(UPDATED with new pics and links to video.)
The 2011 Tony Awards for excellence in Broadway theater were handed out tonight and two shows dominated the proceedings as expected, though not in record-setting fashion. War Horse ran away with 5 awards in the play categories and The Book of Mormon prayed its way to 9 prizes on the musical side of the aisle. A lack of acting wins (except one for Mormon‘s Nikki James) and some spoilers in the tech categories kept them from the rarified 12 wins by The Producers.
Get a full list of winners after the jump but first, here are my “I really should go to bed now but I’m hoping Neil Patrick Harris drops by” immediate reactions to the show:
Biggest Winner: Neil Patrick Harris, proving he’s a masterful host and a kick-butt music theater performer by singing and dancing his way through not 1 but 3.5 numbers (the whip smart “Not Just for Gays” opening, my fantasy come true host-off with Hugh Jackman, an all-star song from Company and the the rap/poetry slam over the credits for a half point). He should head out tomorrow and find some curtains to match the Emmy he’ll be winning next year.
Best Triple Threat: Anything Goes star Sutton Foster displaying Olympic endurance as she made performing the title song look easy (and then showing her comedy chops by getting wonderfully weepie and delightfully passive-aggressive over the imminent departure of her longtime dresser). Runner-Up: Brooke Shields trying to remember her lyrics in the opening number, tripping over her words in her award presentation and finally, as she justifiably threw up her hands in dismay, getting bleeped for swearing on live TV.
Biggest Bump to Ticket Sales: Daniel Radcliffe and the cast of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying laying down the gauntlet right out of the gate with a rousing and forceful “Brotherhood of Man”. With some of the blockbusters choosing more subdued musical selections, this underdog revival (and unnominated star) showed everyone how to get that box office ringing.
Best Sports: Bono and the Edge eating humble pie and smiling through 30 seconds of Spider Man jokes, then graciously saying that the people in every Broadway show create “a procession of miracles.” You got to love the Irish.