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'Once' earns best musical

NEW YORK — The bittersweet romantic musical Once has won the best musical prize at the Tony Awards.

The musical is based on the documentary-style 2006 film about an unlikely love affair between a Czech flower seller and an Irish street musician in Dublin.

Audra McDonald has won the Tony Award for best leading actress in a musical.

Considered the favorite for her powerful portrayal of Bess in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, McDonald captured her fifth Tony, but first as a leading actress.

James Corden, who first made his name on stage in The History Boys, has won the lead acting Tony Award in a play for his clownish turn in the British import One Man, Two Guvnors.

The play is a slapstick farce about a simpleminded guy who juggles errands for two underworld bosses in an English seaside town in the 1960s. It had hit runs at the National Theatre and the West End.

The 33-year-old Corden co-wrote the hit comedy series Gavin & Stacey for BBC and wrote the memoir May I Have Your Attention, Please?

Steve Kazee has won the Tony Award for best lead actor in a musical for his heartfelt and touching performance in Once.

Kaee plays an Irish street musician and vacuum cleaner repairman in Dublin who falls in love with a Czech flower seller. It's based on the 2007 film that featured the Oscar-winning song Falling Slowly.

A 36-year-old rising star and guitar player with matinee idol looks, Kazee has gone from replacement parts in Spamalot to an understudy role in Seascape to starring in 110 in the Shade. He also starred on CMT's series Working Class.

A reworked version of the Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess has won the Tony Award for best musical revival.

The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess opened in January starring Audra McDonald, David Alan Grier and Norm Lewis.

Diane Paulus, the artistic director of the American Repertory Theater, adapted the Gershwin opera for the Broadway stage with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and Obie Award-winning composer Diedre Murray.

The team condensed the four-hour opera into a two-and-one-half-hour musical, eliminated a lot of the repetitiveness and tried to deepen the characters.

Their effort generated headlines when purists including Stephen Sondheim complained that a musical treasure was being corrupted.

And the winner is …

Play: Clybourne Park

Musical: Once

Revival of a Play:
Death of a Salesman

Revival of a Musical: The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess

Book of a Musical: Enda Walsh, Once

Original Score
(music and/or lyrics)
written for the theater:
Alan Menken (music) and Jack Feldman (lyrics), Newsies

Performance by an actor in a leading role in a play:
James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors

Performance by
an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play:
Nina Arianda, Venus in Fur

Performance by an
Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical:
Steve Kazee, Once

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Audra McDonald, The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess

Scenic Design of a Play: Donyale Werle , Peter and the Starcatcher

Scenic Design of a
Musical: Bob Crowley, Once

Costume Design of
a Play: Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher

Costume Design of a
Musical: Gregg Barnes, Follies

'Once' earns best musical 06/10/12 [Last modified: Monday, June 11, 2012 1:11am]
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