NEW YORK — The profane and hysterical The Book of Mormon pulled ahead of the pack at the Tony Awards on Sunday, snagging honors for best book, best direction of a musical, best score, best featured actress and four technical awards.
The show, by the creators of South Park and Avenue Q, was the biggest winner during a ceremony that also honored War Horse and The Normal Heart with best play and best play revival, respectively.
Sutton Foster won for best actress in a musical and gave a tearful speech. "It doesn't feel like a job," she said of the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes, which won best musical revival and earned Kathleen Marshall an award for her choreography. Norbert Leo Butz won the Tony Award for best actor in a musical. Butz, who plays a frumpy FBI agent hot on the heels of a con man in Catch Me If You Can, takes home his second Tony. Mark Rylance won the Tony Award for best actor in a play, also his second Tony. He plays Johnny "Rooster" Byron, a charismatic leader of a band of social misfits and outcasts squatting in the English woods, in Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem.
Frances McDormand was declared the best leading actress in a play for playing a South Boston blue-collar woman who reconnects with a high school boyfriend in David Lindsay-Abaire play Good People. The best direction of a musical award went to Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker for The Book of Mormon. Parker — as well as co-writers Matt Stone and Robert Lopez — later returned to the stage to accept the Tony for the best book of a musical.
The top directing prize for a play went to Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris for the weepy War Horse, a World War I tale about horses told with puppets and actors. Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart won the best revival prize and two actors from the AIDS drama — Ellen Barkin and John Benjamin Hickey — also won. Barkin, making her Broadway debut, was declared the best actress in a featured role in a play, while Hickey took home the male equivalent honor.
The Book of Mormon went into the Tonys with 14 nominations.