At the Tony Awards, women continue to make progress: “The Outsiders” wins best musical, while “Stereophonic” wins best play.

At the Tony Awards, women continue to make progress: "The Outsiders" wins best musical, while "Stereophonic" wins best play.

On a night when women made progress, “The Outsiders,” a gritty rendition of the beloved young adult novel, became the epitome of a Broadway insider on Sunday night. It was awarded the Tony Award for best new musical.

 

Rival gangs of the haves and have-nots in 1960s Oklahoma are the subject of the musical, which is based on the adored novel by S. E. Hinton. With the victory, producer Angelina Jolie also won her first Tony Award.

 

“Susie, I’m here to tell you that your story and its eternal message of love and family and staying gold has forever changed all of our lives,” producer Matthew Rego said in his Lincoln Center audience thank-you address.

“Stereophonic,” a drama about a band akin to Fleetwood Mac that records an album over a stormy and transformative year, took home the best new play prize and was the most awarded show of the evening with five. Written by David Adjmi, it features tracks by Will Butler, a former member of Arcade Fire.

Oh no. I was given a beta blocker by my agency, but it’s not helping,” Adjmi remarked. The play took eleven years to come to fruition, he added.

“The journey to get here was really difficult,” he remarked. “Funding for the arts is necessary in America.”

The audience was energized by two special guests: Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jay-Z. The latter introduced “Suffs,” a musical about suffragettes that he produced.

 

Clinton remarked, “I have stood on many stages, but this is very special.” “I have some knowledge of the difficulties in bringing about change.”

In the first musical, the cast of Alicia Keys’ semi-autobiographical musical “Hell’s Kitchen” performed a medley of songs, with Keys appearing at the piano. To thunderous ovation, she sang the 2009 hit song “Empire State of Mind” with Jay-Z, joining the rapper on the inner steps.

Later, Maleah Joi Moon, a rookie, defeated veteran Kelli O’Hara to win best leading actress for her role in “Hell’s Kitchen.” The 21-year-old dedicated her prize to her parents. She plays a role that is somewhat based on Keys’ life.

Danya Taymor, the sixth woman to win the same honor for “The Outsiders,” is the aunt of Julie Taymor, the first woman to win a Tony honor for directing a musical.

Then Shaina Taub—the eighth woman to win for best score—became the winner. She is only the second woman in Broadway history to write, compose, and star in a Broadway musical. Earlier in the evening, the inventor of “Suffs” had already won for best book.

“Please make sure you and everyone you know have registered to vote and vote, vote, vote!” she exclaimed, encouraging anybody who was moved by the “Suffs” story to do the same. As Taub put it, “Go for it” to all the noisy girls out there who won.

 

Jeremy Strong won the first significant prize of the evening. The “Succession” actor received his first Tony Award for his performance in the staging of “An Enemy of the People,” a political drama by Henrik Ibsen from 1882. His Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Emmy will be placed next to the trophy for best lead actor in a play.

The first Black performer to receive three consecutive Tony nominations, Kara Young, took home the best featured actress in a play award for “Purlie Victorious,” which tells the tale of a Black preacher’s plot to seize back his church from a plantation owner and reclaim his fortune.

 

The evening’s first noteworthy reward went to Jeremy Strong. For his work in the 1882 production of Henrik Ibsen’s political drama “An Enemy of the People,” the “Succession” actor won his first Tony Award. Beside the award for best lead actor in a play will be his Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Emmy.

With “Purlie Victorious,” which recounts the story of a Black preacher’s scheme to retake his church from a plantation owner and recoup his money, Kara Young—the first Black performer to garner three consecutive Tony nominations—won the best featured actress in a play winner.

 

Radcliffe declared, “This is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.” “It will never be as good as it was.” And he thanked his parents for growing up listening to Sondheim in the vehicle.

