Tony Awards 2013: British theatre dominates as Kinky Boots struts off with six gongs and Matilda scoops four

 

Feelgood musical Kinky Boots, with songs by pop star and Broadway newcomer Cyndi Lauper, won six 2013 Tony Awards, including best musical, best score and best leading man.

Christopher Durang's comical Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike won the best play Tony. Matilda the Musical won four awards as did Pippin and Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? and The Nance- shared three awards each.

Click here for a list of the Tony Awards 2013 winners in full

Lauper, who wrote the hit "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", was part of an impressive group of women who took top honours. Diane Paulus and Pam MacKinnon both won for directing - a rare time women have won directing Tonys for both a musical and a play in the same year. It also happened most recently at the 1998 Tonys.

Kinky Boots, originally a 2005 British film, also won for choreography and two technical awards, and Billy Porter won for leading man in a musical, beating his co-star Stark Sands.

Durang, whose other works include the play Beyond Therapy, was a Tony nominee for A History Of The American Film and his Miss Witherspoon was a Pulitzer Prize nominee in 2006.

Paulus won her first Tony for directing the crackling, high-energy revival of the musical Pippin, which also earned the best revival honour and helped Patina Miller earn a best leading actress trophy.

MacKinnon won for directing Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, a year after earning her first nomination for helming Clybourne Park. Her revival of Edward Albee's story of marital strife won the best play revival and earned Tracy Letts his first acting Tony, an upset victory over Tom Hanks.

Andrea Martin, 66, who won as featured actress in a musical, plays Pippin's grandmother and sings the music hall favourite No Time at All, stuns audiences nightly with jaw-dropping stunts that would make someone a fraction of her age blanch.

The Tonys were broadcast live by CBS from Radio City Music Hall, New York. Neil Patrick Harris was back for his fourth turn as host and led a show featuring talented children and pulse-pounding musical numbers.

The big, opening number started with Harris simply holding a guitar in a pub like Once, but quickly morphed into a flashy razzle-dazzle number that showcased performers from almost a dozen musicals - and even ex-boxer Mike Tyson dancing.

Courtney B Vance won for best featured actor in a play for portraying a newspaper editor opposite Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy.

Judith Light won her second featured actress in a play Tony in two years, cementing the former TV star of One Life To Live and Who's the Boss? as a Broadway star.

She followed up her win last year as a wise-cracking alcoholic aunt in Other Desert Cities with the role of a wry mother in The Assembled Parties, in which she goes from about 53 to 73 over the play's two acts.

Gabriel Ebert of Matilda the Musical won best featured actor in a musical and Cicely Tyson, 88, won the best leading actress in a play honour for the revival of The Trip To Bountiful, the show's only award on the night. It was the actress' first time back on Broadway in 30 years.

Lauper and Harvey Fierstein have given Kinky Boots - about a failing shoe factory that turns to making drag queen boots - a fun score and a touching book that celebrates diversity.

"I want to thank Harvey Fierstein for calling me up. I'm so glad I was done with the dishes and answered the phone," Lauper said.

Matilda the Musical, another British import, is a witty, dark musical adaptation of the novel by Roald Dahl that is still running in London. Its leading woman is actually a man - Bertie Carver, who plays the evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull.

The Tony winners were picked by 868 Tony voters, including members of The Broadway League, American Theatre Wing, Actors' Equity, the Dramatists Guild, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society as well as critics from the New York Drama Critics Circle.

AP

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