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'Billy Elliot' big winner in British-dominated Tony Awards

June 8, 2009 |  1:15 pm

Billy Elliot British Tony Award Winners Tonys News 1357924 "Billy Elliot" won 10 Tony Awards, leading a British invasion of these kudos that salute the best of Broadway. Productions with U.K. ties took 17 of the 27 competitive categories at the Tony Awards.

The English translation of Yasmina Reza's "God of Carnage," originally staged in London, won best play, actress (Marcia Gay Harden) and director (Matthew Warchus). The marathon production of "The Norman Conquests" by Sir Alan Ayckbourn was named best revival. Angela Lansbury won a record-tying fifth Tony Award for her featured performance in Sir Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit." And the costumes of "Mary Stuart" and the sound design of "Equus" were also rewarded with Tony Awards.

While "Billy Elliot" dominated the evening, 13 other shows won at least one Tony Award. Among the home-grown winners, "Hair" won best musical revival while "Next to Normal" won for lead actress (Alice Ripley) and score and tied with the orchestrations of "Billy Elliot."

Karen Olivo of "West Side Story" took the featured actress in a musical Tony and Roger Robinson won featured actor in a play for "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" which also took lighting design for a play. Liza Minnelli picked up her fourth Tony Award for the special event "Liza at the Palace." And the costumes for the tuner "Shrek" prevailed, as did the set design for the play "33 Variations."

And flying the Australian flag, Geoffrey Rushwon lead actor in a play for "Exit the King." That win put Rush in rarefied company as he became the 17th performer to take the acting triple crown of Oscar, Emmy and Tony. That he won each of these top honors on his first nomination makes this feat even more rare. 

Photos: Playbill

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