Awards, Broadway, Tony Awards, Tony Awards 2021

Awards, Broadway

Special Tony Winners ‘American Utopia,’ Broadway Advocacy Coalition Celebrate Broadway Diversity, Pandemic Evolution

Special Tony Winners ‘American Utopia,’ Broadway Advocacy Coalition Celebrate Broadway Diversity, Pandemic Evolution

9/27/2021 3:58:00 AM

Special Tony Winners ‘American Utopia,’ Broadway Advocacy Coalition Celebrate Broadway Diversity, Pandemic Evolution

Presented to outstanding productions, artists and organizations that don't fall into the competitive categories, this year's honorees offer a vision of Broadway post-pandemic shutdown.

Freestyle Love Supremeco-creator and actor Anthony Veneziale then paid tribute to the art and impact of improv. “Improv is a skill that is life-changing and it roots you in the present, and it builds empathy, and now it’s a viable road to the biggest stage in the world,” he said.

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Britton Smith, president of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, addressed the industry’s shifting commitments to diversity and inclusion over the last year, following a summer of racial justice protests around the country tied to the murder of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement.

“This is an incredible honor. Our team and our founders who vision to make an industry better that wasn’t even built for us, we all owe them a huge round of applause and thank you,” he said. “My biggest worry is that when we come back to the machine, when Broadway comes back, that opening will close and push out empathy and push out challenge, but this award is evidence that moving forward requires calling out.” headtopics.com

This year’s special Tony honorees —American Utopia,Freestyle Love Supremeand the Broadway Advocacy Coalition — were originally supposed to receive their honors last year before the pandemic closed the curtain on New York’s theater industry for a year and a half.

“It makes it doubly special,” Mauro Refosco,American Utopiamusical director and percussionist toldThe Hollywood Reporterahead of Sunday’s ceremony. “The theme of the show, it’s something that makes people really reflect on who they are and how we all can be better, in a very energetic, funny way. It has this positive message — that we can be better than what we are. To experience that again after such a doubtful moment, which was the pandemic, is incredible.”

Read more: Hollywood Reporter »

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