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Tony Awards 2021: Moulin Rouge! Triumphs In A Broadway Celebration

Tony awards 2021: Moulin Rouge! triumphs in a Broadway celebration

Moulin Rouge! swept the board at the 2021 Tony awards, picking up 10 trophies during a ceremony that also acted as a celebration of the return of Broadway.

The adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 Oscar-winning musical, which reopened on 24 September, became the first Australian-produced show to win a Tony for best musical, beating Jagged Little Pill and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.

Moulin Rouge!, which was nominated in 14 categories, also picked up the award for best actor in a musical (Aaron Tveit), as well as best scenery, costume, lighting, sound, choreography, orchestration and direction in a musical.

“It feels a little odd to me to be talking about one show as ‘best musical’,” producer Carmen Pavlovic said in her speech. “I feel that every show of last season deserves to be thought of as best musical.”

People walk past the Richard Rodgers theater where the musical ‘Hamilton’ is normally performed in the Broadway theater district near Times Square in New York, New York, USA, 30 July 2021. The owners and operators of the city’s theaters and performance venues announced on 30 July 2021 that when plays, musicals and other in-person shows restart next month, audience members will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and wear face masks. EPA/JUSTIN LANE

The awards come amid the official reopening of Broadway, after an unprecedented downtime as a result of the pandemic which also led to a cancellation of the 2020 ceremony.

Matthew Lopez’s Broadway transfer of his emotional seven-hour Aids drama The Inheritance was named best play, making him the first Latino writer to win this award, and Stephen Daldry won his third Tony as best director after winning the same award at the Oliviers in 2019. Daldry dedicated the win to the many men who lost their lives during the crisis. Star Andrew Burnap also beat out Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Hiddleston to win best leading actor in a play.

Mary-Louise Parker won best leading actress in a play for The Sound Inside, her second Tony award.

The Tonys, which have historically rewarded predominantly white actors and white creatives, reflecting an industry that has been overwhelmingly lacking in diversity, featured a slightly more diverse set of nominees than usual.

Adrienne Warren was named best leading actress in a musical for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, and David Alan Grier won his first Tony for best actor in a featured role in a play for A Soldier’s Tale, which was also named best revival. Slave Play, which entered the night with 12 nominations, left the night empty-handed.

Co-host Audra Macdonald, who was also nominated for best leading actress in a play, spoke about recent changes in the industry which will lead to “more awareness, action and accountability”, which in turn will lead to more equity. In the 2017-8 season, 85.5% of directors, 61% of actors and nearly 80% of show writers were white, according to a report by the Asian American Performers Action Coalition. Groups and initiatives have been formed in the last year to push for more equality, and this season there are seven plays by Black writers – a record for Broadway.

There was also a special Tony handed to the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, a group dedicated to dismantling the systems that perpetuate racism through the power of storytelling. “Moving forward requires calling out,” said director Britton Smith in his speech. Later in the evening, BAC members Amber Iman and Adrienne Warren came on stage to speak about the importance of fighting back against “systems of oppression”, and the role that art has to play.

Lauren Patten won the Tony for best actress in a featured role in a musical for Alanis Morissette show Jagged Little Pill, playing a character that has recently been at the centre of controversy. Patten’s character was originally gender nonbinary in the Boston iteration, but was changed to female for Broadway. A growing backlash recently led to an apology from the producers.

In her speech, Patten said “we are in the middle of a reckoning”; she said she has engaged in conversations that were “full of honesty, empathy and a respect for our humanity”. Diablo Cody, who won the best original screenplay Oscar for Juno in 2008, also won for best book of a musical for Jagged Little Pill.

Other winners included 90-year-old Lois Smith for her role in The Inheritance, becoming the oldest performer to win an acting Tony; and Danny Burstein for his featured role in Moulin Rouge!, his first award after seven nominations. Technical awards were mostly won by A Christmas Carol and Moulin Rouge!

The truncated Broadway year – that saw theatres shuttered at the start of the pandemic – meant that only 18 plays and musicals were eligible compared with 34 in 2019. This led to the category for best leading actor in a musical only having one nominee and one winner: Aaron Tveit for Moulin Rouge!

