'Once' sweeps Tony Awards

Christine Kearney and Chris Michaud, Reuters

, Last Updated: 2:12 PM ET

“Once,” the musical adaption of an unlikely love story of a Dublin street performer and an Czech piano player, won eight Tony Awards on Sunday as Broadway honored its best plays and musicals.

The wins for the humble, intimate stage musical adapted from the 2006 independent film “Once” included awards for best musical, best book, orchestrations, scenic design, sound design, best actor in a musical and best direction for John Tiffany in his first Tony victory.

“’Once’ is a story about when people believe in each other, they can move on in life, and so many people have believed in this project,” Tiffany said in his acceptance speech.

Actor Steve Kazee fought back tears as he thanked his cast members, including his leading lady Cristin Milioti, and said after his mother died early on in performances, they “carried me around and made me feel alive and I will never be able to fully repay them.”

“Clybourne Park,” a satire on race relations, won best play, with playwright Bruce Norris telling the audience that since the play premiered more than two years ago off-Broadway, “I have made so many friends in regional theaters and in other theaters around the world who have worked on this play.”

“Clybourne Park” won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for best play.

Brit James Corden upset Philip Seymour Hoffman to win best actor in a play for his comic turn in the London transplant spoof, “One Man, Two Guvnors,” while Nina Arianda won best actress in a play for her sexy performance in “Venus In Fur.”

Esteemed film and stage director Mike Nichols was an early winner for his direction of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” Nichols has won a record-setting six Tony Awards for best direction of a play. He also has been honored twice as a producer.

“You see before you a happy man,” Nichols, 80, said, thanking Miller’s daughter, Rebecca Miller, for permission to stage the play that also won best revival of a play.

Nichols also thanked Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield as “a cast straight from heaven” and said the play, which premiered in 1949, “gets truer as time goes by.”

“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” a reinvention of the 1935 opera and comedy, won best revival of a musical and Audra McDonald won best actress in a musical for her stirring performance as Bess.

The awards show kicked off with host Neil Patrick Harris welcoming the audience to the 66th Tony Awards, “or as we like to call it, ’Fifty Shades of Gay,’” referencing Broadway’s campy reputation and the popular erotic fiction novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Judith Light of “Other Desert Cities” was an early winner for best actress in a featured role in a play.

“I feel like I am the luckiest girl in New York tonight,” said Light, who first found fame in 1980s TV sitcom “Who’s The Boss.”

Other winners included Judy Kaye and Michael McGrath for their featured roles in the comedy musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” and Christian Borle for his hilarious turn in the Peter Pan prequel, “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

“Once,”, which features the Oscar-winning song, “Falling Slowly,” received a total of eight Tonys. “Peter and the Starcatcher” captured five trophies.

The Disney production “Newsies,” based on a 1899 New York newsboys strike, won best original score.

Actor Hugh Jackman was also honoured with the Special Tony Award for his work onstage.

The awards show featured star-packed performances from this season’s musicals, plays and revivals. Presenters included Paul Rudd, Christopher Plummer and Angela Lansbury.

The list of winners:

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play - Judith Light (Other Desert Cities)

Best Orchestrations - Martin Lowe (Once)

Best Choreography - Christopher Gattelli (Newsies)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical - Michael McGraw (Nice Work if You Can Get It)

Best Book of a Musical - Enda Walsh (Once)

Best Sound Design of a Play - Darron L West (Peter & the Starcatcher)

Best Sound Design of a Musical - Clive Goodwin (Once)

Best Direction of a Musical - John Tiffany (Once)

Best Direction of a Play - Mike Nichols (Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play - Christian Borle (Peter & the Starcatcher)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical - Judy Kaye (Nice Work if You Can Get It)

Best Costume Design of a Play - Paloma Young (Peter & the Starcatcher)

Best Costume Design of a Musical - Gregg Barnes (Follies)

Best Original Score - Alan Menken & Jack Feldman (Newsies)

Best Revival of a Play - Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

Best Scenic Design of a Play - Donyale Werle (Peter & the Starcatcher)

Best Scenic Design of a Musical - Bob Crowley (Once)

Best Lighting Design of a Musical - Natasha Katz (Once)

Best Play - Clybourne Park

Best Revival of a Musical - The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical - Steve Kazee (Once)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play - James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play - Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical - Audra McDonald (The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess)

Best Musical - Once

Lifetime Achievement Award - Emanuel Azenberg

Regional Theatre Award - The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C.

Isabelle Stevenson Award - Bernadette Peters

Special Tony Award - Hugh Jackman

 


Videos

Photos