“The Book of Mormon” won nine of its 14 bids at Sunday’s Tony Awards. As our panel of experts expected this smash hit tuner from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Tony champ Robert Lopez (“Avenue Q”) won Best Musical, Director (Casey Nicholaw and Parker), Score, Book, Orchestrations, Lighting Design, Scenic Design and Sound Design. It was a surprise that Nikki M. James (photo, left) won Featured Musical Actress over Laura Benanti (“Women on the Verge”).
While “The Book of Mormon” fell shy of the record dozen Tonys taken home by “The Producers” in 2001, Parker tied the achievement of Joshua Logan (“South Pacific”) with four wins in one night as a producer, director, librettist and lyricist.
As our pundits predicted Norbert Leo Butz (“Catch Me If You Can”) and Sutton Foster (“Anything Goes”) each won a second Tony award for a leading musical performance. Butz had prevailed in 2005 for “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” while Foster won in 2002 for “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” “Anything Goes” also won Best Musical Revival and a third choreography kudo for Kathleen Marshall, who had previously prevailed in 2004 (“Wonderful Town”) and 2006 (“The Pajama Game”).
The featured musical actor award went to five-time Emmy champ John Larroquette who made his Broadway debut in the tuner “How to Succeed.” And the team of Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner won a Tony for expanding on their Oscar-winning costumes for “Priscilla Queen of the Desert.”
“The Scottsboro Boys” set a new record, losing all 12 of its bids, including Best Musical. Two other Kander & Ebb tuners were previously tied for that dubious achievement with 11 losses and 0 wins — “Chicago” (1976) and “Steel Pier” (1997). Also shut out was Best Musical nominee “Sister Act” which lost all five of its races.