, Best Costume and Best Actor obtained.

Other trophies in the theater category were split among other shows, with Jodie Comer winning Best Actress for her role as a domineering assault victim in Prima Facie, and Sean Hayes winning Actor. He was nominated for Best Actor in a Play for his pianist and pianist Oscar impersonation. Levant from “Goodnight, Oscar”. Visually stunning, “Life of Pi” swept theatrical design awards for its set, sound design and lighting.

In other competitions, Best Actor in a Musical went to J. Harrison Gee, who beat co-star Christian Ball and five other actors for Some Like It Hot, and Best Actress in a Musical. won by Victoria Clarke. – 16 years old in “Kimberly Akimbo”. Bonnie Milligan won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for playing her lovable crook in Kimberly Akimbo.

These Broadway actors finally got the spotlight they deserve

Guy’s win made history by becoming the first self-described non-binary actor to win a Tony Award for Best Actor. That accomplishment was doubled by Alex Newell, also a self-confessed non-binary, who won Best Supporting Actor for the musical “Shacked.” A devastated Newell told the crowd, “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. Thank you all.” Mr. Newell turned to his mother and said, “Thank you for loving me unconditionally.”

In fact, it was a night of praise for works that challenged intolerance head-on. Tony voters chose seriousness over chance in choosing Broadway’s best musical revival, based on facts that depicted the lynching of an innocent Jewish man, Leo Frank, against his biggest rival in Georgia in the early 1900s. Awarded the story “Parade”. “Into the Woods” (Both shows originated Off-Broadway as concert productions in the New York City Center Encore! series.)

Michael Arden, who won Best Director of a Musical for Parade, cited the prejudices he faced as a gay man when he was younger. “Love each other and keep building each other up,” he said. “And vote at every opportunity you can.” (His equal winner for Best Director of a Play was Patrick Marber for “Leopoldstadt.”)

Selected by a voting academy of more than 700 theater producers, actors, designers and others, the 26 categories of presentations were presented in a ceremony that lacked a key element of television broadcasts to date: the scriptwriter. The Writers Guild of America, which is in its second month of strikes against television and film studios, has agreed not to picket the Tonys only if the show proceeds without writer contributions.

To that end, broadcasts from United Palace in Manhattan’s Washington Heights (the first 90 minutes on free streaming service Pluto TV and the remaining three hours on CBS) aren’t pre-written jokes, they’re Tony people. I had to rely on some kind of drama. and a wonderful musical performance.

“No script, folks. To) After performing the opening number, he breathlessly said, The unscripted event was what the writers needed “to pursue a fair deal,” she told the audience, explaining that there was no teleprompter and only a countdown clock in the speech. bottom.

“Buckle up dear ones!” added the delightful Mr. DeBose.

No such notice was needed. Hosted by Julianne Hough and Skylar Astin for the first 90 minutes of the stream, the entire ceremony felt sophisticated and spontaneous, and was satisfyingly fast-paced. Despite (or because of?) its particular challenges, it was one of the best Tony Shows to remember. The evening was attended by notable presenters such as Common, Uzo Aduba, Barry Manilow, Melissa Etheridge, Lupita Nyong’o, and even called Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis a “great magician.” Even a notable burn by actress Denny Benton was included. “

One of the high points was Lea Michele, star of the “Funny Girl” revival, triumphantly singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” with joy. In 2012, she sang the same song on Tony’s telecast, when it was her audition ten years later to stand in for Beanie Feldstein as Fanny Brice in the original revival. was considered. (Cameras catch her walking off the stage into DeBose’s arms.)

There were also songs all nominated for Best Musical, including “Some Like It Hot,” “Kimberly Akimbo,” “Shacked,” “& Juliet,” and “New York, New York.” It also featured revival musical nominees “Camelot,” “Parade,” “Into the Woods,” and “Sweeney Todd, The Devil’s Barber of Fleet Street,” which represented the show’s live infomercials.

Voters named the 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner Susan-Lori Parks’ Top Dog/Under Dog as the best revival play. This work is about the unfortunate brothers who try to mastermind the hustle and bustle of the city and end in tragedy. “Theatre is healing!” cried Mr. Parks in an enthusiastic remark.

The compelling mission of being quick and agile has inspired many Tony Award winners, including Brandon Uranowitz, who won Best Actor for his double role in Leopoldstadt. It seems Ulanowitz told his parents in the audience that he wanted to repay their sacrifice. “But I work in a theater, so I can’t do that!” he declared.

The Tonys are two Broadway mainstays, actor Joel Gray, 91, and his late lyricist partner, Fred Ebb, in Chicago, Cabaret, and many other shows. Earlier in the evening, Kander received the award with a special tribute of his own.

“I am grateful to music. It has been my lifelong friend and promised to be with me until the end,” he said.

Thomas Floyd contributed to this report.

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