Tony Tony’s Latest ‘A Strange Loop’ Wins Best New Musical – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

The cast of “A Strange Loop” performs during the 75th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 12, 2022 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The latest news on the Tony Awards (all local times):

11 p.m.

“A Strange Loop,” an utterly unforgettable idiosyncratic journey into one man’s psyche, won the Tony Award for Best New Musical, beating more commercial fare.

Michael R. Jackson’s 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is a theatrical meta-journey – a melodious show about a black gay man writing a show about a black gay man. This show is also called “A Strange Loop”.

At its center is Usher, an ill-fated playwright who crumbles as an usher to “The Lion King.” He is haunted by a chorus of Greek voices – his thoughts as well as homophobic family members – hammering, undermining and scolding him.

Jackson, who in real life was an usher on “The Lion King,” is also the songwriter, and he wrote all 18 songs in Broadway tradition, a cocktail of rock and R&B, fused harmonies, ballads and belts.

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“A Strange Loop” beat out “Girl From the North Country”, “MJ”, “Mr. Saturday Night”, “Paradise Square”, and “Six: The Musical”.

Kalukango won for his work in “Paradise Square,” a musical about Irish immigrants and black Americans scrambling to survive in Civil War-era New York.

Kalukango’s credits include Lifetime’s “The Mahalia Jackson Story,” featuring her former “The Color Purple” castmate Danielle Brooks, and Amazon’s “One Night…in Miami” as Betty Shabazz.

She said her name means “established by God” and she thanked God and her parents during her acceptance speech.

She was also on the set of “Holler If Ya Hear Me” on Broadway and appeared in Ava DuVernay’s Exonerated Five miniseries “When They See Us.” She was nominated for a Tony Award for Jeremy O. Harris’ groundbreaking “Slave Play.”

For the Tony, she beat Sharon D Clarke on “Caroline, or Change”, Carmen Cusack on “Flying Over Sunset”, Sutton Foster on “The Music Man” and Mare Winningham on “Girl From the North Country”.

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10:45 p.m.

Myles Frost won Best Lead Actor in a Musical for playing Michael Jackson and becomes the category’s youngest solo winner.

“MJ” depicts Frost’s 22-year-old Broadway debut as he plays Jackson with a high, whispering voice, Lady Diana-like coquetry and fierce embrace of Jackson’s signature dancing and singing style, down to rhythmic breathing and pivoting. head.

Frost thanked her parents and sang during her acceptance speech.

Frost was raised by his mother in Fort Washington, Maryland. After high school, he put acting aside to pursue a career in music. He attended Belmont University in Nashville for two years to major in audio engineering. He transferred to Bowie State University in Maryland for his final two years.

The organic musical is packed with the King of Pop’s greatest hits, including “ABC,” “Black or White,” “Blame it on the Boogie,” “Bad,” “Billie Jean,” “Off the Wall,” Thriller” and “I’ll be there.”

Frost defeated Billy Crystal on “Mr. Saturday Night”, Hugh Jackman of “The Music Man”, Rob McClure on “Mrs. Doubtfire”, and Jaquel Spivey on “A Strange Loop”. Frost knocked out Ben Platt as the youngest performer to win best male lead in a musical singlehandedly for “Dear Evan Hansen.” (Three young men won to play Billy Elliot in 2009).

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10:31 p.m.

Deirdre O’Connell won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her work in “Dana H.”

“Dana H.,” which has been described as a “heartbreaking one-room fugue state,” is about a woman kidnapped by a former convict and member of a white supremacist fraternity and held hostage for five months. It is written by Lucas Hnath and directed by Les Waters.

O’Connell never speaks in the room. Instead, she’s sitting on a set that looks like a Florida motel room and lip-syncing to an edited recording by survivor, Dana Higginbotham. In her acceptance speech, O’Connell said she wanted her award to be a “token” for those wondering if they should try to create something for theater.

O’Connell’s other Broadway credits include “Magic/Bird” and “The Front Page.” For the Tony, O’Connell beat Gabby Beans, LaChanze, Ruth Negga and Mary-Louise Parker.

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