You can not stop Broadway! Matthew Morrison, Marissa Jaret Winokur and more of the original cast of Hair spray started the Tony Awards 2021 with a fantastic tribute to musical theater.
That Glee alum, 42, and the former Dance with the stars participant, 48, returned to their roles as Link Larkin and Tracy Turnblad, respectively, to perform “You Can’t Stop the Beat” on Sunday, September 26 at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City. The pair are descended from the characters in the 2002 Broadway production that served Celebrity Big Brother alum his first Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Morrison and Winokur were joined by Kerry Butler, Chester Gregory and Darlene Love before been Audra McDonald took the stage to officially launch the show.
“I’ve always thought of Tony as Broadway’s party night, but tonight it feels more like a homecoming,” McDonald, 51, said in his emotional monologue, giving credit to all those who worked hard to make Sunday’s party safe for artists and audiences in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
The six-time Tony winner hosts the live awards ceremony and pays tribute to nominees from the 2019/2020 season. Later on Sunday, Leslie Odom Jr. keeps the party going with a two-hour concert event featuring performances from Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s Freestyle Love Supreme, the cast of Best Musical nominees Jagged Little Pill and more.
While the Tony Awards typically take place in the spring, the show was significantly postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Broadway shows were put on hold in March 2020 and are slowly beginning to reopen their doors, and even more productions are expected to resume in October.
On the red carpet, Tom Hiddleston opened up about what makes this year’s event feel even more special than years earlier.
“I think it is [camaraderie], ”The 40-year-old British actor, nominated for Best Leading Actress in a Play for his work in Treason, told CBS New York. “I think the community within the community is what I look forward to the most.”
Hiddleston praised the multi-talented artists nominated alongside him, and fluently: “There are artists in there that I am awe-inspiring who do things that I can not, and they do them every day of the week. Eight shows a week. I think it’s going to be a huge party for live theater. … We missed it. ”
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