Billy Elliot Dances Home with 10 Tony Awards

by PLSN Staff • in
  • News
• Created: June 8, 2009

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NEW YORK—Billy Elliot, The Musical was the big winner at the 2009 Tony Awards, taking home 10 awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Lee Hall), Best Direction of a Musical (Stephen Daldry) Best Choreography in a Musical (Peter Darling), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Ian MacNeil), Best Lighting Design (Rick Fisher) and Best Sound Design (Paul Arditti). Billy Elliot’s Gregory Jbara took home the award for Best Feature Actor in a Musical, and Billy Elliot also netted a shared Best Performance by a Leading Actor award for the three young actors dancing as Billy (David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish).

Billy Elliot and Next to Normal were up for many of the same awards, and they started the evening by tying for Best Orchestrations, the first Tony tie since 1993. Billy Elliot’s Martin Kochand Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt for Next to Normal accepted the award.

Next to Normal won Best Original Score, honoring the work of Tom Kitt, composer, and Brian Yorkey, lyricist. Shrek, the Musical, took home Best Costume Design of a Musical thanks to Tim Hatley’s work.

Best Scenic Design of a Play went to Derek McLane for his work on 33 Variations. Brian MacDevitt took home Best Lighting Design of a Play for Joe Turner's Come and Gone while Gregory Clarke won Best Sound Design of a Play thanks to his turn with Equus.

God of Carnage won Best Play.  Author Yasmina Reza flew in from France with her mother to accept that award, and, flanked by producers, she thanked her mother for overcoming an extreme fear of flying to be there with her.

Marcia Gay Harden won Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her work in God of Carnage, and Matthew Warchus won Best Direction for his work on the play.

The Norman Conquests won Best Revival of a Play. The award for Best Costume Design of a Play went to Anthony Ward for his work on Mary Stuart.

The awards program itself was marked both by moments of theatricality along with a few blunders.

In terms of theatrics, Oskar Eustis, A.D. of the Public Theater, calling for “Peace now, freedom now, equality now, justice forever,” during his acceptance speech for Best Revival of a Musical for the Hair. There was also a 10-minute opening montage of musical numbers and a final “11 o’clock” song and dance number from host Neil Patrick Harris which gently satirized the awards.

The blunders included rock star Bret Michael, lead singer of Poison, who performed during the opening number, missed his mark at the end of his song and ran face-first into a descending drop and persistent microphone problems throughout the night.

Below is a complete list of winners.

Best Play
God of Carnage  – Author: Yasmina Reza

Best Musical
Billy Elliot, The Musical

Best Book of a Musical
Billy Elliot, The Musical—Lee Hall

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Next to Normal—Music: Tom Kitt, Lyrics: Brian Yorkey

Best Revival of a Play
The Norman Conquests

Best Revival of a Musical
Hair

Best Special Theatrical Event
Liza's at The Palace

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Geoffrey Rush —Exit the King

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Marcia Gay Harden —God of Carnage

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish —Billy Elliot, The Musical

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Alice Ripley —Next to Normal

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
Roger Robinson —Joe Turner's Come and Gone

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Angela Lansbury —Blithe Spirit

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
Gregory Jbara —Billy Elliot, The Musical

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Karen Olivo —West Side Story

Best Direction of a Play
Matthew Warchus —God of Carnage

Best Direction of a Musical
Stephen Daldry —Billy Elliot, The Musical

Best Choreography
Peter Darling —Billy Elliot, The Musical

Best Orchestrations
Martin Koch —Billy Elliot, The Musical
Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt —Next to Normal

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Derek McLane —33 Variations

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Ian MacNeil —Billy Elliot, The Musical

Best Costume Design of a Play
Anthony Ward —Mary Stuart

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Tim Hatley —Shrek The Musical

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Brian MacDevitt —Joe Turner's Come and Gone

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Rick Fisher —Billy Elliot, The Musical

Best Sound Design of a Play
Gregory Clarke —Equus

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Paul Arditti —Billy Elliot, The Musical

Special Tony Award® for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Jerry Herman

Regional Theatre Tony Award
Signature Theatre, Arlington, Va.

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Phyllis Newman

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Shirley Herz

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