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2011 Tony Awards - The Acceptance Speeches!

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Tonight is the night!  The 2011 Tony Awards are now underway at the Beacon Theatre and are being broadcast live on CBS. BroadwayWorld is your one-stop shop for all things Tonys tonight including blogs, photos, videos, winners stories and more!

Miss the speeches of your favorite winners?  Want to relive the moment?  Rounding out our coverage for the evening, check back all night for trasciptions of the winners speeches throughout the night, updating live!

Best Musical: The Book of Mormon

Trey Parker: "Thank you, this has been really, really cool. We did this because we all secretly wanted to have a big, happy Mormon family, and now we do. Everyone up here, and in the circle of doom over there. To Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad, you guys are amazing. I know that on behalf of this big, happy Mormon family, we really want to thank the audiences. You guys made this show what it is. Therefore you're going to have to atone for it one day. It's your responsibility. I think the night would be a big disappointment if we didn't thank our co-writer who passed away - Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion. You did it, Joseph, you got the Tony!"

Best Performance by a Leading Actor (Musical): Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can

"Oh, this award doesn't mean that I'm the best at anything, but it does mean that I might be the most grateful man in this room tonight. I am so honored to be representing Catch Me if You Can, a great new American musical. There are so many people, ladies and gentleman, I have to be honest with you, this was not an easy one, it was not easy for me. I could not have done the performance without the help of so many people. The first one being my incredible wife, Michelle, my three daughters, Clara, Margaret, Georgia, my manager, Ellen Flack, Peter, Joe, everyone at CAA, thank you so much. I want to thank this creative team for trusting me with the greatest role I've ever been offered in my life, starting with our leaders Jack O'Brien, Jerry Mitchell, our incredible composers, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, our book writers Terrance McNally, Brian Yorkey, John McDevor, our musical director. I want to thank Mark Tressa, my dresser, I want to thank Jack Scott, my dresser on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, I was cut off and I wasn't able to thank him then. That's how important these guys are. Thank you so much. I want to thank Frank Abagnale, for sharing your life story with us, I want to thank John Shea; this is for my father, I based this character on, and for my sister, I love you Teresa, we remember you every night. Thank you so much."

Best Performance by a Leading Actor (Play): Mark Rylance, Jerusalem

"Unlike flying, or astal projection, walking through walls is a totally earth-related craft, but a lot more interesting than pot making or driftwood lamps. I got started in a picnic in Wisconsin in the northern part of the state. A fellow walked through a brick wall right there in the park. I said, 'I want to try that.' Stone walls are best, then brick, then wood. Wooden walls with fiberglass insulation and steel doors aren't so good. It's not that they'll hurt you, if you're walking through walls of stone properly, both you and the wall remain intact. It's just not pleasant somehow. The worst things are wire fences, maybe it's the molecular structor of the alloys or the give in a fence, but I've lost my hat and torn my jacket in a lot of fences. The best of approach to a wall is two hands, flat against the wall. You'll feel the dry inner surface, then there's a moment of total darkness before you step through on the other side. Thanks very much."

Best Performance by a Leading Actress (Musical): Sutton Foster, Anything Goes

"Thank you so much. I honestly... I've just never been happier in my life. I've never been happier in my life. And I've never been happier at a job; it doesn't even feel like a job. I love going to work every day. The most incredible company of individuals and performers. I all ever wanted to be as a little girl was to be a performer and I get to do it every night, eight times a week, and it's unbelievable. I just want to thank all of my teachers, Ms. Cindy, and Ms. Diane, and Ms. Julianna, and Mr. Bodick, and oh gosh, especially Larry Moss who really helped me find this role. I want to thank Kathleen Marshall for thinking of me to play this part, and for being our fearless incredible leader for the Roundabout, for Sydney, for Todd, for just believing in me when I didn't believe that I could play this part. I want to thank my three leading men: Joel Grey, I love you so much, Colin Donell, and Adam Godly, it is a pleasure to fall in love with you every night.

I have three dates this evening: my love, Bobby Cannavale, who has changed my life, his incredible son, Jake, whom I'm honored to be in his life, and my dresser, Julien Havard, who has been my dresser for nine years, and we've done six shows together and he's leaving me next week, which is a great thing because he's pursuing his dream as an artist. He is an incredible artist, he's the world's greatest artist, and he's moving to Cape Cod and he's going to be amazing and I love you so much, so thank you!"

Best Performance by a Leading Actress (Play): Frances McDormand, Good People

"Thank you, thank you, the last time I was at the Beacon Theatre, Greg Allman played right there after his liver transplant. I'm so happy to be here. I want to list my company members in the Manhattan Theatre Company's production of David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People. They are Tate Donovan, Estelle Parsons, myself, Renee Elise Goldsberry, and our young one Patrick Carroll. On their behalf, I accept this for our entire company. We had the great fortune, along with our fearless and adored leader, Mr. Daniel Sullivan, and our design team to help David Lindsay-Abaire to realize his new play. And we all believe that it's a new American classic, with a classic American hero, Margie Walsh, the character that I play. I really sincerely thank you for this because I love my job. I love my job. And like many of us, I've travelled around the world, and I've played both Stella and Blanche all three of Chekov sisters. And now, Margie Walsh. I believe that young actors will one day grow up to play this role. And for that I thank you, Bairzo. And I thank my dear family, who has watched me come and go for thirty years with funny weights and dialects. And I also thank three other people: Ann who gave me life, and Noreen and Vernon who gave me a compass. Thank you very much, this means more to me than you may know."

