A play about Lehman Brothers Bank and musicals about Michael Jackson or a black and strange author triumphed on Sunday night in New York at the Broadway awards ceremony, which is regaining color after the pandemic.
These 75th Tony Awards, often compared to the theatrical Oscars, aired on CBS, ending the season of renewal for the American Capital of Culture, which reopened in the fall of 2021 after 18 months of closure through Covid-19. .
In Wall Street, it is the financial story of the Lehmann Trilogy, which won five awards, including Best Play, Best Actor (Simon Russell Bill) and Best Director (Sam Mendes).
The play by Italian Stefano Massini tells the story of the long life of the American investment bank Lehman Brothers, founded in the 19th century by three immigrant brothers from Germany, whose fall in 2008 caused the global financial crisis.
“MJ the Musical”, a successful biopic about Michael Jackson, which received the consent of heirs and a mixed reception from critics, as he largely ignores accusations of pedophilia against the “King of Pop”, received four awards, including Best Actor. , for 22-year-old Miles Frost. Two children of the star, who died in 2009 at the age of 50, Paris and Prince Jackson, took the stage.
“Strange Loop”, a favorite with 11 nominations, eventually won two Tony Awards, including the most prestigious “Best Musical” and “Best Music Book” for its author Michael R. Jackson – not related to the “King of Pop” ».
The musical tells the story of a theater presenter, a novice artist, black and strange, like Michael R. Jackson, who wants to become an author on Broadway.
“I felt invisible. I did not feel that I was being listened to, I felt that I was not understood. And I wanted to build a small lifeboat for myself, like a black gay man, ”said the artist, very moved and applauded, wrapped in a large fuchsia cape.
“Work must continue”
Ariana DeBoz, an Oscar winner for her role as Anita in the remake of West Side Story, said she was “proud” of Broadway’s efforts to break the stage at Radio City Music Hall, which is more open to diversity.
After the pandemic and death of George Floyd, an African-American man killed by police in June 2020 that sparked a widespread anti-racism movement in the United States, Broadway reopened in the fall of 2021 with seven plays or musicals written by black authors unheard of.
“There is progress, but work must continue,” said singer and actor Darius de Haas, one of the founders of Black Theater United, which advocates for more diverse performances in American theaters.
For him, “producers and theater owners have opened their eyes and seen that not only can there be stories that reflect more diversity on Broadway, but that it can work economically.”
Located around the sizzling Times Square, 41 Broadway Theater is a legend of New York, but they are also one of its cultural, economic and tourist attractions. Before the pandemic, revenues easily exceeded $ 30 million a week, even $ 50 million a week during Christmas. This 2021-2022 season was disrupted again, but Broadway found the crowd, as did the 230,000 spectators who gathered there last week (about 300,000 the equivalent week in 2019).