The curtain rose on Broadway Sunday night when the 74th annual Tony Awards finally took place after an indefinite hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the biggest stars of the night was Leslie Odom Jr., who hosted “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City.
The live music event, which took place after the main awards ceremony, celebrated Broadway’s long-awaited return. The COVID-19 pandemic had kept cinemas nearly dark for the past 18 months.
Odom, who won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Aaron Burr in “Hamilton,” opened the show with a musical number, “Broadway’s Back,” which paid tribute to the theater’s long-awaited return.
The song began with the singing of a native of Philadelphia on the streets of the Manhattan Theater District. He entered the theater and took the stage. The song included references to several iconic Broadway shows and a request from Odom for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The actor opened the concert with some comments on how Broadway theaters will look and feel different for the foreseeable future. Anyone attending a Broadway show must be fully vaccinated and wear a mask.
“Every Broadway theater will look like this for a while and that’s fine,” Odom said. “We are a community and that is what the community does. We take care of each other.”
Odom and his wife, Nicolette Robinson, also performed a beautiful rendition of “You Matter to Me” from the popular Broadway musical “Waitress.”
The concert featured performances by the three best musical nominees, a reunion of famous Broadway duets and other special guests.
“Moulin Rouge!” captured 10 awards, including best musical. “The Inheritance” won best play and “A Soldier’s Play” won best rerun of a play. You can find a full list of Sunday night winners at Tony Awards website.
The Tony Awards were originally scheduled for June 2020. Nominations were drawn from just 18 eligible plays and musicals. of the 2019-20 season. During the previous season, nominations were taken from 34 shows.
Odom, the host of Sunday night’s live concert event, was just the latest development in what has been a good year for the East Oak Lane native.
Odom also earned an Emmy nomination for his role as Burr in “Hamilton,” which debuted as a film adaptation last summer on Disney +. Odom and Robinson celebrated the birth of his second child this year too.
Odom will also appear in “The Many Saints of Newark”, the long-awaited prequel to “The Sopranos,” when it opens in theaters and on HBO Max on Friday.