NEW YORK — The feel-good musical "Kinky Boots," with songs by pop star and Broadway newcomer Cyndi Lauper, strutted away with a leading six 2013 Tony Awards on Sunday, including best musical, best original score and best leading man.
Christopher Durang's comical "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" won the best play Tony. "Matilda the Musical" and "Pippin" won four awards each and two other shows — "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "The Nance" — shared three awards each. Tom Hanks left empty-handed, a Broadway newcomer not fated to be a "Lucky Guy."
Neil Patrick Harris was back for his fourth turn as host and was once again crucial to keeping the show funny and smart. He opened with a razzle-dazzle bang amid dozens of dancers and singers — even getting boxer Mike Tyson to hoof — and closed it three hours later by rapping with Audra McDonald to a reworked "Empire State of Mind."
The big, opening number started with Harris simply holding a guitar in a pub like "Once" but quickly morphed into a flashy number that showcased performers from almost a dozen musicals. Harris sang "It's bigger! Tonight it's bigger," jumped through a hoop, vanished from a box and promised a "truly legendary show" before glitter guns went off.
Lauper, who popularized the hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," was part of an impressive group of women who took top honors. Diane Paulus and Pam MacKinnon both won for directing — a rare time women have won directing Tonys for both a musical and a play in the same year. (It happened most recently at the 1998 Tonys.)
It was also a night that celebrated diversity: Of the eight trophies for acting, four went to African-Americans.
"Kinky Boots" — based on a 2005 film about a failing shoe factory that turns to making drag queen boots — also won for choreography and two technical awards, and Billy Porter won for leading man in a musical.