Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Billy the Star Spangled Ballet; New York Salutes Sir Elton John's Musical as It Wins 10 Tony Awards

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Billy the Star Spangled Ballet; New York Salutes Sir Elton John's Musical as It Wins 10 Tony Awards

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Teodorczuk in New York

BILLY ELLIOT was the toast of New York last night as Sir Elton John's musical picked up 10 Tony Awards.

The show's success spearheaded a triumphant night for British theatrical talent on Broadway.

The Old Vic production of Alan Ayckbourn's comic trilogy The Norman Conquests won best revival of a play and Matthew Warchus landed best direction of a play for God Of Carnage.

But it was the ballet-loving boy from County Durham who dominated New York theatre's equivalent of the Oscars with a record haul for a British musical on Broadway.

Billy Elliot won best musical while David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish, the three child actors who play Billy, shared the award for best actor in a musical.

With 15 nominations, it was widely expected that Billy, the highest-grossing new musical of the season on Broadway, would fare well but the Tonys are renowned for springing upsets.

However, on this occasion the awards, held at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall, simply provided the platform for the latest chapter in the incredible Billy Elliot story. Last night's success means the musical has now won 73 awards, starting back in 2005 with the Evening Standard best musical gong.

Stephen Daldry, who directed the hit Working Title film on which the show was based, won best director of a musical. He described the accolade as "one of the great thrills of my life".

Lee Hall, who wrote both Billy Elliot's screen and stage incarnations, won best book of a musical. Hall said he conceived its story in Manhattan.

He said: "I was in New York dreaming about my childhood... I saw a little boy with a tutu down a back lane [in my mind] and I chased him." The show also won best choreography (Peter Darling), best performance by a featured actor in a musical (Gregory Jbara), best scenic design of a musical (Ian MacNeil), best sound design of a musical (Paul Arditti), best lighting design of a musical (Rick Fisher) and it tied for best orchestration (Martin Koch). …

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