Billy Elliot dances to Tony joy
Monday 08 June 2009
Billy Elliot has danced away with 10 Tony Awards, including the title for best musical.
The story of a schoolboy in a northern mining town who dreams of dancing was the ceremony's big winner, including statuettes for best musical and a unique best actor prize for the three young performers who share the title character - David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish.
In a good night for Broadway's British contingent, Angela Lansbury won the award for best performance by a featured actress in a play - becoming only the second actress in history to win five Tonys.
Billy Elliot collected eight other awards, including director of a musical, book of a musical and choreography, but its composer Sir Elton John was upset for best score. That award was taken by Next to Normal - which seemed to stun its composer Tom Kitt and lyricist Brian Yorkey. Alice Ripley, who portrays battling mental illness in Next to Normal, received the actress musical prize.
God of Carnage, Yasmina Reza's savage comedy of manners about two liberal, middle-class couples whose children get into a fight, was named best play and picked up two other major awards, one for its director, Matthew Warchus, and the other for actress Marcia Gay Harden.
The Norman Conquests, Alan Ayckbourn's trilogy, received the revival-play prize, while Hair, the iconic 1960s rock extravaganza roared to a win in the musical-revival category.
The director/musical award went to Stephen Daldry of Billy Elliot.
"I have been blessed in my life to spend the majority of last 10 years of my life working on the story of Billy Elliot,' said Daldry, who called it "a long, extraordinary journey" .
He said the award belonged to everyone connected to the show and especially to "three great gifts of Broadway, our three little Billys."
Geoffrey Rush's extravagant portrait of a dying monarch in Exit the King took the top actor prize. "I want to thank Manhattan audiences for proving that French existential absurdist tragicomedy rocks," Rush said.
List of Tony winners
PLAY: "God of Carnage."
REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL: "Hair."
BOOK OF A MUSICAL: Lee Hall, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE: "Next to Normal."
REVIVAL OF A PLAY: "The Norman Conquests."
SPECIAL THEATRICAL EVENT: "Liza's at The Palace."
PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY: Geoffrey Rush, "Exit the King."
PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Marcia Gay Harden, "God of Carnage."
PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Alice Ripley, "Next to Normal."
PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY: Roger Robinson, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone."
PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Angela Lansbury, "Blithe Spirit."
PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Gregory Jbara, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Karen Olivo, "West Side Story."
SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY: Derek McLane, "33 Variations."
SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Ian MacNeil, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY: Anthony Ward, "Mary Stuart."
COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Tim Hatley, "Shrek The Musical."
LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY: Brian MacDevitt, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone."
LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Rick Fisher, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
SOUND DESIGN OF A PLAY: Gregory Clarke, "Equus."
SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Paul Arditti, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
DIRECTION OF A PLAY: Matthew Warchus, "God of Carnage."
DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL: Stephen Daldry, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
CHOREOGRAPHY: Peter Darling, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
ORCHESTRATIONS: Martin Koch, "Billy Elliot, The Musical"; Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt, "Next to Normal."
SPECIAL TONY AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE THEATRE: Jerry Herman.
REGIONAL THEATRE TONY AWARD: Signature Theatre, Arlington, Va.
ISABELLE STEVENSON AWARD: Phyllis Newman.
TONY HONOR FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE THEATRE: Shirley Herz.
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