Tony Awards 2022 Winners: The Lehman Trilogy and ‘A Strange Loop’ Win Top Tony Awards 2022

On Sunday, "A Strange Loop" won the best musical Tony Award while "The Lehman Trilogy" won the best play Tony Award.

The best musical revival was Company, while the best play revival was Take Me Out.

Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical “Company,” which rewrote the gender of the protagonist to tell a more female-focused story, won five awards. 

The Lehman Trilogy and 'A Strange Loop' Win Top Tony Awards 2022
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Seven months after the death of its creator (who was 91 at that time), its victory was bittersweet.

Sam Mendes’ epic drama about one of the financial institutions that helped spark the 2008 recession, “The Lehman Trilogy,” was nominated for five Tony Awards, including those for its direction and its lead performance by Simon Russell Beale.

A razzle-dazzle ceremony capped one of the most turbulent periods in theater history.

Broadway started reopening last summer after being closed for nearly two years due to COVID, but its recovery has been slow.

In her opening monologue, Tony’s host Ariana Debose said, “What a season it’s been.” “We’ve seen starts, stops, dramatic twists and turns.”

Complete List of Tony Awards 2022 Nominees and Winners

You can see the Complete List of Tony Awards 2022 Nominees and Winners:

Best Musical Nominees

“MJ”

“Paradise Square”

“Girl From The North Country”

“A Strange Loop”

“Mr. Saturday Night”

“Six: The Musical”

WINNER: “A Strange Loop”

Best Play Nominees

“Clyde’s”

“The Lehman Trilogy”

“Hangmen”

“The Minutes”

“Skeleton Crew”

WINNER: “The Lehman Trilogy”

Best Revival of a Musical Nominees

“Company”

“The Music Man”

“Caroline, or Change”

WINNER: “Company”

Best Revival of a Play Nominees

“For colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”

“Take Me Out”

“American Buffalo”

“Trouble in Mind”

“How I Learned to Drive”

WINNER: “Take Me Out”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play Nominees

LaChanze, “Trouble in Mind”

Deirdre O’Connell, “Dana H.”

Mary-Louise Parker, “How I Learned to Drive”

Gabby Beans, “The Skin of Our Teeth”

Ruth Negga, “Macbeth”

WINNER: Deirdre O’Connell, “Dana H.”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play Nominees

Adam Godley, “The Lehman Trilogy”

Simon Russell Beale, “The Lehman Trilogy”

David Morse, “How I Learned to Drive”

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Lackawanna Blues”

Adrian Lester, “The Lehman Trilogy”

Sam Rockwell, “American Buffalo”

David Threlfall, “Hangmen”

WINNER: Simon Russell Beale, “The Lehman Trilogy”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical Nominees

Joaquina Kalukango, “Paradise Square”

Sharon D Clarke, “Caroline, or Change”

Sutton Foster, “The Music Man”

Mare Winningham, “Girl From The North Country”

Carmen Cusack, “Flying Over Sunset”

WINNER: Joaquina Kalukango, “Paradise Square”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical Nominees

Myles Frost, “MJ”

Rob McClure, “Mrs. Doubtfire”

Billy Crystal, “Mr. Saturday Night”

Hugh Jackman, “The Music Man”

Jaquel Spivey, “A Strange Loop”

WINNER: Myles Frost, “MJ”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play Nominees

Rachel Dratch, “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women.

Kenita R. Miller, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”.

Julie White, “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women.

Kara Young, “Clyde’s”.

Uzo Aduba, “Clyde’s”.

Phylicia Rashad, “Skeleton Crew”.

Trying to Keep Him Alive”.

WINNER: Phylicia Rashad, “Skeleton Crew”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play Nominees

Alfie Allen, “Hangmen”.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Take Me Out”

Michael Oberholtzer, “Take Me Out”.

Chuck Cooper, “Trouble in Mind”.

Ron Cephas Jones, “Clyde’s”.

Jesse Williams, “Take Me Out”

WINNER: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Take Me Out”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical Nominees

Jeannette Bayardelle, “Girl From The North Country”.

Jayne Houdyshell, “The Music Man”.

Patti LuPone, “Company”.

Shoshana Bean, “Mr. Saturday Night”.

Jennifer Simard, “Company”.

L Morgan Lee, “A Strange Loop”.

WINNER: Patti LuPone, “Company”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical Nominees

Matt Doyle, “Company”.

Jared Grimes, “Funny Girl”.

A.J. Shively, “Paradise Square”.

Sidney DuPont, “Paradise Square”.

John-Andrew Morrison, “A Strange Loop”.

WINNER: Matt Doyle, “Company”

Best Direction of a Musical Nominees

Marianne Elliott, “Company”

Lucy Moss & Jamie Armitage, “Six: The Musical”.

