Curtain call for those honoured with Tonys

By Arifa Akbar

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Douglas Hodge and Sir Alan Ayckbourn were among the winners at Sunday night's Tony Awards, which recognise the best theatre and musical performances on Broadway.

Michael Grandage, the Donmar Warehouse's artistic director, was also honoured for his production of Red, which became the biggest winner of the night, claiming six awards at the ceremony in New York.

The play - an anguished two-man drama about the painter Mark Rothko - took the accolade for Best New Play and won the most awards of any single production. It opened at the Donmar in December last year, before transferring to Broadway in March.

Receiving his first Tony for Best Direction of a Play, Grandage said: "The fact that the Broadway community have now honoured us in such a remarkable way with Tony recognition is a joy for us all."

The Eton-educated British actor Eddie Redmayne, who played the part of Rothko's disillusioned assistant, received the award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play, adding the prize to his Olivier Award for the same role.

But Alfred Molina, who played the abstract expressionist, was beaten to the Best Actor award by Denzel Washington, who won for his performance in the revival of August Wilson's drama Fences.

Zeta-Jones, 40, won her first Tony, picking up the award for Best Actress in a Musical for her lead performance in A Little Night Music, while Hodge, 50, won the equivalent actor award for his role in La Cage Aux Folles. Both musicals were produced by the small independently-run British theatre company, Menier Chocolate Factory, which picked up three prizes in all.

Accepting her award, Zeta-Jones thanked her actor husband Michael Douglas and said: "I really do feel like Cinderella."

The award for Best Direction for a Musical went to Terry Johnson for his revival of the farce La Cage Aux Folles. Hodge, who was recognised for his role as the drag queen Albin/Zaza, said his award was a "tremendous encouragement".

Sir Alan Ayckbourn, 71, who was recognised at the Tonys last year for The Norman Conquests, was given the lifetime achievement prize.

Scarlett Johansson won the award for Best Featured Performance as an Actress in a Play for her Broadway debut in Arthur Miller's A View From a Bridge.

The actress, who plays the object of her uncle's lust in the production, said: "Every since I was a little girl I wanted to be on Broadway and here I am."

Memphis, the rhythm'n'blues musical set in the American south in the 1950s, won four Tonys, including best musical.


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