Jun 09, 2015

    Mirren wins 1st Tony Award for royal role, 'eyes Grammy'


    HELEN Mirren won her first Tony on Sunday, for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience at the 69th Tony Awards.

    British import The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, about a teenage maths wizard with Asperger syndrome who goes on an incredible journey, won five awards, including best play, director and actor for its star, recent Juilliard School graduate Alex Sharp.

    Mirren described her win as "an incredible honour". With a Tony, Broadway's highest honour, an Emmy and an Oscar, she said she would love to win a Grammy, which is for recorded material. "I have to do an audio book," she joked.

    Mirren's co-star Richard McCabe picked up the best featured actor prize in a play.

    Sharp, in his Broadway debut, surpassed Hollywood star Bradley Cooper and veteran actor Bill Nighy for the best actor accolade.

    "Oh my God, oh my God. It's so crazy," said a surprised Sharp, who dedicated his award to young people who feel misunderstood or different.

    "I feel like I won this award for my character, Christopher, and for people like Christopher," he said backstage.

    After six nominations, Kelli O'Hara took home her first Tony for best actress in a musical as the governess in The King And I.

    "You would think that I would have written down something by now but I haven't," a jubilant O'Hara said, thanking her husband and parents. "I'm going to do the worm," she said as she began to dance.

    Past winners Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming co-hosted the ceremony, which was broadcast live on CBS television and featured songs from top musicals.

    The three-hour show capped a record-breaking season on Broadway in which audience numbers topped 13.1 million and ticket grosses rose to US$1.36 billion (S$1.85 billion).

    The Tony Awards are presented by theatre industry association The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, a not-for-profit organisation.