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Tony Awards: 'The Book of Mormon' wins best musical; 'War Horse' named best play

"The Book of Mormon," the irreverent musical comedy about two mismatched Mormon missionaries from the creators of "South Park," was named best musical at the 2011 American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards on Sunday night at the Beacon Theatre in New York. The Broadway hit won nine awards.

Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez won two Tonys each, for the book and for the music and lyrics. Parker and Casey Nicholaw won for direction of a musical. Other "Mormon" winners were Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus for orchestration, Brian MacDevitt for lighting design of a musical, Brian Ronan for sound design of a musical and Scott Pask for scenic design of a musical.

Nikki M. James won her first Tony, for performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical in the role as the optimistic Ugandan girl Nabalungi.

The musical was the heavy favorite going into the ceremony, with 14 nominations.

"War Horse," the hit British play based on Michael Morpurgo's book about the horrors of World War I that uses life-size puppets to portray the equine characters, was named best play at the 2011 American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards on Sunday night at the Beacon Theatre in New York. This was its fifth award of the evening: Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris won for direction of a play, Rae Smith for scenic design of a play, Paule Constable for lighting design of a play and Christopher Shutt for sound design of a play.

"The Normal Heart," Larry Kramer's searing look at the early days of the AIDS epidemic, was named best revival of a play 26 years after its debut, the third award of the night for the drama.

Sutton Foster, the young Broadway belter, won for actress in a leading role in a musical for "Anything Goes." The remounting of Cole Porter's 1934 shipboard musical-comedy was named best revival of a musical. It also won the choreography award, given to Kathleen Marshall.

Norbert Leo Butz won his second Tony, as actor in a leading role of a musical as the lawman in "Catch Me If You Can," the crowd-pleasing musical based on the hit Steven Spielberg movie.

Frances McDormand won for leading actress in a play for "Good People," David Lindsay-Abaire's drama about a woman's struggle to escape her dead-end life in South Boston.

Mark Rylance won his second Tony, as actor in a leading role of a play for "Jerusalem," Jez Butterworth's drama exploring the contemporary English psyche through the character of a deranged drug dealer who lives in the woods.

John Larroquette won for actor in a featured role in a musical for the revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." The actor, best known for his television roles, plays J.B. Bigley, the role originated by Rudy Vallee in the 1962 Frank Loesser classic musical. He thanked the musical's star, "Harry Potter" actor Daniel Radcliffe "without whom I would be sitting in my underwear watching this on TV."

Ellen Barkin and John Benjamin Hickey won their first Tony Awards for best performances by an actress and actor in featured roles in the revival of Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart."

The actress, best known for her film roles, called working on Kramer's searing look at the early days of the AIDS epidemic the "proudest moment in my career." Barkin plays a wheelchair-bound doctor confronting the AIDS crisis during the '80s. Hickey plays Felix Turner, a closeted journalist.

Desmond Heeley won for costume design in a play for "The Importance of Being Earnest." Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner won for costume design in a musical "Priscilla Queen of the Desert."

The 65th annual awards awards were presented on a national broadcast on CBS, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. The Tonys are organized by the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League.

This year's regional theater award went to Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre Company.

Athol Fugard, the prolific South African-born playwright, received a lifetime achievement award. Fugard -- whose most notable dramas include "Boesman and Lena" and "Master Harold ... and the Boys" -- has explored issues of race and class in apartheid-era South Africa.

Eve Ensler, the author of "The Vagina Monologues," received the Isabelle Stevenson Award, which honors individuals who has made commitments in the fields of humanitarian and social work.

Other recipients of special awards include Philip J. Smith, William Berloni and the Drama Book Shop. The Handspring Puppet Company, which designed the equine puppetry in "War Horse," also received a special award.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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