Stephen Brackett, “A Strange Loop”.

Christopher Wheeldon, “MJ”.

Conor McPherson, “Girl From The North Country”.

WINNER: Marianne Elliott, “Company”.

Best Direction of a Play Nominees

Lileana Blain-Cruz, “The Skin of Our Teeth”.

Sam Mendes, “The Lehman Trilogy”.

Camille A. Brown, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”.

Les Waters, “Dana H.”.

Neil Pepe, “American Buffalo”.

WINNER: Sam Mendes, “The Lehman Trilogy”

Best Scenic Design of a Musical Nominees

Bunny Christie, “Company”.

Derek McLane and Peter Nigrini, “MJ”.

Beowulf Boritt and 59 Productions, “Flying Over Sunset”.

Arnulfo Maldonado, “A Strange Loop”.

Allen Moyer, “Paradise Square”.

WINNER: Bunny Christie, “Company”.

Best Scenic Design of a Play Nominees

Es Devlin, “The Lehman Trilogy”.

Beowulf Boritt, “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive”.

Anna Fleischle, “Hangmen”.

Adam Rigg, “The Skin of Our Teeth”.

Michael Carnahan and Nicholas Hussong, “Skeleton Crew”.

Scott Pask, “American Buffalo”.

WINNER: Es Devlin, “The Lehman Trilogy”.

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics)

“Flying Over Sunset” Music: Tom Kitt Lyrics: Michael Korie

“Six: The Musical” Music and Lyrics: Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss

“A Strange Loop” Music & Lyrics: Michael R. Jackson

“Mr. Saturday Night” Music: Jason Robert Brown Lyrics: Amanda Green

“Paradise Square” Music: Jason Howland Lyrics: Nathan Tysen & Masi Asare

WINNER: “Six: The Musical” Music and Lyrics: Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss

Best Book of a Musical Nominees

“A Strange Loop”
Michael R. Jackson

“Girl From The North Country”
Conor McPherson “MJ”
Lynn Nottage
“Mr. Saturday Night”
Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel
“Paradise Square”
Christina Anderson, Craig Lucas & Larry Kirwan

WINNER: “A Strange Loop”
Michael R. Jackson

Best Costume Design of a Musical Nominees

Fly Davis, “Caroline, or Change”.

William Ivey Long, Diana, The Musical.

Gabriella Slade, “SIX: The Musical”.

Toni-Leslie James, “Paradise Square”.

Santo Loquasto, “The Music Man”.

Paul Tazewell, “MJ”.

WINNER: Gabriella Slade, “SIX: The Musical”

Best Costume Design of a Play Nominees

Montana Levi Blanco, “The Skin of Our Teeth”.

Emilio Sosa, “Trouble in Mind”.

Jennifer Moeller, “Clyde’s”.

Sarafina Bush, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”.

Jane Greenwood, “Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite”.

WINNER: Montana Levi Blanco, “The Skin of Our Teeth”

Best Lighting Design of a Musical Nominees

Tim Deiling, “Six: The Musical”.

Natasha Katz, “MJ”.

Neil Austin, “Company”.

Bradley King, Flying Over Sunset Jen Schriever, “A Strange Loop”.

Donald Holder, “Paradise Square”.

WINNER:Natasha Katz, “MJ”.

Best Lighting Design of a Play Nominees

Jane Cox, “Macbeth”.

Jon Clark, The Lehman Trilogy.

Joshua Carr, “Hangmen”.

Jiyoun Chang, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”.

Yi Zhao, “The Skin of Our Teeth”.

WINNER: Jon Clark, The Lehman Trilogy

Best Sound Design of a Musical Nominees

Paul Gatehouse, “Six: The Musical”.

Gareth Owen, “MJ”.

Drew Levy, “A Strange Loop”.

Simon Baker, “Girl From The North Country”.

Ian Dickinson for Autograph, “Company”.

WINNER: Gareth Owen, “MJ”

Best Sound Design of a Play Nominees

Mikhail Fiksel, “Dana H.”.

Nick Powell and Dominic Bilkey, “The Lehman Trilogy”.

Justin Ellington, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”.

Mikaal Sulaiman, “Macbeth”.

Palmer Hefferan, “The Skin of Our Teeth”.

WINNER: Mikhail Fiksel, “Dana H.”

Best Orchestrations Nominees

Simon Hale, “Girl From The North Country”.

David Cullen, “Company”.

Jason Michael Webb and David Holcenberg, “MJ”.

Tom Curran, “Six: The Musical”.

Charlie Rosen, “A Strange Loop”.

WINNER: Simon Hale, “Girl From The North Country”.