Best Play: War Horse

Nick Stafford: "Thank you to everybody who makes War Horse, thank you to everybody who comes to see it. Between us, something very special is happening. Thank you very much for this."

Nicholas Hytner: "On behalf of Nick Starr, the National Theatre, and myself, I want to thank above all, everybody at Lincoln Center Theatre, who are wonderful collaborators. We want to thank our partner Bob Boyett, we have been in a relationship with him for eight years. I also want to thank the amazing creative team, Nick Stafford, the directors, Handspring. And I want to thank my colleagues back home in London."

Best Revival of a Play: The Normal Heart

Daryl Roth: "Thank you all for this incredible honor. This was a labor of love for us all. The freedom of love, the freedom to live, and the freedom to marry are still urgent issues, and we all share a deep belief that theatre can change us, can change the world, and that theatre really matters. This production's journey began with Joel Grey and now under the brilliant direction of George C. Wolfe, our fearless ensemble of actors lead by Joe Mantello, John Benjamin Hickey and Ellen Barkin, and our wonderful designers have masterfully brought Larry Kramer's play of compassion, truth, and righteous rage to life. My thanks to Wendy, Jeff, everyone at 101, my co-producers Paul Boskin, Carl, Greg, Jane, and Alex, and to Larry, thank you for inspiring us with the gift of THE NORMAL HEART. It is the ultimate love story."

Larry Kramer: "Dearest loving mother, Daryl Roth and generous Paul Boskind, thank you, and everyone, for this magnificent production. To gay people everywhere, whom I love so, The Normal Heart is our history. I could not have written it had not so many of us so needlessly died. Learn from it and carry on the fight. Let them know that we are a very special people, an exceptional people, and that our day will come."

Best Book of a Musical: The Book of Mormon (Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and Robert Lopez)

Matt Stone: "Wow, well, I want to congratulate all the nominees and everybody. And thank everybody for this. Specifically, I want to thank my wife Angela, and the rest of my family, and all the South Park fans out there, thank you. Trey and I, and Bobby also want to thank Anne Garafino, our producer, who was just amazing every step of the way. The Book of Mormon would not have happened without Anne. She's a great producer and a great friend. Scott Rudin, who probably every single person in this room knows, is relentless and passionate and thank you for caring, Scott. So, thanks everybody."

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Musical: John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

"Whoa, I have no spit. You know what, I don't give much argument by saying that I've had my fair share of success in this business, except for many a few who say I've had more than my fair share, and after the magnificent generosity of the Broadway League and American Theatre Wing, honoring me with this award, I might have a tendency to agree with those who think I've had more of my fair share. There are far too many people to have to thank in the time allowed, but a few should be mentioned: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, our stellar producers, who along with Bet Williams and Broadway Across America, and a posse of producers who brought this show to life: Rob Ashford, our director, for his talented vision, David Chase, our musical director, for his inspiration and patience. And a special thank you to Sarah O'Gleby, our dance caption, who I'm sure thought she lost a bet when she got stuck with me. Entire company and cast, as a very special thanks to Daniel Radcliffe, without whom, I know that I would be home sitting in my underwear, watching this on television. To my family: my wife Elizabeth, my children Lisa, Jonathan and Benjamin. Thank you so very much."

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical: Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon

"Tony, come on over. Live with me. This is - I didn't expect to be standing here tonight. I tried to write a speech but I felt silly. So I would just like to say that I would love to thank Trey and Matt and Bobby for writing the most incredible show, the funniest and most beautiful, heartfelt musical that's changing the face of American musical theatre. My love. I want to thank Anne and Scott for producing this show and working tirelessly hard to make this an incredible experience. Casey and Stephen Aremis for this late-night phone calls when I was scared and terrified I wasn't going to be able to do it and for introducing me to Liz Caplan, my incredible voice teacher who saved my life and my voice. And to my co-stars: Josh, and Andrew, and Rory, and Michael, and Lewis, everyone over at the Eugene O'Neill eight times a week. They're saying wrap it up, but I will not leave the stage. And I also want to thank our ensemble, they are all leading ladies and men and I'm proud to share the stage with them. Who did I forget, a million people! My friends. I just need to say, my mother is here tonight. A story about bumblebees. Physicists couldn't figure out how they flew, and they did it because nobody told them that they couldn't, and because of of sheer will and determination. And I come from a long line of bumblebees, and I'm so proud. And my brother, who's up there in the balcony. And I'm really grateful that no one ever told me that I couldn't do it, that I couldn't fly. And this award, this gorgeous award, is for my Poppy, who isn't here with me tonight but he sits on my shoulder every night. And for my little angel here on earth, Ozzie, you remind me that miracles do happen."

