“Jagged” won for best book, by Diablo Cody, and for best featured actress, Lauren Patten, who electrifies audiences with her showstopping rendition of Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.” Patten’s performance is the subject of some controversy, because some fans had perceived the character as nonbinary in a pre-Broadway production and were unhappy with how the role evolved; the show’s producers said that the character was “on a gender expansive journey without a known outcome.” In her acceptance speech, Patten thanked “my trans and nonbinary friends and colleagues who have engaged with me in difficult conversations and joined me in dialogue about my character.”
Among the multiple awards won by “Moulin Rouge” were a first Tony for the director, Alex Timbers, and a record-breaking eighth for the costume designer, Catherine Zuber. The show’s leading man, Aaron Tveit won for the first time, in an unusual way — he was the only nominee in his category, but needed support from 60 percent of those who cast ballots in the category to win, which he got. He teared up as he thanked the nominators and the voters.
“Let’s continue to strive to tell the stories that represent the many and not the few, by the many and not the few, for the many and not the few,” he said. “Because what we do changes people’s lives.”
None of the nominees for best musical had an original score, so for the first time that award went to a play — Jack Thorne’s new adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” which featured music composed by Christopher Nightingale. That sparkly production, from the Old Vic in London, also won for scenic design, costume design, lighting design and sound design.
There was no best musical revival category this year, because the only one that opened before the pandemic, “West Side Story,” also was not seen by enough voters. It also wasn’t seen by many theatergoers: Its producers have decided not to reopen it.
A production of “A Soldier’s Play,” directed by Kenny Leon and produced by the nonprofit Roundabout Theater Company, won the Tony for best play revival. The play, a 1981 drama by Charles Fuller, is about the murder of a Black sergeant in the U.S. Army; it won the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published and was later adapted into a Hollywood film, but it didn’t make it to Broadway until 2020.
The production starred Blair Underwood and David Alan Grier. Grier picked up the first award of the night, for best featured actor in a play.