‘The Outsiders’ Wins Tony Award for Best Musical, ‘Stereophonic’ Best Play

‘The Outsiders’ Wins Tony Award for Best Musical, ‘Stereophonic’ Best Play

“The Outsiders,” a muscular musical based on the classic young adult novel, was named best new musical at the Tony Awards on Sunday night, while “Stereophonic,” a behind-the music play about a band making an album, was named best new play.

Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along” completed a four-decade journey from flop to hit by winning the best musical revival prize, while “Appropriate,” Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s family drama about a trio of siblings confronting an unsettling secret, won best play revival.

Here are the highlights of the 77th Tony Awards ceremony, which took place at Lincoln Center in Manhattan and was hosted by Ariana DeBose:

  • Best New Musical: “The Outsiders” won in an upset over “Hell’s Kitchen,” a musical powered by Alicia Keys songs and inspired by her life. “The Outsiders” is gritty, bloody and relentlessly youthful, and features some of the most effectively vivid violence seen on a Broadway stage. The show’s director, Danya Taymor, also won, and the show picked up prizes for sound and lighting. “Hell’s Kitchen” won two performance prizes for its young star, Maleah Joi Moon, and a featured performer, Kecia Lewis.

  • Best New Play: “Stereophonic,” by David Adjmi, takes place in the 1970s in a pair of California recording studios. The play, which won more prizes than any of the musicals, also picked up prizes for its director, Daniel Aukin, as well as for a featured actor, Will Brill, plus sound and scenic design.

  • Best Musical Revival: “Merrily We Roll Along,” one of Broadway’s most storied flops, cemented its status as one of Sondheim’s masterworks. The show’s leading actor, Jonathan Groff, and its featured actor, Daniel Radcliffe, both won their first Tony Awards in a production that is thriving amid a surge in interest in the work of Sondheim, an acclaimed composer and lyricist who died in 2021. “This is proof that what you had then was indeed a masterpiece,” the lead producer, Sonia Friedman, said, addressing those from the original production. And her sister, the musical’s director, Maria Friedman, addressed the spirits of Sondheim and the show’s book writer, George Furth, saying, “Steve and George: ‘Merrily’ is popular!”

  • Best Revival of a Play: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins has long been seen as one of the best among a new generation of American playwrights, but “Appropriate” is his first work to make it to Broadway. In his acceptance speech, he had said that he spent years being told he was “too risky, too provocative and too not commercial enough.” The play’s star, Sarah Paulson, also won a Tony, as best leading actress.

  • Starry Night: The awards ceremony featured a lot of familiar faces. A pair of celebrity co-producers introduced the shows they are working on: Hillary Rodham Clinton with the new musical “Suffs,” and Angelina Jolie with “The Outsiders.” Jay-Z joined Keys for a rendition of “Empire State of Mind” as part of a “Hell’s Kitchen” medley. Eddie Redmayne led a performance by the cast of a “Cabaret” revival, while Pete Townshend joined the cast of a revival of “The Who’s Tommy” for a bit of “Pinball Wizard.” Brooke Shields, who was recently elected president of Actors’ Equity Association, a labor union representing performers and stage managers, introduced an In Memoriam segment.

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