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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.
Others musicals hoping for awards include the acrobatic "Bring It On: The Musical," the hit-heavy "Motown the Musical" and "A Christmas Story, the Musical," adapted from the beloved holiday movie. Top musical revivals include an updated "Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella" and a cracking revival of "Pippin" with a circus feel.
Some of the telecast highlights included the stunning kids on Broadway — the orphans in "Annie," the actor Raymond Luke Jr. as a pre-teen Michael Jackson in "Motown the Musical," and the dancing tots in "A Christmas Story, the Musical" — especially the young tap dancer wizard Luke Spring — plus the four young women in "Matilda."
Harris got his face licked by the dog playing Sandy in "Annie," made fun of Tyson and Shia LaBeouf, who left a revival of "Orphans" before the show opened and then tweeted about it, and joined with "Smash" star Megan Hilty, "Go On" star Laura Benanti and former "The Book of Mormon" star Andrew Rannells to skewer theater stars who seek fame on TV with a twisted version of "What I Did For Love" from "A Chorus Line."
Kenneth Posner, surprisingly, did not take home the award for best lighting design of a musical. Of the four shows in the category, Posner had been nominated for three — "Kinky Boots, "Pippin" and "Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella." But he lost to his only competitor, Hugh Vanstone, who designed the lighting for "Matilda the Musical."
Presenters included Jesse Eisenberg, Jon Cryer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anna Kendrick, Zachary Quinto, Sally Field, Audra McDonald, Alan Cumming and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
The Tony winners were picked by 868 Tony voters, including members of The Broadway League, American Theatre Wing, Actors’ Equity, the Dramatists Guild, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society as well as critics from the New York Drama Critics Circle.
The awards telecast faced competition for attention on Sunday night from an episode of "Mad Men" on AMC and Game 2 of the NBA finals between San Antonio and Miami on ABC. Last year’s telecast was seen by 6 million viewers, down significantly from 2011’s 6.9 million.
The awards cap a somewhat grim financial season on Broadway in which the total box office take was flat and the number of ticket buyers slipped 6 percent. Both numbers were blamed in part on Superstorm Sandy, but high ticket prices and the lack of long term audience growth has many worried.
A total of 46 new shows opened during the season, which began last May and ended May 26: 15 musicals, 26 plays and five special events or concerts.
AP Entertainment Writer Frazier Moore and AP National Writer Jocelyn Noveck contributed to this report.
List of top 2013 Tony Awards winners
Best Play » “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”
Best Musical » “Kinky Boots.”
Best Book of a Musical » “Matilda the Musical.”
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater » “Kinky Boots.”
Best Revival of a Play » “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Best Revival of a Musical » “Pippin.”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play » Tracy Letts, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Best Performance by an Actress in Leading Role in a Play » Cicely Tyson, “The Trip to Bountiful.”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical » Billy Porter, “Kinky Boots.”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical » Patina Miller, “Pippin.”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play » Courtney B. Vance, “Lucky Guy.”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play » Judith Light, “The Assembled Parties.”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical » Gabriel Ebert, “Matilda the Musical.”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical » Andrea Martin, “Pippin.”
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