Mike Fleming

UPDATE: The Book Of Mormon, the audacious musical by South Park‘s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez dominated the 2011 Tony Awards tonight at Manhattan’s Beacon Theater. The musical won nine of the 14 awards for which it was nominated, and ended the Tonycast by winning Best Musical. The musical was the heavy favorite for that coveted prize, so much so that when the award was presented by Chris Rock, he said before introducing the nominees that it was so clear which show would win that it was like “taking a hooker to dinner; you know you’re going to get laid.” Sure enough, Trey Parker, flanked by lead producers Anne Garefino and Scott Rudin, accepted the award and thanked “our co-writer who passed away, Mr. Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon religion.”

Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, the 65th annual Tony Awards also brought multiple awards for the London import and Best Play winner War Horse, which won five awards; Best Revival of a Play winner The Normal Heart, which won three awards;  and Best Revival Of a Musical winner Anything Goes which won three awards.

Norbert Leo Butz just won Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Catch Me If You Can. Mark Rylance just won Best Actor In a Leading Role for a Play for Jerusalem.

Frances McDormand won Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for Good People; and Sutton Foster won Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Anything Goes.

Aside from Best Musical, The Book Of Mormon‘s Parker, Lopez and Stone shared Best Book of a Musical; Nikki M. James won Best Featured Actress in a Musical; Casey Nicholaw and Parker won Best Director of a Musical; Brian Ronan won Best Sound Design of a Musical; Parker, Lopez and Stone shared Best Original Score; Scott Pask won Best Scenic Design For a Musical; Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus won Best Orchestrations; Brian MacDevitt won for Best Lighting Design of a Musical.

Besides Best Play for War Horse, Rae Smith won Best Scenic Design of a Play; Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris won Best Director of a Play; Christopher Shutt won Best Sound Design of a Play; Paule Constable won Best Lighting Design of a Play.

Besides Best Revival of a Play, Larry Kramer’s searing AIDS crisis play The Normal Heart brought a Best Featured Actor in a Play award for John Benjamin Hickey, and Best Featured Actress in a Play prize for Ellen Barkin.

In his Broadway debut, John Larroquette won Best Featured Actor in a Musical for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner won Best Costume Design for a Musical for Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Desmond Heeley won Best Costume Design of a Play for The Importance of Being Earnest; and Kathleen Marshall won Best Choreography for Anything Goes.

Neil Patrick Harris, back as host, proved his versatility with a rousing song and dance routine. While Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was ineligible because of all its delays, technical problems that caused injuries to numerous cast members, the sacking of director Julie Taymor and an overhaul, the musical proved fertile ground for humor. “I sent Bono a congratulatory cable,” Harris said. “It snapped.”

Harris ended the evening with a long rap about the winners and nominees (video below). He did Broadway proud.