Unlike other recent awards ceremonies, such as the Emmys, audience members were required to wear masks for the duration of the show, in line with theatre protocol in New York. They were also required to show proof of vaccination, and only two winners at a time were allowed on stage. The night saw a standing ovation for an in-audience Chuck Schumer for helping the return of live theatre.

Sunday night’s ceremony was split between Paramount+ and CBS, as yet another attempt to boost subscribers for the recently rebranded streaming platform. The majority of awards were handed out in a two-hour streaming special before a switch to the network for a performance-heavy final section, billed The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!, with just three trophies remaining.

The night included appearances from stars including Jennifer Holliday singing And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going from Dreamgirls, and David Byrne performing Burning Down the House from American Utopia, which also picked up a special award.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is expected to play on London’s West End from 12 November. Plans for its Australian premiere at the Regent Theatre, Melbourne are still unknown, but producers are hoping for a November opening.


Peter Obi condoles with late actor Junior Pope’s family

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the last election, Peter Obi, has paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Nollywood actor, Junior Pope.

The former Anambra State governor also signed the condolence register.

Nollywood actor and former spokesperson of the Labour Party presidential campaign council, Kenneth Okonkwo, shared pictures and videos from the visit on his Instagram page ON Saturday afternoon.

He captioned the pictures and videos: ” HE Peter Obi arrived at the residence of John Paul Odonwodo Junior Pope, to pay his condolences to his family over the sad, and untimely departure of their child, brother, husband and father. He consoled his mother, Mrs Maria Odonwodo, the widow, Jennifer, and his children.”

DAILY POST recalls that Junior Pope died on April 10, 2024, alongside three others after their boat capsized on the Anam River in Anambra State while returning from a film location.

He was laid to rest at his hometown, Ukehe in Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu State, on Friday

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I am not ready to have kids- Burna boy

Grammy-winning Nigerian singer, Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, has opened up about why he is not ready to be a father yet.

The ‘City Boys’ crooner said he is not ready to have kids yet because he can’t give them the attention they deserve.

The entertainer stated this while responding to a question raised by a fan during a recent Instagram live session with his fans.

He explained that he would have children when he was settled or married.

“Why haven’t I had kids yet? Bro, because I don’t want to have kids yet,” Burna boy said.

“Have you seen my mum the way she loves me? Have you seen my dad the way he loves me?I know I can’t give that to anyone right now with the life I’m living. So until I’m settled and I can be there for my children everyday, I’m not having no kid.

I feel like my kids deserved better than I got. And I got both my mum and dad so you understand?”

On the allegations that he is impotent, Burna Boy said, “When I see the bants and the things people say [about me not being able to have kids], I said this is unimportant. Let’s assume that it is true that I couldn’t even have kids, you know that there’s something called IVF? But that is not even true.”

Burna Boy started to gain fame after releasing ‘Like to Party’, the lead single from his debut album ‘L.I.F.E’ (2013).

In 2021, the singer set a record in Nigeria after his fifth album ‘Twice As Tall (2020)’ won the ‘Best World Music Album’ category at the Grammys.

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Cause of Mohbad’s death cannot be ascertained’ – Pathologist

The pathologist, who conducted an autopsy on the body of late singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba, AKA Mohbad, has said that the cause of death couldn’t be ascertained.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wahab Shittu, told newsmen in Lagos State on Wednesday that the pathologist in charge told the coroner that the deceased’s body had decomposed by the time the test was conducted.

Shittu said, “According to him (pathologist), the cause of death cannot be determined because, by the time they conducted the test, the body had decomposed and that it is not possible for them to determine the cause of death

“So, in summary, he is saying the cause of death cannot be ascertained. When you say the cause of death cannot be ascertained, it means it is suspicious, it is not clear. No particular reason.”

Shittu added that the pathologist said Mohbad may have died due to a reaction to certain drugs administered to him before he died.

“He also went further to say that it may be attributed to reaction to certain drugs administered on him before he died. Again, he then qualified that to say he does not know whether it is those drugs that actually led to his death,” he said.

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