Broadway's Best Honored at Tony Awards

Another Broadway season drew to a close last night as the 65th annual Tony Awards celebrated some of the best shows on the Great White Way. Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris (who has starred in several Broadway shows, and headlined a New York Philharmonic concert of Stephen Sondheim's Company in April), the Awards were mostly focused on The Book of Mormon and War Horse in the musical and play departments (respectively), both of which have been sell-outs pretty much since opening.

The Book of Mormon, written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame, and Robert Lopez of Avenue Q, is a deliciously vulgar and surprisingly sweet musical about Mormon missionaries in Uganda. Arguably Broadway's biggest hit since The Producers ten years ago, the show has raised its prices to record highs for a Broadway show (more than $150 per ticket), but seems to be in no danger of running out of steam.

War Horse, on the other hand, is a serious drama about war as seen through the eyes of children and animals and the grown-ups who love them. The major draw of the play is its masterful use of puppets to represent horses and other animals.

The acting awards were a bit more diverse, with only Nikki M. James taking home an award for her comic turn in The Book of Mormon (three other actors from the show had been nominated). Oscar-winner Frances McDormand added a Tony to her mantle for her work in David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People, and Emmy-winning Night Court star John Larroquette also got a statue for his Broadway debut in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Movie star Ellen Barkin earned a Tony for her brutal turn as an angry doctor in Larry Kramer's masterpiece The Normal Heart (which also won for Best Play Revival), and Broadway baby Sutton Foster (bless her for not sneaking off to Hollywood!) earned her second Tony for her triple-threat performance in Anything Goes (which also took the Best Musical Revival award). Norbert Leo Butz got his second Tony for his performance in the musical of Catch Me If You Can, and John Benjamin Hickey was honored for his performance in The Normal Heart. Mark Rylance also got his second Tony award for his performance in Jerusalem, and, as he did for his 2008 win for Boeing-Boeing, recited poetry rather than give a conventional acceptance speech.

Tickets to most of these shows can be found on telecharge.com.

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