The 74th Annual Tony Awards: Broadway’s back

   The 74th Annual Tony Awards aired on September 26th, more than 15 months after its originally scheduled date. 

   Jagged Little Pill, Moulin Rouge, Ain’t Too Proud, and Tina- The Tina Turner Musical, all performed at this year’s awards. As viewers watched the performances commence, it was clear the abundance of passion and relief that showed on the performers’ faces. While most professions returned to the workplace this year, theatre actors were still stagnant, waiting for the curtain to be able to open again. The Tony Awards provided this long-awaited opportunity.  

   The Broadway Advocacy Coalition, a non-profit organization for artists, did a spoken word, performed by Daniel J. Watts,  and tap performance to emphasize the importance of embracing people from all backgrounds in the arts. They were originally created to connect artists and activists to enact social change on the matters of police brutality and equality in the arts.

   “Beyond costumes, and beyond glamour, beyond design, was pain that we weren’t yet seeing. It created this beautiful opening that allowed us to say ‘Enough,’” stated BAC President, Britton Smith, in his acceptance speech for a special Tony Award honoring impactful organizations.

   Jagged Little Pill, a musical based on the songs of Alanis Morsette, is a story that educates its watchers on all of the modern issues of our country including gender identity, LGBTQ, and racial equality.

   “It is such a joy to finally be able to celebrate all of these phenomenal artists in this room after this long, long pause. It is also a strange time for awards. We are in the middle of a reckoning in our industry,” says Lauren Patten, who won Best Actress in a Featured Role as Jo Taylor in Jagged Little Pill. 

   These two significant performances and acceptance speeches shine a light on the undeniable fact that society has not been the same without the celebration of theatre during the pandemic.