Best Direction of a Play: Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse

"Whoa, what an honor. What an amazing list of people to along side. We want first of all to thank the extraordinary craft and skill of our creative team, some of the others of whom are being honored this evening; it has been an amazing privilege to work with them and also to thank the people who took blind leaps of faith on this show, starting really with the National Theatre in London. When we went to Nick Hindren and said we wanted to make a show about a horse. We want it to be played by a puppet that can't speak and he sent it off to the National Theatre Studio, this kind of laboratory where you can fool around with terrible ideas, they are never going to work, and no one ever finds out about them, and after we did a bit of that, he finally said we could put the show on, so thank you Nick Hindren, Nick Star.

Also thank you to everybody who has contributed to bring the show over to New York. There's been hundreds of people there behind the scenes, very complex, complicated show, even though it looks quite simple. But we really wanted the thank the amazing cast of the New York WARHORSE, all American, created a fantastic atmosphere in the rehearsal room, which was about mainly play, and so we had a wonderful time to be able to play with them. Thank you. And also Marianne's husband, Nick, and Tom's wife, Kate."

Best Direction of a Musical: Trey Parker and Casey Nicholaw, The Book of Mormon

Casey Nicholaw: "Thank you Anne Garafino, Scott Rudin. I'd like to thank everyone I've ever met in my entire life, thank you so much. My parents, Kay and Andy Nicholaw, I'm so thrilled to be here and your support has been amazing. My partner, Josh, I love you so much. Thank you for being here tonight with me, I'm so happy. I have the best, best associates in the world. Jen Borner and John McGinnis, you two are fantastic. Glenn Kelly, amazing dance arranger. Karen Moore, Rachel, the whole team of stage managers, and the cast. The cast is amazing. And also the ensemble, you guys rock, thank you so much."

Trey Parker: "I want to thank my parents who are here tonight, my dad for his edge and my mom for her sweetness. I want to thank Boogie who was there with me every night during previews to keep me from passing out. And I want to thank South Park fans. If it weren't for you guys, we wouldn't be here. Thank you very much."

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play: John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart

"Thank you so much, this is such an amazing honor. Thank you American Theatre Wing Broadway League, to be included on the list with these other actors and be apart of this season in NY is such an incredible honor. Being a member of the ensemble of The Normal Heart has been the greatest privilege and proudest moment of my career. We love this play, we love doing this play, we love supporting the mighty might Joe Mantello, and this is for all of us. Thank you Joel Grey brining me on board and knowing that the time is now. Thank you George C. Wolfe for ever so gently taking us all by the throat and dropping us into the mouth of a cannon. Thank you Daryl Roth for making it all possible. Wendy Orshen, Jeff Wilson, Heidi and Ron and everyone at 101. Thank you to the aptly named Tim Sage and everyone at Paradigm. Thank you Laura Liney and Michael Angler and everyone at the Big Sea who all got me to the stage door on time every night. I so appreciate it. Thank you to Lorita Hickey, my mother, and my family in Plaino, Texas; you better not be watching the Mavericks game. Thank you to all my friends who are here and in here. Thank you to my wise, and my wonderful, and my exceedingly patient partner, Jeffery Richmond, but mainly, thank you to Larry Kramer, the great badass of the American Theatre, who's play, 30 years later, reminds us the war is not over. Those of us still standing, Larry, can never repay you. Thank you so much."

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play: Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart
"I'm sitting across from Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones, and Angela Lansbury, so that's enough for me. Thank you so much for this, thank you for the way you've embraced me and welcomed me into your community. I am so grateful and so humbled to be in your company. Performing in The Normal Heart is a very profound experience for me, it's the proudest moment in my career. It has transformed me, not just as an actor, but as a human being because it taught me something that I never believed in: that one person can make a difference, that one person can change the world. So thank you to the great, great Larry Kramer. Thank you, thank you, you Jewish boy, who always thinks you can make the world a better place. Thirty years ago this week the world was attacked by a virus and Larry Kramer went to war. He picked up his most powerful weapon, his pen, and he wrote a play, The Normal Heart. Twenty-six years ago with its first production he lit a fire, and that fire burns today at the Golden Theatre. Thank you to our towering visionary genius of a director George Wolfe. Thank you for teaching me to play with fire, and thank you for turning this production into a Molotov cocktail that we can ignite every night. Thank you for Joe Mantello, who like Atlas carries us across the stage night after night on his slim shoulders, just burning through the history of this play. Thank you to the bravest ensemble of actors I've ever had the honor to working with. Thank you to Daryl Roth, thank you to Wendy Orshan - and I'm going to say it, I've waited a long time - thank you to my friends Darren Lord and Kevin Urbain. Joe Machota, this is ours. Thank you to everyone at CAA. Larry, this is to you, and all the bullets in your belt!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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