"The Book of Mormon" scoops Tony Awards

Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:36am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Irreverent musical "The Book of Mormon," an affectionate spoof about Mormons from the creators of the TV show, "South Park," scooped the major honors at the Tony Awards held on Sunday, winning nine awards.

The hit show about two young present-day Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda won some of the night's top awards including best musical, original score, best book, best direction and best actress in a featured role in a musical at the awards for Broadway's best musicals and plays.

"We did this because we all secretly wanted to have a big, happy Mormon family and now we do," said co-creator Trey Parker on stage, before jokingly thanking their "co-writer," the late Joseph Smith Jr., who founded the Latter Day Saint movement, saying, "You did it Joseph, you got the Tony!"

The British import to Broadway, "War Horse," adapted by Nick Stafford from the 1982 novel of the same name, which uses puppets to tell the story of World War I and a soldier's quest to find his horse and bring him home, won a total of five awards, including best play.

Actress Frances McDormand won best actress in a leading role in a play for her turn as a tough single mother in the play, "Good People," and in accepting her first Tony predicted her current role would become "an American classic," before adding emphatically, "I love my job."

Mark Rylance beat out Al Pacino to win the top acting award in a play for his turn in "Jerusalem," and rather than giving a traditional speech, recited an excerpt from an obscure Midwestern poet -- as he did when he won a Tony in 2008.

The awards were handed out at New York's Beacon Theater in a live televised event hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris.

Other major winners included best play revival winner, "The Normal Heart," a semi-autobiographical play that focuses on the AIDS crisis, which premiered in 1985. It won three awards, including for actors Ellen Barkin and John Benjamin Hickey.   Continued...

<p>Trey Parker accepts the award for best musical for "The Book of Mormon" during the American Theatre Wing's 65th annual Tony Awards ceremony in New York, June 12, 2011. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>