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'Fun Home,' 'Curious Incident' Take Home Top Tony Honors


Broadway has been having a boom. The past year has brought record attendance and the best ticket sales ever. That provided a nice backdrop for the Tony Awards last night. Reporter Jeff Lunden brings us all the big winners.

JEFF LUNDEN, BYLINE: A chamber musical about a lesbian's coming out and a play about an autistic teenager were the big winners of the night. Best musical went to "Fun Home," based on cartoonist Alison Bechdel's memoir.


BETH MALONE: (As Alison) Caption - my dad and I grow both grew up in the same small Pennsylvania town.

MICHAEL CERVERIS: (As Bruce) Well...

MALONE: (As Alison) And I didn't know it, but both of us were gay.

CERVERIS: (As Bruce) Where's your barrette?

MALONE: (As Alison) And we were exactly alike.

CERVERIS: (As Bruce) Put it back in - keeps the hair out of your eyes.

SYDNEY LUCAS: (As Small Alison) So would a crew cut.

MALONE: (As Alison) And we were nothing alike.

LUNDEN: The show won five awards in all and made a bit of Broadway history when lyricist Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori won for Best Score - the first time an all-female songwriting team took home the award.


JEANINE TESORI: I didn't realize that a career in music was available to women until 1981. I saw the magnificent Linda Twine conduct "A Lady And Her Music: Lena Horne."


LUNDEN: The night's other big winner was in the Best Play category. "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time" won five awards as well. Simon Stephens adapted Mark Haddon's best-selling novel. It puts the audience into the mind of a bright but emotionally challenged teenager. Here, his teacher reads from the boy's journal.


FRANCESCA FARIDANY: (As Sibohan) To be a good astronaut, you have to be intelligent, and I'm intelligent. You also have to understand how machines work, and I'm good at understanding how machines work.

ALEX SHARP: (As Christopher) You also have to be someone who would like being on their own in a tiny spacecraft thousands and thousands of miles from the surface of the earth.

LUNDEN: That's Alex Sharp, who plays the boy. He made his professional debut in "The Curious Incident" and won the Tony award for Best Actor in a Play, beating out such well-known veterans as Bradley Cooper and Bill Nighy.


SHARP: At this time last year, I picked up my diploma, graduating from Juilliard. So to be holding this is insane.


SHARP: Thank you so, so much.

LUNDEN: David Hare's play "Skylight" and Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical "The King And I" won in the revival categories.


O'HARA: (As Anna Leonowens, singing) Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, getting to help you like me.

LUNDEN: Kelli O'Hara, who plays Anna in that revival, won the award for Best Actress in a Musical. It was her sixth nomination but her first win.

O'HARA: Thank you with all of my heart. I'm going to take a deep breath, and I - you'd think that I would've written something down by now, but I haven't.


LUNDEN: Other winners included Dame Helen Mirren, who collected her first Tony, playing Queen Elizabeth II in "The Audience." She also won an Oscar in 2006 playing the Queen.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Your majesty, you did it again.

DAME HELEN MIRREN: Thank you so much.

LUNDEN: And choreographer Christopher Wheeldon for his new ballets in dances in "An American In Paris."


LUNDEN: For NPR News, I'm Jeff Lunden in New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Jeff Lunden is a freelance arts reporter and producer whose stories have been heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, as well as on other public radio programs.