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Ahead of the 2024 Tony Awards, here's a look at Broadway's best

Broadway and Beyond: At the Tonys 2024
Broadway and Beyond: At the Tonys 2024 21:57

NEW YORK - There's something for everyone this season on Broadway

From theater legends to first-time performers, there have been many high points to this busy Broadway season. 

Big stars blazed onto Broadway, like Daniel Radcliffe in "Merrily We Roll Along." 

"I think this show has something really special to say about relationships and time, and how even if relationships don't end in a perfect way, it doesn't mean that there wasn't a huge amount of meaning and value in them," Radcliffe said. 

Jessica Lange and Jim Parsons appear in "Mother Play." 

"I love to play emotional turmoil. I don't know why, but I do," Lange said. 

"There's something complicated in the human dynamic of mother and child," Parsons said. "Whether it's very, very bad or just interesting."

Eddie Redmayne is in "Cabaret." 

"I got out of the shower and there was a phone call telling me, and it was wonderful," Redmayne said. 

Sarah Paulson is in "Appropriate." 

"I started seeing plays at a very young age. My mother, my single mom took me to see theater anytime she could," Paulson said. 

"The theater for me is sort of the highest bar as an actor," said Jeremy Strong, who appears in "An Enemy of the People." "So to be recognized... is just an amazing thing."

Liev Schreiber stars in "Doubt."

"It just hit so many notes... about polarization, about cancel culture," Schreiber said. 

Also appearing on the Great White Way: Rachel McAdams in "Mary Jane," and Leslie Odom, Jr. in "Purlie Victorious." 

"It is super meaningful to have a reappraisal of this American classic, you know, it just feels like there was like this... forgotten jewel," Odom said. 

The most nominated shows are "Hell's Kitchen" and "Stereophonic," with 13 each. "Hell's Kitchen" has songs by Alicia Keys, blending the jukebox musical format with a dramatic narrative based on her life. "Stereophonic" is an original play loaded with music and tension, set in a recording studio. Both shows feature nominated actors making their Broadway debuts. 

"I think that making art that people can see themselves reflected in is probably like the biggest gift that you can give," said Maleah Joi Moon, who appears in "Hell's Kitchen."   

"Just being part of this play, listening backstage. David Adjmi just wrote such an incredible human story that I think it touches everyone," said Sarah Pidgeon, who appears in "Stereophonic." 

Musical adaptations of popular stories dominated on Broadway this season, including "The Outsiders" with 12 nominations, "Water For Elephants" with seven, and "The Great Gatsby" with one. "The Notebook," "Back to the Future, and "Days of Wine and Roses" have three each.

"A beautiful human being with a disease of alcoholism... because the truth of this disease is that it wrecks lives," said Kelli O'Hara, who appears in "Days of Wine and Roses." 

Revivals reinvigorated and rocked Broadway. "The Who's Tommy" came back, and so did "Cabaret," "The Wiz," "Spamalot," and "Gutenberg: The Musical." 

Alongside those were original works, bringing innovative staging and diversity to the theater scene, such as the LGBTQ story central to "Lempicka" and the originality and representation boosted by "Jaja's African Hair Braiding," and the all-Filipino cast of the immersive "Here Lies Love."

Women broke through barriers this season on stage, backstage and in every planning stage. 

"Suffs," about the suffragist movement, was created by its star Shaina Taub. 

"Their whole theme is persistence in the face of impossible challenge," Taub said. 

Watch our full special in the video above, and make sure to watch the Tony Awards live Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. 

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