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‘Stereophonic’ Wins Best Play at the Tony Awards 2024

‘Stereophonic’ Wins Best Play at the Tony Awards 2024

Stereophonic won the Tony for best play Sunday, one of the five Tony Awards the most nominated play in Tonys history earned during the 2024 edition of the Broadway ceremony.

The play, written by David Adjmi, follows a band trying to record a hit album in the 1970s and features a rock score written by Arcade Fire’s Will Butler. While the majority of the production features spoken dialogue, thus classifying the show as a play, rather than a musical, the Stereophonic actors also perform songs on stage as part of the show. 

Adjmi accepted the award for best play, noting the tough journey to get the play, which spans more than three hours and includes a recording booth on stage, produced. He had previously spoken with The Hollywood Reporter about how the play illustrates his own struggle not to give up on himself as an playwright.

“It’s really hard to make a career in the arts. We need to fund the arts in America. It is the hallmark of a civilized society,” Adjmi said on stage.

Adjmi landed on the idea for the play in 2013 while listening to Led Zeppelin’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” on a flight. After years of development, the play made its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in the fall, before opening at Broadway’s Golden Theatre in April. 

“When we said we were going to transfer this to Broadway, I said, ‘I don’t want to have stars in this play.’ And [producer Sue Wagner] said, ‘But David they are stars.’ And she’s right,” Adjmi said onstage.

The production was the most-nominated play going into the night, with 13 nods, including some categories in which the costars were competing against each other. In the end, Will Brill won a Tony Award for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play and the production also took home awards for sound design, scenic design and best director of a play, for Daniel Aukin.

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The cast, which also includes Tom Pecinka, Sarah Pidgeon, Juliana Canfield, Eli Gelb, Chris Stack and Andrew R. Butler performed the song “Masquerade” during the main telecast Sunday evening, after initially not being included in the performance lineup, which led to pushback from fans. 

If the production had taken home seven Tony Awards, it would have tied with The Coast of Utopia as the most winning play in Tony Awards history.

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