Zeta-Jones takes Tony home for ‘A Little Night Music’

CATHERINE Zeta-Jones and Douglas Hodge were winners at the Tony Awards in New York, picking up gongs for best actress and best actor in a musical.

There was a special tribute to playwright Alan Ayckbourn, who received a lifetime achievement award, at Radio City Music Hall

Zeta-Jones and fellow Hollywood stars Denzel Washington and Scarlett Johansson were first-time nominees and winners at the American Theatre Wing’s event.

Zeta-Jones won for her role as the amorous actress in the revival of A Little Night Music and thanked many, including her husband, fellow actor Michael Douglas, who, she said, she “gets to sleep with every night”.

Hodge was named best lead actor for his role in La Cage Aux Folles, which won the best revival of a musical award and director and best direction of a musical gong for Terry Johnson.

Red, the anguished two- man drama about painter Mark Rothko, played by British actor Alfred Molina, and the timeless tug of war between art and commerce, was a big winner, receiving the best play prize and five other honours.

“This to me is the moment of my lifetime,” said Red playwright John Logan.

The play picked up Tonys for Michael Grandage, who won for best director of a play, and Eddie Redmayne, for featured performance by an actor in a play.

Redmayne portrayed the young, increasingly disillusioned assistant to Rothko, the abstract expressionist who agonises over whether to accept a lucrative commission for the Four Seasons restaurant.

“This is the stuff dreams are made of. Wow,” Redmayne said, clutching his prize.

Red was also awarded a Tony for best lighting design, best sound design and best scenic design.

Memphis, the rhythm ‘n’ blues musical set in the American South in the 1950s, won four Tonys, including best musical.

Fences, a revival of August Wilson’s deeply personal drama about family, won for best revival ofa play and its two stars, Washington and Viola Davis, won for best actors in a play.

Fela! – the innovative Afro-beat biography of Nigerian superstar Fela Anikulapo-Kuti – and La Cage Aux Folles – a revival of the classic Jerry Herman-Harvey Fierstein musical farce each had 11 nominations, but won just three Tonys apiece.

Scarlett Johansson won for best featured performance as an actress in a play for her Broadway debut, the object of her uncle’s lust in Arthur Miller’s A View From A Bridge.

“Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be on Broadway and here I am,” said Johansson, best known for such films as Matchpoint and Lost In Translation.

Five-time Tony winner Angela Lansbury, a nominee Sunday for A Little Night Music, was named the first-ever honorary chairman of the American Theatre Wing.

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