At last night’s Tony Awards presentation (See News, 10 May 2005), marking the culmination of the 2004/05 Broadway theatre year, Monty Python’s Spamalot took the top honour of Best Musical (one of three awards, including a Best Director of a Musical nod for Mike Nichols), but every British nominee, for both that and other shows of the season, went home empty-handed.

Amongst the big losers were British-originated productions like Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman (which lost the Best Play gong to John Patrick Stanley’s Doubt, and went home only with two technical awards for its American contributors, Scott Pask’s best scenic design of a play and Brian MacDevitt’s best lighting of a play), Michael Frayn’s Democracy and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Amongst the big winners, however, The Light in the Piazza eclipsed Monty Python’s Spamalot tally with six wins in all, including awards to its composer Adam Guettel (for Best Original Score) and star Victoria Clark (for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical). The other leading new musical of the season, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, saw one of its pair of leading actors, Norbert Leo Butz, take the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee took awards for Best Book for Rachel Sheinkin, and for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for Dan Fogler. The revival of La Cage Aux Folles took the nod for Best Revival of a Musical, and Jerry Mitchell was named for Best Choreography for his work on the show.

On the plays front, Doubt scooped four awards. In addition to Best Play, Cherry Jones took the Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play award, Doug Hughes was named Best Director of a Play, and Adriane Lenox won the award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play. The revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? saw its leading man, Bill Irwin, nab the top acting award for Leading Actor in a Play, but the production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross was named Best Revival of a Play and its Liev Schreiber won the award for Best Featured Actor in a play.

Billy Crystal’s one-man autobiographical show 700 Sundays took the Tony for Best Special Theatrical Event.

- by Mark Shenton