Best Choreography Nominees

Christopher Wheeldon, “MJ”.

Warren Carlyle, “The Music Man”

Bill T. Jones, “Paradise Square”.

Camille A. Brown, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”.

Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, “Six: The Musical”.

WINNER: Christopher Wheeldon, “MJ”.

At the height of the holiday season, Omicron struck and nearly every production had to cancel performances or have key cast members miss performances (Six, the best musical nominee, relied on an understudy for its Tony Award performance).

 As a sign of the changing times, winners and presenters praised COVID safety coordinators. Uncertainty comes with a price. 

2021 to 2022 ticket sales reached $845 million, a 54% drop from the $1.8 billion generated by Broadway theaters in 2018 to 2019, the last full season before the pandemic shutdown in 2020.

In accepting her award, director Marianne Elliott acknowledged Broadway’s existential challenges.

 We have seen so much in our industry,” Elliott said. 

“I felt at times that live theater was in danger.” She then dedicated her award to those “fighting to preserve this beautiful, transportive and essential art form.”

34 shows debuted on Broadway this season, 29 of which received a Tony nomination. From lavish musicals to avant-garde productions, the shows were varied.

In “Dana H”, Deirdre O’Connell mouthed her lines to a recording of the real-life kidnapped victim she played on stage. She was named best actress in a play for her role as a florida hospice chaplain.

Standing here, O’Connell said, is a sign from the universe to make weird art.

Joaquina Kalukango, whose performance of the show’s anthem “Let it Burn” was an emotional highlight of the ceremony, won best leading actress in a musical for her portrayal of pop star Michael Jackson in “MJ.” 

According to Kalukango, “Paradise Square” examines the conflict between Irish Americans and African Americans during the Civil War.

Kalukango said, “I am grateful for the suffering of the nameless ancestors.” She added, “This song, this show gives power to that.”

Jesse Tyler Ferguson won the award for best supporting actor in a play for his portrayal of an accountant turned baseball fanatic in “Take Me Out,” while Phylicia Rashad earned the award for best-supporting actress in a play for her portrayal of a factory worker in “Skeleton Crew.” 

Rashad was the first Black woman to win the prize for best actress in a play in 2004 for “A Raisin in the Sun.” This was her second nomination.

For her performance as a hard-drinking lady who lunches in “Company,” Patti LuPone won her third Tony, this time for supporting actress. 

Previously, she was recognized for 1981’s “Evita” and the revival of “Gypsy” in 2008.

In addition to LuPone, Doyle won a Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in “Company,” which culminated in his interpretation of the tongue-twisting song “Getting Married Today.”.

It is likely that the awards love will boost ticket sales for “A Strange Loop.” It is the story of a Black gay man who writes a musical about a Black gay man who writes a musical. 

In 2020, it won a Pulitzer Prize for its Off-Broadway run. In spite of this, “The Lehman Trilogy” will not be able to benefit from its victory. 

“The Lehman Trilogy” ran for a limited time only in January. The circle of winners isn’t always the determining factor between success and failure. 

Even though it earned six nominations, Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster’s “The Music Man” failed to earn any awards despite being one of the season’s biggest hits.

Historically dominated by white creators, Broadway faced pressure to elevate more diverse voices after the Black Lives Matter movement.

A record number of plays by Black playwrights made their debuts during the season, and that was reflected in many of the productions that made their way to the stage.

Rather than a how-to guide, “Great White Way” has become more of a nickname, joked DeBose.

Michael R. Jackson acknowledged the importance of the kind of representation achieved this season during his acceptance speech for winning best book of a musical.

He described the reasons for channeling his life into his art as, “I felt unseen, unheard, misunderstood, and I just wanted a little life raft to help me get through the day,” he explained.

The early days of the pandemic took a toll on New York City. Several of the shows honored on Sunday night took place in and around the five boroughs, making it a fitting honor. 

“Take Me Out” examines various aspects of the city’s vibrant gay community in “Company,” which tells the story of a Manhattanite who is conflicted about her need for love and relationship. 

Ben Powers, who described the Lehman Trilogy as a “hymn” to New York in his acceptance speech, pays homage to the strivers who have provided the Big Apple with its distinct thump for decades. 

At the same time, “A Strange Loop,” a story of an artist struggling for success, is a tribute to the dreamers who helped the city survive during a time of plague and usher in an uncertain future.

In addition to her five Tonys for her performances in “Mame” and “Sweeney Todd,” Angela Lansbury received a lifetime achievement Tony. 

In addition to Sondheim’s tribute, Bernadette Peters sang one of the best-loved songs from “Into the Woods,” “Children Will Listen.”

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AUTHOR
Karan Mallya

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