- Associated Press - Sunday, June 10, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - 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.

Raised in Fresno, Calif., and trained at The Juilliard School, she won three Tony Awards before the age of 30 _ for “Carousel,” “Master Class” and “Ragtime” _ and a fourth in 2004 for “A Raisin in the Sun.”

She has two Grammy Awards, four albums and thinking of a fifth and two Emmy Award nominations. McDonald, a fierce advocate for gay marriage rights, has a daughter and recently was engaged.

She beat out Jan Maxwell, Cristin Milioti, Kelli O’Hara and Laura Osnes.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

The bittersweet musical “Once” and the inventive play “Peter and the Starcatcher” emerged with the most Tony Awards on Sunday. The rest of the honors were spread out, with most shows getting to boast of at least one win.

John Tiffany, the British director of “Once,” won making his Broadway debut. The musical also won best orchestration, sound design, set design, lighting, and Enda Walsh took home the award for best book of a musical.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” won for best costume design, lighting, best scenic design and best sound design for a play. Christian Borle, who plays the clumsy, overheated pirate who will be Captain Hook in the Peter Pan prequel, was named best featured actor in a play.

“Thank you for making this so much fun,” said Borle, who also stars in the NBC series “Smash.” He said he was even more pleased that his mother was in the crowd.

Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park,” the remarkably perceptive Pulitzer Prize-winning play about race and real estate, won the best play Tony.

The play riffs off Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 drama “A Raisin in the Sun,” is set in the same house in one Chicago neighborhood. The first act takes place in 1959 and the second is set in 2009.

“I have to thank Lorraine Hansberry, who actually built the neighborhood of Clybourne Park. We just moved in and depressed the property values,” said Norris.

James Corden, who first made his name on stage in “The History Boys,” was an unexpected winner for lead actor in a play for his clownish turn in the British import “One Man, Two Guvnors.” He beat out the favorite, Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Death of a Salesman,” and thanked his girlfriend, who he intends to marry after the show’s run.

Arthur Miller’s 63-year-old masterpiece “Death of a Salesman” won the Tony for best play revival and Mike Nichols won his ninth Tony for directing it. On winning, he said the play has a special meaning for those who work in the theater.

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