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Feel-good ‘Kinky Boots’ wins at feel-good Tonys

  • Cyndi Lauper poses with her award for best musical score for "Kinky Boots" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Cyndi Lauper poses with her award for best musical score for "Kinky Boots" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Billy Porter accepts his award for best actor in a musical at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Billy Porter accepts his award for best actor in a musical at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

  • Billy Porter accepts his award for best actor in a musical at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Billy Porter accepts his award for best actor in a musical at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

  • Billy Porter accepts his award for best actor in a musical at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Billy Porter accepts his award for best actor in a musical at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

  • Cicely Tyson, left, winner of the Tony Award for best actress in a play for "The Trip to Bountiful," is assisted by presenter Jake Gyllenhaal at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Cicely Tyson, left, winner of the Tony Award for best actress in a play for "The Trip to Bountiful," is assisted by presenter Jake Gyllenhaal at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

  • Cicely Tyson, left, winner of the Tony Award for best actress in a play for "The Trip to Bountiful," is assisted by presenter Jake Gyllenhaal at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Cicely Tyson, left, winner of the Tony Award for best actress in a play for "The Trip to Bountiful," is assisted by presenter Jake Gyllenhaal at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

  • Pam MacKinnon poses with her award for best direction of a play for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Pam MacKinnon poses with her award for best direction of a play for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Pam MacKinnon poses with her award for best direction of a play for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Pam MacKinnon poses with her award for best direction of a play for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Diane Paulus poses with her award for best direction in a musical for "Pippin" at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Diane Paulus poses with her award for best direction in a musical for "Pippin" at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Diane Paulus poses with her award for best direction in a musical for "Pippin" at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Diane Paulus poses with her award for best direction in a musical for "Pippin" at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Tony Award nominee Cyndi Lauper arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Tony Award nominee Cyndi Lauper arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Tony Award nominee Cyndi Lauper arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Tony Award nominee Cyndi Lauper arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Sunny the Dog licks Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Sunny the Dog licks Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

  • Sunny the Dog licks Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Sunny the Dog licks Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

  • Actress Judith Light accepts the award for Best Performance by an actress in a featured role in a play for her role in "The Assembled Parties," at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Actress Judith Light accepts the award for Best Performance by an actress in a featured role in a play for her role in "The Assembled Parties," at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

  • Actress Judith Light accepts the award for Best Performance by an actress in a featured role in a play for her role in "The Assembled Parties," at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Actress Judith Light accepts the award for Best Performance by an actress in a featured role in a play for her role in "The Assembled Parties," at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

  • Jane Lynch arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Jane Lynch arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Jane Lynch arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Jane Lynch arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • The cast of "Motown The Musical" performs at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    The cast of "Motown The Musical" performs at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

  • The cast of "Motown The Musical" performs at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    The cast of "Motown The Musical" performs at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

  • Gabriel Ebert poses with his award for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical, for " Matilda the Musical" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Gabriel Ebert poses with his award for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical, for " Matilda the Musical" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Gabriel Ebert poses with his award for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical, for " Matilda the Musical" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Gabriel Ebert poses with his award for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical, for " Matilda the Musical" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Patina Miller poses with her award for best actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Patina Miller poses with her award for best actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Patina Miller poses with her award for best actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Patina Miller poses with her award for best actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play nominee Tom Hanks, left, and actress Rita Wilson arrive on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play nominee Tom Hanks, left, and actress Rita Wilson arrive on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play nominee Tom Hanks, left, and actress Rita Wilson arrive on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play nominee Tom Hanks, left, and actress Rita Wilson arrive on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Andrea Martin poses with her award for best features actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Andrea Martin poses with her award for best features actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Andrea Martin poses with her award for best features actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Andrea Martin poses with her award for best features actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Cyndi Lauper poses with her award for best musical score for "Kinky Boots" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Cyndi Lauper poses with her award for best musical score for "Kinky Boots" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • Cyndi Lauper poses with her award for best musical score for "Kinky Boots" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    Cyndi Lauper poses with her award for best musical score for "Kinky Boots" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 file photo, U.S. Airways and American Airlines planes are shown at gates at DFW International Airport in Grapevine, Texas. The new American Airlines will have more top executives from smaller US Airways than from the current American. The companies named eight senior executives on Monday, June 10, 2013, including five from US Airways and three from American parent AMR Corp. AMR and US Airways Group Inc. hope to complete their proposed merger this summer. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 file photo, U.S. Airways and American Airlines planes are shown at gates at DFW International Airport in Grapevine, Texas. The new American Airlines will have more top executives from smaller US Airways than from the current American. The companies named eight senior executives on Monday, June 10, 2013, including five from US Airways and three from American parent AMR Corp. AMR and US Airways Group Inc. hope to complete their proposed merger this summer. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 file photo, U.S. Airways and American Airlines planes are shown at gates at DFW International Airport in Grapevine, Texas. The new American Airlines will have more top executives from smaller US Airways than from the current American. The companies named eight senior executives on Monday, June 10, 2013, including five from US Airways and three from American parent AMR Corp. AMR and US Airways Group Inc. hope to complete their proposed merger this summer. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 file photo, U.S. Airways and American Airlines planes are shown at gates at DFW International Airport in Grapevine, Texas. The new American Airlines will have more top executives from smaller US Airways than from the current American. The companies named eight senior executives on Monday, June 10, 2013, including five from US Airways and three from American parent AMR Corp. AMR and US Airways Group Inc. hope to complete their proposed merger this summer. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

