South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone's hit musical The Book Of Mormon swept the board at the 2011 Tony Awards on Sunday (12Jun11), scooping nine top honours including the prestigious Best Musical.
The critically-acclaimed show, about two Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda, was nominated for 14 prizes at the New York ceremony, which celebrates the best of Broadway.
It triumphed in categories such as Best Original Score, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Book of a Musical, in addition to three technical awards for Best Sound Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Scenic Design of a Musical.
British play War Horse earned a total of five awards, while a revival of Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart landed three top accolades, including Hollywood star Ellen Barkin's very first Tony Award for her Broadway debut as a frustrated doctor in the fight against Aids. She became the very first honouree of the night and hailed her win as the "proudest moment in my career".
Host Neil Patrick Harris opened the awards show at The Beacon Theatre with a comical song-and-dance number titled It's Not Just For Gays Anymore, and Hugh Jackman, a previous Tony Awards host, later joined the actor onstage and engaged in a little competitive banter for an entertaining rendition of Anything You Can Do.
U2's Bono and The Edge found themselves the butt of several jokes for their troubled Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark musical, which will finally open on Tuesday (14Jun11) after months of delays and setbacks. The Irish rockers took the jabs in their stride and applauded along with the rest of the audience.
They showed their good humour again when they introduced a performance from Spider-Man stars Reeve Carney and Jennifer Damiano, with Bono deadpanning, "We used to be famous for being in U2... When I first saw the Tony Awards on our schedule, I just kind of assumed that we'd been nominated", to which The Edge quipped, "It appears we missed the deadline..."
Other performances came from Daniel Radcliffe and Tony winner John Larroquette, who sang Brotherhood of Man from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, while the casts of each of the Best Musical nominees (The Book of Mormon, Catch Me If You Can, The Scottsboro Boys and Sister Act) also gave the crowd a taste of why they deserved to win.
The main list of winners at the 65th Annual Tony Awards is as follows:
Best Play - War Horse
Best Musical - The Book of Mormon
Best Revival of a Play - The Normal Heart
Best Revival of a Musical - Anything Goes
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play - John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play - Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical - John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical - Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play - Mark Rylance, Jerusalem
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play - Frances MCDormand, Good People
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical - Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical - Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Best Direction of a Play - Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse
Best Direction of a Musical - Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon
Best Original Score - Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Best Orchestrations - Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon
Best Choreography - Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Best Book of a Musical - Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Lifetime Achievement - Athol Fugard and Philip J. Smith.