Top Broadway Award for Geoffrey Rush
Actor Geoffrey Rush has won a Tony Award - Broadway's most coveted prize - for his heralded performance in Exit The King.
Rush won in the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play category.
The win is the latest honour for the 57-year-old Australian, who has won an Oscar, two Golden Globes and three Screen Actors Guild awards for his film work.
The win was predicted by Peter Pinne in the current edition of Stage Whispers Magazine.
The New York Times called him a ‘fire trailing comet’ and compared his 'knock out portrayal’ of King Berenger to the work of Laurence Olivier.
US Today said it was a ‘flamboyant, hilariously physical performance that becomes profoundly moving.’
Elsewhere, Billy Elliott The Musical and God of Carnage were the big winners.
It was a bitter-sweet night for composer Elton John – his musical Billy Elliott picked up nine Tony Awards including Best Musical.
But the Tony for best score went to Next to Normal — which seemed to stun "Normal" composer Tom Kitt and lyricist Brian Yorkey.
God of Carnage picked up three Tony Awards including Best Play. The play by Yazmina Reza concerns the clash between two liberal, middle-class couples whose children get into a fight. It is the second Tony for Yazmina Reza having won for Art in 1998.
Tony voters also voted for nostalgia. Liza Minnelli picked up Best Theatrical Event for Liza’s at the Palace. Angela Lansbury won Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for Blithe Spirit.
FULL WINNERS LIST.
PLAY: "God of Carnage."
BOOK OF A MUSICAL: Lee Hall, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE: "Next to Normal."
REVIVAL OF A PLAY: "The Norman Conquests."
SPECIAL THEATRICAL EVENT: "Liza's at The Palace."
PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY: Geoffrey Rush, "Exit the King."
PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Marcia Gay Harden, "God of Carnage."
PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY: Roger Robinson, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone."
PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Angela Lansbury, "Blithe Spirit."
PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Gregory Jbara, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Karen Olivo, "West Side Story."
SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY: Derek McLane, "33 Variations."
SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Ian MacNeil, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY: Anthony Ward, "Mary Stuart."
COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Tim Hatley, "Shrek The Musical."
LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY: Brian MacDevitt, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone."
LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Rick Fisher, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
SOUND DESIGN OF A PLAY: Gregory Clarke, "Equus."
SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Paul Arditti, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
DIRECTION OF A PLAY: Matthew Warchus, "God of Carnage."
DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL: Stephen Daldry, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
CHOREOGRAPHY: Peter Darling, "Billy Elliot, The Musical."
ORCHESTRATIONS: Martin Koch, "Billy Elliot, The Musical"; Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt, "Next to Normal."
SPECIAL TONY AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE THEATRE: Jerry Herman.
REGIONAL THEATRE TONY AWARD: Signature Theatre, Arlington, Va.
ISABELLE STEVENSON AWARD: Phyllis Newman.
TONY HONOR FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE THEATRE: Shirley Herz.
Rush and director Neil Armfield first adapted Eugene Ionesco's Exit The King for performances in Sydney and Melbourne in 2007. They then took the play to New York, where it opened in March at the historic Barrymore Theatre to rave reviews.