The musical Once, based on the Irish film of the same name, was the big winner at this year’s Tony Awards, winning eight of the 11 categories for which it was nominated.
Once took home the Tony for best musical, best actor (Steve Kazee), best book (Enda Walsh), best direction (John Tiffany), orchestrations (Martin Lowe), scenic design (Bob Crowley), lighting design (Natasha Katz) and sound design (Clive Goodwin).
Accepting his Tony, Goodwin thanked his “wonderful wife,” noting he was “happy to give you the birthday present you asked me for back in April”. Meanwhile Tiffany, who is associate director of the National Theatre of Scotland and won his award for his directorial debut on Broadway, thanked “the many people who believed in this project”; while Walsh recalled that when he told a friend he was working on Once, the friend replied “it was like getting the stage rights of It’s A Wonderful Life and getting Charles Manson to write it.”
In one of the big victories for British theatre on the night, James Corden won the Tony for best actor in a play for his work in the National Theatre’s production of One Man, Two Guvnors, the only award that show received. Both Corden and the show had missed out entirely at the Olivier Awards earlier in the year.
However, actress Tracie Bennett, who was up for a best actress Tony for End Of The Rainbow, which began in Northampton, lost out to Nina Arianda for Venus in Fur.
The Disney musical Newsies took home Tonys for best choreography and best score. When composers Alan Menken (who won his first Tony Award) and lyricist Jack Feldman made their acceptance speech, Menken commented that the movie on which the Broadway show was based, and on which both men worked on, earned them a Razzie Award for worst original song in 1993.
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman picked up the award for best revival of a play, as did that show’s director Mike Nichols, making this his record sixth directorial Tony. Winning for best musical revival was The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, which triumphed over productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, and Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. The revivals of Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar were two of the shows that left the award ceremony empty handed.
Among those receiving special Tony Awards this year were actor Hugh Jackman for his efforts in raising money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; Actors’ Equity, in recognition of its upcoming 100th anniversary; and actress Bernadette Peters, for her work with Broadway Barks!, an organization which raises awareness for shelter animals in need of adoption. Receiving a lifetime achievement award was producer Emanuel Azenberg, who has presented more than 50 shows on Broadway between 1966 and 2012.
The winners in full:
Clybourne Park – Bruce Norris
Best revival of a play
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Best revival of a musical
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Best book of a musical
Once – Enda Walsh
Best original score (music and/or lyrics) written for the theatre
Newsies – music: Alan Menken, lyrics: Jack Feldman
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 actor in a leading role in a musical
Steve Kazee, Once
Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical
Audra McDonald, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play
Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play
Judith Light, Other Desert Cities
Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical
Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical
Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Best scenic design of a play
Donyale Werle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best scenic design of a musical
Bob Crowley, Once
Best costume design of a play
Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best costume design of a musical
Gregg Barnes, Follies
Best lighting design of a play
Jeff Croiter, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best lighting design of a musical
Natasha Katz, Once
Best sound design of a play
Darron L. West, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best sound design of a musical
Clive Goodwin, Once
Christopher Gattelli, Newsies
Best direction of a play
Mike Nichols, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Best direction of a musical
John Tiffany, Once
Martin Lowe, Once
Danny Troob, Newsies
Special Tony Award for lifetime achievement in the theatre
Regional theatre award
The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C.
Isabelle Stevenson award
Special Tony Award
Actors’ Equity Association
Tony Honour for excellence in the theatre
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