- Elton John blasts Russia’s anti-gay laws during Moscow concert
- U.N.: Afghanistan slow to enforce law protecting women
- Heart cancels SeaWorld concert after ‘Blackfish’ documentary
- South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower American flag for Nelson Mandela
- South Africans hold day of prayer for Nelson Mandela
- Mandela not on life support in final hours, friend says
- Ukraine protesters topple, decapitate Lenin statue in Kiev
- Kim Jong-un’s uncle removed from North Korean state documentary
- Thailand crisis deepens as opposition quits Parliament
- Campbell Soup apologizes for SpaghettiOs’ Pearl Harbor tweet
‘Book of Mormon’ takes the lead at Tonys
NEW YORK (AP) - The profane and hysterical “The Book of Mormon” took an early lead at the Tony Awards, snagging honors Sunday for best book, best direction of a musical, best featured actress and two technical awards. “War Horse” and “The Normal Heart” also netted key Tonys, including best play and best revival, respectively.
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. “We quite like it when people cry,” Morris cracked backstage.
Nikki M. James, who plays a potential love interest to a pair of missionaries who travel to Uganda in “The Book of Mormon,” dedicated the award to her dad, who died while she was in high school, and to her nephew Ozzie, who was born with kidney problems.
The show is one of the hottest in town and James said even cast members are having trouble getting tickets for their friends and family. “It’s amazing to know you’re going to walk out there every night and know you’re going to see a house full of people,” she said.
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.
“It’s the proudest moment of my career. Being involved in something this important is I think a once-in-a-career opportunity,” said Barkin. Hickey warned his family in Texas that they’d better not be watching the Heat-Mavericks game instead of the Tonys.
Kramer’s historic play about the beginning of an epidemic that has killed millions won the Tony 26 years after it was first mounted at the Public Theater. “Learn from it and carry on the fight,” he said. “Our day will come.”
John Larroquette, in his Broadway debut, won the award for best actor in a featured role in a musical for “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” He thanked his co-star Daniel Radcliffe, who was not nominated, saying that without the “Harry Potter” star he’d be “home, sitting in my underwear, watching this on television.”
“The Book of Mormon” won two awards before the telecast even began _ best orchestration and best original score. Kathleen Marshall won for best choreography for “Anything Goes.” “War Horse” won for best sound design of a play and best scenic design, and “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” got the costume award for flamboyant fantasies created by Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner.
Host Neil Patrick Harris began the show at the Beacon Theatre with an exuberant, tongue-in-cheek song about how Broadway isn’t just for gay people any more. The number featured a bevy of dancing nuns, sailors, flight attendants and Mormons: “Attention every breeder, you’re invited to the theater!” He later mocked “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” sang with Hugh Jackson and rode one of the puppet horses of “War Horse.”
The ceremony was rolling along fine until Brooke Shields had to be bleeped after forgetting the lyrics and flubbing an opening song with Harris. “I can do eight performances a week but I can’t read a TelePrompTer,” she joked.
“The Book of Mormon” went into the Tonys with 14 nominations, one shy of the record held by “The Producers.” The show, by the creators of “South Park” and “Avenue Q,” has already been declared the season’s best musical by the Outer Critics Circle, the Drama League and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle.
The musical was the biggest new hit from a Broadway season that saw 42 shows open _ 14 musicals, 25 plays and three specials. Box-office grosses soared to $1.08 billion while attendance reached 12.5 million, both up from last season.
If “The Book of Mormon” wins the biggest prize, it would be a considerable achievement for first-time Broadway playwrights Parker and Stone, who created the Emmy Award-winning “South Park” and feature-length films such as “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” and “Team America: World Police.”
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- CHELLANEY: China's game of chicken
- Sen. Rand Paul pushes 'economic freedom zones' for Detroit
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- New Internet security challenge arises for cybercops
- Wife of Obama aide found dead in burning car in home's garage
- Congress creates a legislative fortress for military sex-assault policy
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Film Reviews and Articles by Kevin Williams
"Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you're thinking in order to make your thinking better." - Dr. Richard Paul
Go beyond tourism's "top 10" bus tour destinations with Susan McKee as she explores the varied history, culture, food, and gardens, of the world.
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!