Theater, Stefano Massini’s Tony Award triumph for “The Lehman trilogy”
It is the night of the 75th edition of the Tony Awards, the Oscars of the theater and of the Broadway musical. And that of Stefànow Massìniiias he is called on stage, author of “The Lehman Trilogy”, which wins five awards out of eight nominations: best play, best direction with the English Sam Mendes, best lighting and scenography design, best leading actor with the English Simon Russell Beale, who wins in a five in which there were also the other two actors, Adam Godley and Adrian Lester.
Lehman Trilogy, waiting for the series on Broadway over 100 thousand spectators
In fact, the work did not win only in the sound-musical design section. Written by the Florentine author and adapted by Ben Power, “The Lehman Trilogy” tells the financial saga of the Lehman brothers, in a story that goes from 1844, with the arrival in the United States from Germany, to 2008, the year of bankruptcy and crisis of financial capitalism to which the Lehmans contributed. It is rare for an Italian play to be so celebrated outside national borders, but this is what happened in New York, after seven years of success, between Italy, Europe and the United States, with a full house at the Nederlander on Broadway.
There is nothing Italian in the story, not the protagonists, not the setting, all American, but it is an Italian masterpiece. Massini, in a tuxedo, excited, a thread of white beard, holds the prize for best theatrical work, standing on the stage with Power, and the actors. It will be an unforgettable night for him and for the Italian theater. It is the night at Radio City Hall when the world of Broadway celebrates itself after fifteen months of lockdown, in which the lights in the most important theater district in the world were turned off.
Being all here is already a success. The performances of the most anticipated protagonists do not disappoint: from the young revelation Myles Frost, who re-proposes the magic of Michael Jackson, to the charisma of Billy Cristal, the most beloved Mr. Saturday, who sends the audience into a frenzy singing and improvising in yddish, ending up for be followed by Samuel Lee Jackson, seated in the front row, and then by director Lin-Manuel Miranda, and then by the audience in a cross-reference game of “say vey” and “say oy”, say vey and say oy, to conclude with “I’m here to bring some joy”, which in English is “joy” to close the rhyme.
And then the enthralling conduct of Ariana DeBose, just six years ago a “reserve” actress, and now an Academy Award winner for her role in West Side Story. Other moments to frame: the musical tribute to the great composer Stephen Sondheim, who passed away last year, and the emotional kiss of two Tony winners to their companions in the month of Gay Pride, Matt Doyle best supporting actor for “Company. “and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, whom the general public appreciated for his role as a gay lawyer in” Modern Family “, here awarded for” Take Me Out “. And the delirium of the audience for the musical “The story of an outsider: a Strange Loop”, the story of Usher, a young homosexual African American with a few extra pounds who tries to break into the world of entertainment.
New York appears light years away from Governor Ron DeSantis’ don’t say gay Florida. Broadway also celebrates one of its most loved and awarded actresses, the Italian-American Patti LuPone, in her third ‘Tony’ after interpretations for “Gipsy” and “Evita”, this time for “Company”, which also received the award for the best revival of a musical, that of Sondheim. Another and high lyric moment, even if this self-congratulatory one, for the musical “Spring awakening”, fifteen years after the Tony win, with the stroardinary choral quality of the performers. And then Joaquina Kalukango, overwhelming interpreter of “Let It Burn” from “Paradise Square”.
An evening of extraordinary concentration of talent, in which “The Lehman Trilogy” played the part of the giant. Massini is not yet well known in the United States, despite the success of his work. A small company, Waterwell, staged another work of his, “Seven Minutes,” a few months ago, in which a group of office workers discuss management’s request to reduce their lunch break by seven minutes. After a night like this, broadcast live on CBS, the American public will look at Massini in a different way.
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