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The 75th Tony Awards: Memorable moments, the winners and photo highlights

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NEW YORK (AP) — Surely many in the audience were thinking it, but “Company” director Marianne Elliott said it most directly at Sunday's Tony awards: In the devastating two years since the pandemic hit, it “felt at times that live theater was endangered.”

As in, the industry might never recover.

The exuberant ceremony Sunday night was designed to answer that unthinkable possibility with an emphatic “No” — to make clear that whatever the ongoing difficulties, Broadway is back, with verve and creativity, and it is here to stay. It just needs even more people filling the seats.

But if the ceremony was meant to recapture the razzle-dazzle of Broadway seasons past, marking the 75th anniversary of the Tonys with a dollop of nostalgia, it was also a celebration of groundbreaking work by a hugely diverse group of artists. The marquee award, best new musical, went to the highly innovative “A Strange Loop,” Michael R. Jackson’s 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner about a Black gay man writing a show about a Black gay man. “A Strange Loop” beat out crowd-pleasing fare like “Six: The Musical,” a pop reimagining of the six wives of Henry VIII, and “MJ,” about the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

The night was hosted by a supremely confident and versatile (and recent Oscar winner) Ariana DeBose, who declared at the beginning that Broadway had gotten its groove back. But a quick glance around the room at Radio City Music Hall showed that challenges remain. While nominees and guests in the orchestra were maskless (having submitted COVID-19 tests), those in the balconies were all masked — including a group of COVID-19 safety managers being honored — just as Broadway theater audiences are still required to be. The somewhat jarring juxtaposition showed this is still by far not a “normal” Broadway season. Complete coverage here:

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THE WINNERS

The list of winners at the 75th Tony Awards, held Sunday in New York:

— Best Musical: “A Strange Loop”

— Best Play: “The Lehman Trilogy.”

— Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Simon Russell Beale, “The Lehman Trilogy.”

— Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Deirdre O’Connell, “Dana H.”

— Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Myles Frost, “MJ.”

— Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Joaquina Kalukango, “Paradise Square.”

— Best Revival of a Musical: “Company.”

— Best Revival of a Play: “Take Me Out.”

— Featured Actor, Play: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Take Me Out”

— Featured Actress, Play: Phylicia Rashad, “Skeleton Crew”

— Featured Actress, Musical: Patti LuPone, “Company.”

— Featured Actor, Musical: Matt Doyle, “Company.”

— Best Book of a Musical: Michael R. Jackson

— Best Direction of a Play: Sam Mendes, “The Lehman Trilogy.”

— Best Direction of a Musical: Marianne Elliott, “Company.”

— Best Score: “Six: The Musical,” with music and lyrics by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss.

— Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon, “MJ.”

— Costume Design: Montana Levi Blanco, “The Skin of Our Teeth.”

— Costume Design, Musical: Gabriella Slade, “Six: The Musical”

— Scenic Design, Play: Es Devlin, “The Lehman Trilogy.”

— Scenic Design, Musical: Bunny Christie, “Company.”

— Lighting Design, Play: Jon Clark, “The Lehman Trilogy.”

— Lighting Design, Musical: Natasha Katz, “MJ.”

— Sound Design, Play: Mikhail Fiksel, “Dana H.”

— Sound Design, Musical: Gareth Owen, “MJ.”

— Best Orchestrations: Simon Hale, “Girl from the North Country.”

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PHOTO GALLERY

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