What you need to know about the musicals the Tonys won

Although the ceremony of Tony included surprises, there were also well-deserved prizes, such as those of Myles Frost (Best Actor in a Musical) and Joaquina Kalukango (Best Actress in a Musical) or Best Costume for Six and Best Choreography for MJ. We tell you about some of the winners and why you shouldn’t miss them on your next visit to New York.

MJ

Awards he won: He was nominated for 10 Tonys, he got 4: Best Actor in a Musical, Best Choreography, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.

Different shows have been seen with the music of the legendary Michael Jackson, but what greatly separates this new musical is the interpretation of Myles Frostwho not only accurately captures the singer’s iconic dances, but also his voice and dual personality: on the one hand, a totally confident artist on stage, and on the other, a shy and tormented young man in his private life.

It especially works the way the writer Lynn Nottage chooses to tell Jackson’s story: through documenting the rehearsal process for his Dangerous WorldTour, while the singer tells parallel episodes of his life to an MTV producer and cameraman. Special mention deserves the ensemble, in which it shines Quentin Earl Darringtonplaying both Rob, the tour director, and Michael’s father, Joe Jackson.

The play includes emblematic songs such as “Beat It”, “Billie Jean” or “Smooth Criminal”, and of course, “Thriller”, which is re-imagined as a circus number with impressive costumes and scenery and which is a showstopper in which the audience stands excited to applaud, momentarily interrupting the work.

Theater where it is presented: Neil Simon Theater

GIRL FROM THE NORTH

Awards he won: It was nominated for 7 and got 1: Best Orchestration.

“May your heart always be joyful. May your song always be sung” said Dylan.

Set in 1934, after the context of the Great Depression, in a boarding house in Minnesota, a group of characters with different problems share their stories to the rhythm of the music of Bob Dylan with a libretto by the renowned writer Conor McPherson (The Weir, The Weir, Shining City, The Veil).

The house is managed by Nick Laine (played by peter kowitz), a tired but resilient man who takes care of the guests while taking care of his wife, Elizabeth, who suffers from a mental imbalance.

This production premiered at The Old Vic in London in 2017, and was also presented at the Public Theater in New York and in Toronto. After garnering good reviews, and following the pandemic hiatus, it returned to Broadway for a limited time with most of the original cast.

Theater where it is presented: Belasco Theater.

PARADISE SQUARE

Awards he won: Was nominated for 10 Tonys, got 1: Best Actress in a Musical

If one thing was clear at the recent Tony ceremony, it is that one of the night’s most deserved awards was that of Joaquina Kalukangowho plays Nelly O’Brienthe tenacious and strong protagonist of Paradise Square.

This musical takes place in 1863 New York, a period when Irish immigrants were being called up to join the army and fight in the Civil War while at the same time connecting with, and bonding with, the African-American community in dance contests. In this context, Nelly O’Brien’s bar, Paradise Square, becomes a neutral haven where everyone comes together as they question what it means to be American.

The work includes outstanding choreography (which at times reminds one of the famous Irish company: Riverdance), a colorful multi-level stage, and of course, the unbeatable voice of Joaquina, who with “Leti t Burn” paralyzes the audience and achieves a of the most effusive and emotional ovations on Broadway this season.

Theater where it is presented: Ethel Barrymore Theater

SIX

Awards he won: He was nominated for 8 Tonys, he got 2: Best Costume and Best Score.

Since this Cambridge University production premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe and later in London, this concert-musical has been one of the sensations of the season thanks to catchy songs and a very talented female ensemble that includes performances by the 6 wives of the famous King English Henry VIII: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymur, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.

The premise is that only one of them can be the soloist of the musical group, so each one has to show their talent and why they are the best. With hilarious dialogue, lively numbers, and totally surprising ones like “All You Wanna Do,” this all-female ensemble has continued to captivate the box office, and the audience, every performance.

As an interesting fact: Abby Muellerwho gives life to Jane Seymur and who gets a standing ovation night after night for “Heart of Stone”, had to be replaced at the last minute by Mallory Maedke for the Tonys after she tested positive for COVID. This is yet another example of how covers and undersudies They have saved companies in this context of the pandemic.

Theater where it is presented: Brooks Atkinson Theater

A STRANGE LOOP

Awards he won: It was nominated for 11 and won 2: Best Musical and Best Musical Book.

No doubt the one that this musical written by Michael R Jackson won the highest prize for Musical of the Year was one of the great surprises of the ceremony, since A Strange Loop It is not a conventional job, nor is it easy to see, and just as the title refers to a strange vicious circle, this journey is just as complex as we enter the psyche of the protagonist: Usher.

usher (Jaquel Spivey) is a young man who works as an usher in The Lion King and that he’s writing his own musical about a queer black writer who’s writing a musical about a black writer and queer; while he deals with his own insecurities, financial difficulties and his family’s rejection of his sexual orientation.

The musical requires many references to be fully understood, such as knowing the work of the actor, director and producer Tyler Perry or the slang Afro-American whose thoughts continually use him to express what he feels; however, it is a risky and meritorious job.

The performance of spiveyrecognized with the Drama Desk, is totally remarkable, although this 2022 Tony voters ended up leaning towards Frost’s performance as Best Actor.

Theater where it is presented: Lyceum Theater

Bonuses: After Hugh Jackman (The Music Man) and beanie feldstein (Funny Girl) tested positive for Covid this month (June) both actors had to be temporarily replaced in some functions, but they will return to the stage this week.

Find more information about Broadway plays, and buy your tickets at https://cutt.ly/1Kbwlbl

By Mariana Mijares, Photos: Courtesy Broadway Collection

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