From the Young Vic to the toast of Broadway, epic play about gay life wins four Tony awards

·2-min read
Prize night: Tom Hiddleston and Zawe Ashton (Getty Images for Tony Awards Pro)
Prize night: Tom Hiddleston and Zawe Ashton (Getty Images for Tony Awards Pro)

An epic seven-hour play about gay life that started out at the Young Vic has conquered Broadway by picking up four Tony awards.

The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez, set in Manhattan after the Aids epidemic, was named best play and there were also awards for two of its stars. Lois Smith was named best actress in a featured role and Andrew Burnap, best leading actor in a play. He beat Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Hiddleston to the prize.

Briton Stephen Daldry was named best director — his third Tony award. Lopez, who grew up in Florida and brought the show to London in 2018 when it won best play at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, said he hoped more stories would come from the Latin community where he grew up. He added: “We have so many stories inside us aching to come out. Let us tell you our stories.”

A Christmas Carol, adapted from the Charles Dickens classic by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s Jack Thorne and directed by Matthew Warchus, picked up five awards.

But the big winner was Moulin Rouge! The Musical, an adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 movie, which was named the best new musical at the New York event.

The show, which opens at the Piccadilly Theatre in the West End in November, won 10 Tonys — just two shy of the record set by The Producers. It won for scenic design, costume, lighting, sound design, orchestrations, choreography and best direction of a musical and a featured acting Tony for Broadway favourite Danny Burstein. The least surprising win of the night saw its star Aaron Tveit named best leading actor in a musical — he was the only person nominated in the category.

Producer Carmen Pavlovic said it felt “a little odd” to win in a year when so much of Broadway was shut down by the pandemic. She said: “The shows that opened, the shows that closed not to return, the shows that nearly opened. And of course, the shows that paused and are fortunate enough to be reborn — best musical is all of those shows.”

Other winners included Adrienne Warren, who won the Tony for best leading actress in a musical for her turn as Tina Turner in Tina — The Tina Turner Musical while the musical Jagged Little Pill, inspired by Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album, won two awards after coming into the night with 15 Tony nominations.

The Old Vic’s production of A Christmas Carol picked up five technical awards: scenic design of a play, costumes, lighting, sound design and score.

John Legend performed at the awards and was accompanied by wife Chrissie Teigen,who made a rare public appearance after being caught up in a Twitter bullying row.

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