  • Cyndi Lauper poses with her award for best musical score for "Kinky Boots" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Billy Porter accepts his award for best actor in a musical at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
  • Billy Porter accepts his award for best actor in a musical at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
  • Billy Porter accepts his award for best actor in a musical at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
  • Cicely Tyson, left, winner of the Tony Award for best actress in a play for "The Trip to Bountiful," is assisted by presenter Jake Gyllenhaal at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
  • Cicely Tyson, left, winner of the Tony Award for best actress in a play for "The Trip to Bountiful," is assisted by presenter Jake Gyllenhaal at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
  • Pam MacKinnon poses with her award for best direction of a play for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Pam MacKinnon poses with her award for best direction of a play for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Diane Paulus poses with her award for best direction in a musical for "Pippin" at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Diane Paulus poses with her award for best direction in a musical for "Pippin" at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Tony Award nominee Cyndi Lauper arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Tony Award nominee Cyndi Lauper arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Sunny the Dog licks Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
  • Sunny the Dog licks Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
  • Actress Judith Light accepts the award for Best Performance by an actress in a featured role in a play for her role in "The Assembled Parties," at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
  • Actress Judith Light accepts the award for Best Performance by an actress in a featured role in a play for her role in "The Assembled Parties," at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
  • Jane Lynch arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Jane Lynch arrives on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • The cast of "Motown The Musical" performs at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
  • The cast of "Motown The Musical" performs at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
  • Gabriel Ebert poses with his award for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical, for " Matilda the Musical" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Gabriel Ebert poses with his award for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical, for " Matilda the Musical" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Patina Miller poses with her award for best actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Patina Miller poses with her award for best actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play nominee Tom Hanks, left, and actress Rita Wilson arrive on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play nominee Tom Hanks, left, and actress Rita Wilson arrive on the red carpet at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Andrea Martin poses with her award for best features actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Andrea Martin poses with her award for best features actress in a musical for "Pippin" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Cyndi Lauper poses with her award for best musical score for "Kinky Boots" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • Cyndi Lauper poses with her award for best musical score for "Kinky Boots" in the press room at the 67th Annual Tony Awards, on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in New York.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 file photo, U.S. Airways and American Airlines planes are shown at gates at DFW International Airport in Grapevine, Texas. The new American Airlines will have more top executives from smaller US Airways than from the current American. The companies named eight senior executives on Monday, June 10, 2013, including five from US Airways and three from American parent AMR Corp. AMR and US Airways Group Inc. hope to complete their proposed merger this summer. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
  • FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 file photo, U.S. Airways and American Airlines planes are shown at gates at DFW International Airport in Grapevine, Texas. The new American Airlines will have more top executives from smaller US Airways than from the current American. The companies named eight senior executives on Monday, June 10, 2013, including five from US Airways and three from American parent AMR Corp. AMR and US Airways Group Inc. hope to complete their proposed merger this summer. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

On a feel-good night for Broadway, it was only natural that the Tony award go to its most feel-good musical, the joyous Kinky Boots. But most everything about Sunday’s Tony telecast was warmhearted, from inspiring speeches about the theatrical community to the inspired antics of Neil Patrick Harris, who should officially be awarded the host job on a permanent basis.

It was an especially happy night for female theater artists: In a rare feat, women took home both directing prizes, for a musical (Diane Paulus for the high-energy Pippin revival) and for a play (Pam MacKinnon for the searing revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?).

And Cyndi Lauper won best original score for Kinky Boots, a result that had many in the audience whooping with delight. “Girl, you’re gonna have fun tonight!” shouted presenter Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the Modern Family actor – a reference, of course, to Lauper’s iconic “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

In winning best musical, Kinky scored something of an upset over the terrific but decidedly darker Matilda the Musical. And underscoring the sunny nature of this year’s ceremony, a comedy – Christopher Durang’s dysfunctional-family satire Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike – won for best play over the more typical dramatic fare.

It wasn’t a great night for movie stars. In a season where a number of Hollywood personalities were snubbed for Tony nominations – Scarlett Johansson, Bette Midler and Jessica Chastain among them – best-actor nominee Tom Hanks (Lucky Guy) lost out to Tracy Letts, previously a Tony-winning playwright, for his wrenching performance in Virginia Woolf.

As it was for women, it was a big night for African-American actors, with wins for best actor and actress in a musical, best actress in a play and featured actor in a play.

The ebullient Billy Porter won best actor in a musical for playing a drag queen with a heart of gold in Kinky Boots. He graciously saluted his co-star and co-nominee, Stark Sands. “You are my rock, my sword, my shield,” he said, adding: “I share this award with you. I’m gonna keep it at my house – but I share it with you.”

And the effervescent Patina Miller won best actress in a musical for Pippin, in a role – the Leading Player – that also won Ben Vereen a Tony in 1973. Like Vereen, Miller sings and dances expertly in the role, but unlike Vereen, she also soars on a trapeze and sings while hula-hooping.

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