Congratulations to Michael R. Jackson on his Tony Award win for Best book of a Musical (Lindsey Root photo)

Only 16 individuals in history had achieved an EGOT in competitive categories and now Jennifer Hudson is the 17th and she achieved the rarified status with her Tony win for producing “A Strange Loop.”

“EGOT” refers to creative people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony, and notable individuals that have won across all four award bodies include Rita Moreno, John Legend, Alan Menken, Mike Nichols, Mel Brooks, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Hudson won an Oscar win in the category of best-supporting actress for her performance in “Dreamgirls” (2006) and won two performing Grammys — one for best musical theater album for “The Color Purple” (2017) and another for best R&B album for her self-titled album (2009) — as well as a Daytime Emmy for executing producing the VR-animated film “Baba Yaga.”

There’s an interesting connection with the 75th Tony Awards because this year it was hosted by a fellow supporting actress Oscar winner,  Ariana DeBose, who took home the award (this year) for her performance in “West Side Story.”

“A Strange Loop” earned 11 nominations across all categories, including in L Morgan Lee for best-featured actress in a musical, making Lee the first transgender individual to be nominated for a Tony and was named best musical while “The Lehman Trilogy” won for best play. “Company” won the best revival of a musical and “Take Me Out” won for best revival of a play.

Ariana DeBose (Courtesy photo)

Host Ariana Debose commanded the stage and the ceremony unfolded with the power and Broadway razzle-dazzle one would expect from the Broadway community.

“What a season it’s been,” Debose, said in her opening monologue. “For many of you, it’s been a roller coaster – starts, stops, dramatic twists, and turns.” After being closed for nearly two years due to COVID there wasn’t any question that the 75th performance would be big, bold, and flawless.

Stepping into the saying that the ‘show must go on’ some 34 shows premiered on Broadway this season and 29 of them received at least one Tony nomination. That’s an example of pure determination and collective problem-solving.

Myles Frost won leading actor in a musical for his riveting performance as Michael Jackson in “MJ,” while the best leading actress in a musical prize went to “Paradise Square’s”

Tony Award Winner for Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, Joaquina Kalukango. (Photo Lindsey Root)

Joaquina Kalukango, whose brilliant performance of the show’s anthem Let it Burn” was an emotional thunderbolt straight to the heart at the ceremony. “Paradise Square” takes a hard look at the conflict between Irish Americans and African-Americans during the Civil War, a piece of history that Kalukango spoke about in her speech.

“I give thanks to the nameless ancestors who have suffered,” Kalukango said. “This song, this show gives power to that.”

Supporting actor in a play went to Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Grey’s Anatomy) for his fine performance as an accountant who becomes a baseball fanatic in “Take Me Out,” and the great Phylicia Rashad earned best-supporting actress in a play for her role as a struggling factory worker in “Skeleton Crew.” Rashad walked into the history books in 2004 when she became the first African-American actress to win the Tony Award for best actress in a play for “A Raisin in the Sun” this was her second win in three nominations.

Phylicia Rashad (Lindsey Root photo)

The mesmerizing Patti LuPone took home her third Tony, this one for supporting actress in a musical, for her performance as a hard-drinking “lady who lunches” in “Company.” Previously she won for “Evita” (1981) and the revival of “Gypsy” (2008) .” LuPone’s co-star Matt Doyle picked up a best-supporting actor statue for his show-stopping work in “Company,” the capstone of which was his interpretation of the tongue-twisting number, “Getting Married Today.”

Now to the impact of  “A Strange Loop” which has been warmly embraced by critics, is the deeply personal story of an African-American gay man who is writing a musical about an African-American gay man, writing a musical. This simple but uber-entertaining play won a  Pulitzer Prize in 2020 after it played off-Broadway.

Let’s talk about the herd of Elephants that have lived in the room of the Broadway community and that is the fact that Broadway — which has historically been dominated by white creators—was repeatedly called to the carpet to answer for the lack of diversity and opportunities for creatives of color.  And before I push in more, dear family, we can NEVER let up the pressure, ever, for any reason.  Back in 2022, this white-male business faced pressure to elevate more diverse voices and this new spurt of energy seems to be working (today). It’s reflected in the diversity of the shows that were nominated and won a Tony, as a record number of productions from African-American playwrights premiered during the season

“A Strange Loop” creator Michael R. Jackson used his acceptance speech to highlight the importance of the kind of representation that was achieved this season.

“I felt unseen, I felt unheard, I felt misunderstood, and I just wanted to create a little bit of a life raft for myself as a Black gay man to try to just get through the day,” he said, explaining the reasons he channeled his life into his art.

Click here to see the full list of Tony Award winners.

Lindsey Root contributed to this report.