Kinks musical, Miller play are big winners at Oliviers

Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:35pm EDT
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By Michael Roddy

LONDON (Reuters) - "Sunny Afternoon," based on the music of the 1960s rock group the Kinks, blew away American competitors to win best new musical at the Olivier Awards on Sunday, while a revival of Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge" took best play revival.

Kevin Spacey won a Special Award, presented to him by Judi Dench, at the London theater's premiere awards evening in acknowledgement of his 10 years as artistic director of The Old Vic, ending later this year.

Spacey, now the face of television's "House of Cards," serenaded the star-studded audience at the Royal Opera House gala with a rendition of Simon & Garfunkel's "A Bridge Over Troubled Waters" - perhaps in recognition of his rocky start at The Old Vic that turned into an undisputed triumph.

"Yes it was a long period of time, but my life changed as a result of the people I had a chance to work with every single day at that theater," Spacey said.

A clearly ebullient Ray Davies, 70, the former lead singer of the Kinks, said it was a great day for a British musical to beat out the American challengers "Beautiful" and "Memphis."

"It shows how important musical theater has become in this country," Davies said, noting the show was the only British musical nominated, and topped the evening with four gongs.

Davies got an award for musical achievement while the show picked up awards for best supporting actor in a musical for George Maguire and best actor in a musical for John Dagliesh.

Best actress in a musical went to Katie Brayben who stars in "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical."   Continued...