76th Tony Awards Recap

Story posted June 13, 2023 in Arts & Entertainment by Kaitlyn Murphy.

This Sunday, the 76th annual Tony Awards were held in New York City’s United Palace Theater, with Broadway’s best and brightest showing out.

In solidarity with the Writers Guild of America strike, the show ran completely unscripted. Host Ariana Debose opened the ceremony by flipping through a blank script, illustrating how crucial writers are in every aspect of the entertainment industry.

The opening number was solely dance-based, which refreshingly showcased the often-overlooked aspect of being a Broadway performer.

Sure, singing and acting are important– but dancing takes the visual aspect of a show to the next level.

Here are some notable wins, performances and other moments that went down on Broadway’s biggest night.

Jodie Comer is now halfway to an EGOT

“Killing Eve” actress Jodie Comer took home the award for Best Lead Actress in a Play for her role in the one-woman show, Prima Facie.

Comer’s performance in this show has been called “astonishing” and “remarkable,” commanding the stage by herself for an hour and forty minutes.

The show follows Comer’s character Tessa, a defense attorney who specializes in cases involving men charged with sexual assault.

While the Best Actress category was filled with other big names like Jessica Chastain and Audra McDonald, it seems as though Comer rightfully deserved this award.

She now has an Emmy and Tony award and is halfway to an EGOT.

Lin Manuel-Miranda was in the audience

A modern king of Broadway, of course, the Tonys had to extend an invite to Lin Manuel-Miranda.

Is this groundbreaking news? No.

Was it fun to see the camera pan to him multiple times throughout the night to keep viewers hooked? Yes.

The 2017 Best Actor in a Musical trifecta made a reappearance

At the 71st Tony Awards in 2017, Josh Groban, Ben Platt and Christain Borle were all nominated in the Best Actor in a Musical category.

This year, all three men were nominated together in the same category.

Ben Platt took home the award in 2017 for “Dear Evan Hansen,” but this year, all three of them lost to J. Harrison Ghee from “Some Like It Hot.”

It was an unsurprising outcome, but hard to watch Christian and Josh take another loss.

“Glee” alum Alex Newell makes history

Alex Newell, formerly of “Glee” and currently starring in the corn-centric Broadway musical “Shucked,” became the first ever non-binary actor to win a Tony Award on Sunday night.

Their undeniable powerhouse voice and stage presence no doubt led to their win in the Best Supporting Actor in a Musical category.

Newell’s acceptance speech for the award was heartwarmingly inspiring– they began by saying they’ve wanted this for their entire life.

Newell and almost every winner throughout the night urged for a more open and accepting Broadway community, and world in general.

The revival cast of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” brought the house down with their performance

By far the best performance of the night was put on by the cast of “Sweeney Todd,” which stars Josh Groban in its titular role, and unfortunately has no Andy Bernard in sight.

The cast performed the opening number, a dark and haunting ballad about the murderous barber of Fleet Street.

Among the ensemble were famous faces Gaten Matarazzo of “Stranger Things” and Disney Channel album, Jordan Fisher.

The show lost out Best Revival of a Musical to “Parade,” but is still doing remarkably well.

“Kimberly Akimbo” takes home Best Musical

Named the best musical of the year by the Wall Street Journal, “Kimberly Akimbo” won the coveted Best Musical award at the end of the show.

“Kimberly Akimbo” follows a New Jersey teenager with an aging condition that makes her appear to be a 72-year-old woman.

The show also took home both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, making it the most awarded musical of the night.

Lea Michele delivers closing performance of “Don’t Rain on My Parade”

Logistically, it made no sense to have Lea Michele close out the show with a performance from “Funny Girl.”

She was not eligible for a Tony this year because she did not originate the role of Fanny Brice in the revival, actress Beanie Feldstein did.

Every other performance of the night was from a nominated show or cast, and it seemed the Tonys allowed Michele to perform due to the buzz surrounding her role.

While it would have made more sense to end the show with an actual Tony nominee, Michele’s vocals delivered as usual.

Kaitlyn Murphy is a second-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email kvm6255@psu.edu.