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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS

at Radio City Music Hall

By David Lefkowitz
Published June 17 2008

  Deanna Dunagan and Mark Rylance

South Pacific proved the biggest winner at the 62nd annual Tony Awards, held June 15 at Radio City Music Hall. The acclaimed revival garnered seven wins, including outstanding revival of a musical and a best actor in a musical nod for newcomer Paulo Szot. However, in one of the evening's tightest categories, Gypsy's Patti LuPone beat out Pacific's Kelli O'Hara for best actress honors, joined by co-stars Boyd Gaines and Laura Benanti, who picked up featured-performer prizes as well.

In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda's fresh, Barrio-bouncy musical, won for best musical, score and orchestrations, with choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler also winning (in what was assumedly a close match with Cry-Baby's Rob Ashford). Affirming the Tony's power to sell tickets, by the end of today, Heights was reportedly on course to gross $1 million in new ticket sales.

No shocks as far as best play goes - Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winner August: Osage County took top honors, as it did at the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards. The biggest winner among the plays, August took home four other Tony's, for Deanna Dunagan (actress), Rondi Reed (featured actress), Anna D. Shapiro (director) and Todd Rosenthal (set).

In a slight upset, Boeing-Boeing got the play revival nod, besting the critically acclaimed but audience-loathed (and Tony-less) The Homecoming. Boeing's Keatonesque second lead, Mark Rylance, won best actor, as he did at the Drama Desk.


Though the highly hyped Young Frankenstein got skunked altogether, that wasn't much of a surprise, since the show received only three nominations to begin with and was roundly shrugged at by critics season long. Likely to be more disappointed by the Tony results were the producers and creators of Passing Strange, which many had felt could nab the best-musical Tony. Instead, the rock show won just one award - for best book - which is unlikely to help its struggling box-office grosses. Goose eggs also greeted the musicals Xanadu, Sunday in the Park with George and A Catered Affair.

Consensus has it that the award ceremony itself, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, was noticeably better than in recent years - but that didn't help the TV ratings. According to Variety, the CBS telecast earned virtually the same numbers as the record-low year before: 6.2 million viewers over the course of the three-hour show. Though viewership actually built as the evening went on, overall the Tony's remained in third place with a 4.5 rating and 8 share.

Below are the categories of the 2008 Tony Awards, with winners in bold:

Best Play
August: Osage County (Tracy Letts)

Rock 'n' Roll (Tom Stoppard)

The Seafarer (Conor McPherson)

The 39 Steps (Patrick Barlow)

Best Musical

In The Heights


Passing Strange


Best Book of a Musical

Passing Strange (Stew)

Cry-Baby (Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan)

In The Heights (Quiara Alegr&ampiacutea Hudes)

Xanadu (Douglas Carter Beane)

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater

In The Heights (Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manu


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