NEW YORK – The feel-good musical Kinky Boots, with songs by pop star and Broadway newcomer Cyndi Lauper, won 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 won four awards, and three other shows – Pippin, 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.
Durang, whose other works include the play Beyond Therapy, was a Tony nominee for A History of the American Film and his Miss Witherspoon was a Pulitzer Prize nominee in 2006.
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 Tracy Letts his first acting Tony, 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.
Courtney B. Vance won for best featured actor in a play for portraying a newspaper editor opposite Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy. 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.
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.