Montclair’s resident Justin Townsend won a Tony for his work in “Moulin Rouge. The Musical!” (COURTESY OF KAREN MCMULLEN)

Montclair’s resident and lighting and set designer Justin Townsend won for best lighting design in a musical at the 74th Annual Tony Awards last Sunday for his work on “Moulin Rouge! The Musical.” This is the first win for Townsend who has been nominated four times in that category for his work in “Jagged Little Pill,” “The Humans,” and “American Psycho.”

“It’s amazing to be in this room. It’s amazing to be with these people,” Townsend said in a backstage interview after his win. “The show is so important to me and the creative that made it. It’s just, it makes it special to be here, special to be on Broadway, special to be back.”

“Moulin Rouge. The Musical!” also congratulated Townsend for his win.

On his acceptance speech, Townsend also thanked his kid’s school teachers: Daniel O’Connor from Nishuane Elementary school and Cathy Grupper from Union Cong Nursery School, honoring their contributions during the pandemic and for keeping kids engaged.

“Thank you to my teachers, but especially my children teachers, Mr. O’Connor and Miss Kathy, and all of the teachers who strive even in these times to keep our children vibrant and curious for our future artists,” Townsend said in his speech.

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Neighbor Karen McMullen will be celebrating Townsend’s win on Saturday Oct. 2 at 3 p.m.

“We are so thrilled that our friend and neighbor Justin Townsend won the Tony Award for Lighting Design of Moulin Rouge,” McMullen said on an email. “The party is simply a backyard celebration for the neighbors and his friends in Montclair but we do not want to miss anyone. We are all so happy for him.”

To RSVP contact McMullen at