Nation/World

‘Kinky Boots’ takes six Tony Awards

Lauper-Fierstein musical is night’s biggest winner

NEW YORK – The feel-good musical “Kinky Boots,” with songs by pop star and Broadway newcomer Cyndi Lauper, won a leading six 2013 Tony Awards on Sunday, including best musical, best score and best leading man.

Christopher Durang’s comical “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” won the best play Tony. “Matilda the Musical” and “Pippin” won four awards and two other shows – “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “The Nance” – shared three awards each.

Lauper, who wrote the hit “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” was part of an impressive group of women who took top honors. Diane Paulus and Pam MacKinnon both won for directing – a rare time women have won directing Tonys for both a musical and a play in the same year. (It also happened most recently at the 1998 Tonys.)

“Kinky Boots” also won for choreography and two technical awards, and Billy Porter won for leading man in a musical.

Porter beat “Kinky Boots” co-star Stark Sands and told him from the stage: “You are my rock, my sword, my shield. Your grace gives me presence. I share this award with you. I’m gonna keep it at my house! But I share it with you.”

Paulus won her first Tony for directing the crackling, high-energy revival of the musical “Pippin,” which also earned the best revival honor and helped Patina Miller earn a best leading actress trophy.

MacKinnon won for directing the play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” a year after earning her first nomination for helming “Clybourne Park.” Her revival of Edward Albee’s story of marital strife won the best play revival and earned playwright and actor Tracy Letts his first acting Tony, which prompted an upset beating of Tom Hanks.

Andrea Martin, 66, who won as featured actress in a musical, plays Pippin’s grandmother and sings the music hall favorite “No Time at All,” stuns audiences nightly by doing jaw-dropping stunts that would make someone a fraction of her age blanch.

The Tonys were broadcast live by CBS from Radio City Music Hall. Neil Patrick Harris was back for his fourth turn as emcee and led a show featuring talented children and pulse-pounding musical numbers.

Courtney B. Vance won for best featured actor in a play for portraying a newspaper editor opposite Tom Hanks in “Lucky Guy.” He dedicated his award to his mother.

Judith Light won her second featured actress in a play Tony in two years, cementing the former TV star of “One Life to Live” and “Who’s the Boss?” as a Broadway star.

She followed up her win last year as a wise-cracking alcoholic aunt in “Other Desert Cities” with the role of a wry mother in “The Assembled Parties,” in which she goes from about 53 to 73 over the play’s two acts.

Gabriel Ebert of “Matilda the Musical” won as best featured actor in a musical.

Cicely Tyson, 88, won the best leading actress in a play honors for the revival of “The Trip to Bountiful,” the show’s only award on the night. It was the actress’s first time back on Broadway in three decades.

“ ‘Please wrap it up,’ it says. Well, that’s exactly what you did with me: You wrapped me up in your arms after 30 years,” she said.

Lauper and Harvey Fierstein have given “Kinky Boots” – originally a 2005 film about a failing shoe factory that turns to making drag queen boots – a fun score and a touching book that celebrates diversity.

“I want to thank Harvey Fierstein for calling me up. I’m so glad I was done with the dishes and answered the phone,” Lauper said.

The import “Matilda the Musical” is a witty, dark musical adaptation of the novel by Roald Dahl that is still running in London. Its leading woman is actually a man – Bertie Carver, who plays the evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull.



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