Tony Awards 2013 winners include 'Kinky Boots,' Cyndi Lauper

Tony winners Judith Light and Billy Porter discuss their expectations for the ceremony, while Jane Lynch, Kathleen Turner and Matthew Morrison sing show host Neil Patrick Harris' praises. (June 10)

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"Kinky Boots," a feel-good tale of drag queens who save a shoe factory, walked out with the best musical win at Sunday night's 67th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall. The musical, based on a British cult film, was nominated for 13 awards and also won best actor (Billy Porter), along with best score (Cyndi Lauper), choreography, orchestration and sound design.

Christopher Durang's "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," a farce inspired by Chekhov plays, but set in Bucks County, Pa., won best play. "Edward Albee's 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" was best revival of a play. "Pippin" nabbed best musical revival, along with a best actress award for Patina Miller.

Tracy Letts was named best actor in a play for "Virginia Woolf" while Cicely Tyson of "The Trip to Bountiful" was best actress. First winners of the night were for best featured actor and actress in a play -- Courtney B. Vance who plays a tabloid newspaper editor in Nora Ephron's "Lucky Guy," and Judith Light, as a stressed Roslyn housewife in "The Assembled Parties."

Cyndi Lauper was already in tears as she made her way down the aisle to receive her Tony for best score for "Kinky Boots." "I can't say I wasn't practicin' in front of the shower curtain," she said of her acceptance speech. She thanked "Kinky's" book writer, Harvey Fierstein, for thinking to call her for this project. "I'm so glad I was done with the dishes and answered the phone."

Women directors got their chance in the spotlight. Pam MacKinnon won best director of a play for last year's searing revival of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," and Diane Paulus for her inventive musical revival of "Pippin."

"Stephen Schwartz, you are a treasure to the American musical theater," Paulus said of Pippin's composer-lyricist (and Roslyn Heights native).

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"Matilda: The Musical," the tale of a plucky British girl with kooky parents and a hulking schoolmistress, had 12 nominations and took best featured actor (Gabriel Ebert) along with awards for book, scenic design and lighting.

"Pippin" picked up another Tony when Andrea Martin won for best featured actress in a musical.

In perhaps the most adrenaline-charged opening number in Tony history, Neil Patrick Harris started off playing guitar with the cast from "Once" (last year's best musical), then accelerated into a rapid-fire mix of singing and dancing with a cavalcade of cast members from the nominated musicals, adding a poke at the film "Les Miserables" ("On Broadway, we don't need extreme close-ups to prove we're singing live," Harris said.)

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"Smash" fans, too, got Megan Hilty singing with Harris, "Book of Mormon's" Andrew Rannells and Broadway vet Laura Benanti in a number dedicated to theater actors longing for a successful TV series.

Some memorable moments:

Hizzoner honored: Mayor Michael Bloomberg received a special Tony honor, a "thanks, Mike" from Tony organizers for his boosting of Big Apple tourism in recent years. "It's not bad for someone who can't sing, can't dance and can't act," said Bloomberg. "I'm a triple threat."

Running away with the circus: In her acceptance speech, Martin gave a shout-out to her acrobat co-stars. "Do you know how wonderful it is for a woman my age to be held by a man . . . and never dropped?"

Tweet this! While Harris tweeted onstage, David Hyde Pierce walked onstage, threw the phone on the ground and stomped on it. He then exited without a word. Remember folks -- turn off your phones in the theater.

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