Broadway fell fast for "Once," the melancholy but moving movie-to-musical about a lovelorn Irish street musician and his Czech guardian angel, which scooped Disney's chirpier "
The Tonys for work on musicals reflected the reality that there were only two credible candidates to emerge from the musically thin 2011-12 Broadway season: "Once" and "Newsies" largely split the awards.
Walsh won one of several major awards handed out during commercial breaks to save time for the show's plethora of musical numbers from a panoply of shows — some nominated, some not; most from this season, some not. The Tonys have long been a battle of handing out awards versus showcasing shows. This year, the latter ruled the broadcast roost. Time was, mere cruise-ship entertainment would never have gained a spot on the snooty Tony dance card. But times, and cruise ships, have changed and Sunday night's Tony Awards broadcast cut away to a ship owned by
Of the stronger slate of musical revivals, "Follies" and "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" both had their Tony moments, with the once-controversial latter winning the Tony for best revival of a musical.
The prestigious award for leading actor in a play went to the comic performer
This year's Tony broadcast was hosted by
Harris' opening comic number this year revolved around the burning question of, "What if life were more like theater?" It featured a panoply of fast-moving scenes, everything from a flying
Others for whom Tony night was better than real life included veteran actress Judy Kaye, who last won a Tony in 1988 for "The Phantom of the Opera," but took home the award for her supporting role in "Nice Work If You Can Get It," which included a memorable moment spent hanging from a light fixture. Kaye thanked her father, whom she said died last week and she also noted, dryly, that chandeliers had been good to her.
Hugh Jackman was surprised that his special Tony Award was presented by his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness. "She has never kept a secret in her life," he said.
Winners of the American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards:
Best play: "Clybourne Park" (by Bruce Norris)
Best musical: "Once"
Best revival of a play: "Death of a Salesman"
Best revival of a musical: "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess"
Best book of a musical: "Once" (by Enda Walsh)
Best original score: "Newsies" (Alan Menken and Jack Feldman)
Best actor in a leading role in a play: James Corden, "One Man, Two Guvnors"
Best actress in a leading role in a play: Nina Arianda, "Venus in Fur"
Best actor in a leading role in a musical: Steve Kazee, "Once"
Best actress in a leading role in a musical: Audra McDonald, "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess"
Best direction of a play: Mike Nichols, "Death of a Salesman"
Best direction of a musical: John Tiffany, "Once"
Best choreography: Christopher Gattelli, "Newsies"
Best orchestrations: Martin Lowe, "Once"