New York - The musical Once, which tells a love story between a musician and an immigrant singer and pianist, was the big winner at this year's Tony awards ceremony late on Sunday, scooping a total of eight prizes.
Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris won the Tony for best play and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman won the awards for best revival play and best director of a play for Mike Nichols.
Tony awards are given for excellence in theatre and are considered to be the Broadway equivalent of the Oscars, which are given for best performances in the movie industry.
Once, which went into the contest with a total of eleven nominations, gained some of the most important awards: best musical, best director of a musical for John Tiffany, and best actor for Steve Kazee.
In addition, it gained the prizes for best screenplay, sound, instrumentation, lighting and scenery.
Based on the Irish musical film of the same name, which in 2007 won the Oscar for best original song for Falling Slowly (by the movie's stars Glen Hansard Markéta Irglová), Once tells the story of a musician and an immigrant singer and pianist, who meet and fall in love in the streets of Dublin.
The controversial musical The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, which features a shorter version of the legendary opera by George Gershwin, won the awards for best musical revival and best actress. The leading role of Bess in this production was played by Audra McDonald.
Other winners included Peter and the Starcatcher, which obtained a total of five awards. The play, which recounts the early adventures of Peter Pan, is based on a children's novel by the same name published in 2006 by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.
It won the Tonys for best supporting actor for Christian Borle, best costumes, best sound, best scenery and best lighting.
The Tony award ceremony was held for the second consecutive year at the Beacon Theatre in New York, which can accommodate 3 000 people.
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