Moulin Rouge! The Musical, a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 movie, won the best new musical crown at the Tony Awards on a Sunday night when Broadway looked back to honor shows shuttered by COVID-19, mourn its fallen, and also look forward to welcoming audiences again. The show about the goings-on in a turn-of-the-century Parisian nightclub, updated with tunes like “Single Ladies” and “Firework” alongside the big hit “Lady Marmalade,” won 10 Tonys. The record is 12, won by The Producers. Producer Carmen Pavlovic said after what Broadway has been through the last 18 months it felt strange to be considered the best. She dedicated the award to every show that closed, opened, nearly opened, or was fortunate enough to be reborn, the AP reports.
This season’s nominations were pulled from just 18 eligible plays and musicals from the 2019-2020 season, a fraction of the 34 shows the previous season. During most years, there are 26 competitive categories. This year there are 25 with several depleted ones. The last Tony Awards ceremony was held in 2019. The virus forced Broadway theaters to abruptly close on March 12, 2020, knocking out all shows and scrambling the spring season. Several have restarted, including the so-called big three of Wicked, Hamilton, and The Lion King. Sunday night's other big awards went to The Inheritance (best play, best director, and several acting awards) and A Soldier's Play (best revival of a play and an acting award); Jagged Little Pill won best book of a musical and A Christmas Carol best original score. See Variety for the complete list of winners or read more on the ceremony here. (Read more Tony Awards stories.)