Billy Elliot dances to Tony glory

By DPA, Gaea News Network
Monday, June 8, 2009

NEW YORK - Billy Elliot, the unlikely British musical about a miner’s son with a passion for ballet, dominated the Tony Awards, scooping up 10 prizes, including the coveted prize for best musical.

The Tony for best play went Sunday night to the searing marital comedy “God of Carnage” by Yasmina Reza while the remake of the musical “Hair” won the prize for best revival of a musical. The prize for best revival of a play went to “The Norman Conquest”.

Billy Elliot is based on the Oscar-nominated film of the same name, which was released in 2000. Elton John wrote the music for the stage version, which was the top hit in a Broadway season that reaped record box office figures despite a recession.

The three teenage actors who shared the lead role also shared the prize for best actor in a musical.

“We want to say to all the kids out there who might want to dance, never give up,” said one of them, Kiril Kulish.

Stephen Daltry won the award for best director and said the prize belonged to everyone connected with the show, especially “the great gifts of Broadway, our three little Billys”.

Alice Ripley was named best actress in a musical for her role as a bipolar suburban housewife in “Next to Normal” while Marcia Gay Harden won the prize for best actress in a play for her role in “God of Carnage”.

Australian actor Geoffrey Rush received the prize for best actor for his portrait of a dying monarch in “Exit the King”. Liza Minnelli accepted the award for special theatrical event for her show Liza’s at the Palace.

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