Additionally, “Merrily” won the award for best musical revival, while Jonathan Groff received his first Tony for outstanding leading actor in a musical. Past “Spring Awakening” and “Hamilton” nominee Groff acknowledged co-stars Lindsay Mendez and Daniel Radcliffe, who were visibly moved by the audience.

Groff also praised his parents and brother for allowing him to play out scenes from “I Love Lucy” when he was younger. Groff mentioned that he used to watch the Tony Awards in Pennsylvania.

“I appreciate that you never made me feel uncomfortable about flying my freak flag,” he remarked.

 

Kecia Lewis, who plays a tough piano instructor in the television series “Hell’s Kitchen,” also won her first Tony. At the age of 18, the 40-year veteran debuted on Broadway with the original “Dreamgirls” group.

She remarked, “I’ve been dreaming of this moment for those 40 years.” “Remain persistent!”

“Suitable,” The play revival by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, which revolved around an Arkansas family reunion, won best play revival. In addition to thanking Davis, Jacobs-Jenkins stated that “Appropriate” would not exist without “Purlie Victorious.”

 

Sarah Paulson, star of “Appropriate,” expanded her collection of honors with a Tony for best leading actress in a play. Examining the human condition excites Paulson, who remarked, “This is the heart and soul of what we do and I am so honored to be among you.”

three-time Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Audra McDonald gave a special homage to Chita Rivera. While dancers performed her hit numbers, clips from her roles in “West Side Story,” “Chicago,” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman” were projected. The Oscar-winning actress Ariana DeBose, who played Anita in Rivera’s “West Side Story,” joined in as host.

 

In addition to serving as host three times, DeBose co-choreographed the first original song, “This Party’s for You.” “You’ll learn that film and TV can make you rich and famous,” the song sang, offering a mild jab at other forms of entertainment while also applauding those who make the sacrifice for their work. However, theater will improve you.

Pete Townshend playing guitar for Tommy in “The Who,” an intense and eerie rendition of “Willkommen” from the “Cabaret” revival led by Eddie Redmayne, and a chaotic rumble from “The Outsiders” featuring cascading water, buckets of dirt, different rugs, and an onstage truck were among the other performances.

 

Nicole Scherzinger, who is expected to participate in a “Sunset Boulevard” revival, was invited to sing the “In Memoriam” segment during the transmission, which hinted to future performances. Presenting were Nick Jonas and Adrienne Warren, who were revealed today as the stars of 2025’s “The Last Five Years.”

As the names—playwright Christopher Durang and performers Alan Arkin, Glenda Jackson, Louis Gossett Jr., and Treat Williams—appears, Scherzinger sang “What I Did for Love.”

Best musical

Hell’s Kitchen; Producers: AK Worldwide Media, Inc., Roc Nation, DML Productions, Mandy Hackett, The Sunshine Group, Julie Yorn, The Jacobs Family, No Guarantees Productions, Front Row Productions, Sharpton Swindal Productions, Grove Entertainment, The Jaime Family, John Gore Organization, Terria Joseph, Andy Nahas, James L. Nederlander, Candy Spelling, Clara Wu Tsai, Universal Music Publishing, Independent Presenters Network, Della Pietra Spark Theatricals, Today Tix ARGU, Score 3 Partners, Aaron Lustbader, The Public Theater, Oskar Eustis, Patrick Willingham

Illinoise; Producers: Orin Wolf, Seaview, John Styles, David Binder, Emily Blavatnik, Susan Rose, ArKtype/Thomas O. Kriegsmann, David F. Schwartz, Patrick Catullo, Jon B. Platt, Diamond & Melvin, Nelson & Tao, Ruth Hendel, Elysabeth Kleinhans, Ted & Mary Jo Shen, Putnam & Thau, Chase & F.K.R., GJJJM Productions, Steve & Leticia Trauber, Tim Forbes, John Gore Organization, James L. Nederlander, Park Avenue Armory, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Nate Koch, TT Partners, Fisher Center at Bard

 

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