| Lighting design by CalArtian for Moulin Rouge! The musical first earns him Tony

On Sunday, theater luminaries recognized Broadway’s accomplishments at the 74th Tony Awards at the Winter Garden Theater in New York, after more than a year of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CalArtian Justin Townsend (Theater MFA 03) has joined a list of distinguished winners after receiving the award for best lighting design in a musical for Red Mill! Musical comedy.

Red Mill! Musical comedy led this year’s pack with a total of 10 awards, including Best Musical. Townsend, a nominated four times for the Tony Awards and winner for the first time, had already been recognized for his work on the musical at the Drama Desk Awards 2020 (Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical). He was also nominated in the same category this year for his lighting design work on Little jagged pill.

From Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film, Red Mill! Musical comedy bring a “theatrical celebration of truth, beauty, freedom and – above all – love ”on stage with a mix of memorable tunes from the film. The play opened to the public on July 25, 2019 at the Al Hirschfeld Theater in New York City.

“The show is so important to me, and the creatives who made it,” Townsend told musical theater actor Telly Leung (Joy, Divine spell) at the Tony Awards First Impressions Cam. “It just makes it special to be here, special to be on Broadway, special to be back.”

Watch the full interview above and check out the full list of the night’s winners on the Tony Awards website.

The Institute’s presence was also felt on the red carpet, with legendary Broadway star Bernadette Peters arriving in a black gown by Chouinardian fashion designer Bob Mackie. In 2019, Mackie won the Tony Award for Best Costume Design in a Musical for The Cher show.

To see the Townsend winner’s first impressions interview, click [here].

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