- Associated Press - Sunday, June 10, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Memorable quotes from the 66th annual Tony Awards ceremony Sunday night at the Beacon Theatre:

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“Welcome to the 66th annual Tony Awards, or as we like to call it, 50 Shades of Gay.” _ Neil Patrick Harris, host.

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“There’s not a person in this theater that doesn’t know what it is to be a salesman _ to be out there in the blue riding on a smile and a shoeshine. As we know, a salesman has got to dream. It goes with the territory.” _ Mike Nichols, accepting the award for best director of a play for “Death of a Salesman.”

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“I have to thank Lorraine Hansberry, who actually built the neighborhood of Clybourne Park. We just moved in and depressed the property values.” _ Bruce Norris, accepting the award for best play for “Clybourne Park,” which riffs on Hansberry’s 1959 drama “A Raisin in the Sun.”

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“My mother … always told me before shows to stand up there and show them whose little boy you are. And I’m showing you today that I am the son of Kathy Withrow Kazee who lost the fight with cancer on Easter Sunday this year.” _ Steve Kazee, accepting the award for best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical for “Once.”

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“You were my first crush! When that whistle was blown in `Sound of Music,’ you made my day.” _ Nina Arianda, accepting the award for best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play for “Venus in Fur” from presenter Christopher Plummer.

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“All I ever wanted to do was produce plays.” _ Scott Rudin, a top movie producer, accepting the award for best revival of a play for “Death of a Salesman.”

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“My girlfriend Julia gave birth to our son like five days before we started rehearsals. She’s my baby momma and I can’t wait to marry her. I would not be holding this if it wasn’t for her. She made me say `us’ instead of `I’ and `we’ instead of `me’ and I love her.” James Corden, accepting the award for best performance by a lead actor in a play for “One Man, Two Guvnors.”

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“I was a little a girl with a potbelly and afro puffs, hyperactive and overdramatic. And I found the theater and I found my home.” _ Audra McDonald, accepting the award for best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.”

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“Tonight, we who are the Broadway establishment, are pleased and honored to welcome this year’s nominees for best musical _ you young whippersnappers, who so desperately seek to join our ranks.” _ Trey Parker, co-writer of last year’s Tony-winner “The Book of Mormon,” presenting the award for best musical.

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“I guess chandeliers have been very, very good to me.” _ Judy Kaye, winner for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical for “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” and a previous winner for her performance in “The Phantom of the Opera.”