- Associated Press - Sunday, June 10, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - 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.

Theater audiences disagreed, with fans cheering the new work, which featured songs such as “Summertime” and “Bess, You Is My Woman Now.”

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” were going head-to-head for the most Tony Awards on Sunday. “Once” had six, while the Peter Pan prequel nabbed five.

John Tiffany, the British director of “Once,” won Sunday, 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.

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 actors.

“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,” he said. “As we know, a salesman has got to dream. It goes with the territory.”

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