"The Book of Mormon" is Best Musical at the Tony Awards

From left, Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez accept the award for Best Book of a Musical for "The Book of Mormon" during the 65th annual Tony Awards, Sunday, June 12, 2011, in New York. AP Photo/Jeff Christensen

Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez accept the award for Best Book of a Musical for "The Book of Mormon"
AP

(CBS/AP) 11:03 p.m. A rap finale, NPH? Really? "This ain't reality TV. This is eight shows a week," says host Neil Patrick Harris. And...scene.

10:59 p.m. If you told me I would have missed the best basketball game ever to hang out with Nathan Lane, I would have said you were crazy," says Chris Rock, who stars in "The Motherf**ker with the Hat."

"We know what the best musical is," says Chris Rock, implying that there's no reason to read all the nominees. "It's like taking a hooker to dinner."

The winner of the Best Musical is "The Book of Mormon."

"Thank you. This is all really, really cool," says co-creator Trey Parker upon accepting the award. "We all wanted to have a big, happy Mormon family, and now we do." He thanks his "co-writer who passed away, Mr. Joseph Smith," adding, "You did it, Joseph, you got the Tony."

Pictures: Tony Awards 2011
Special section: 2011 Tony Awards

10:50 p.m. Catherine Zeta-Jones presents the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play. It goes to Mark Rylance in "Jerusalem." This guy has a great mustache. He talks about walking through walls. Why is he talking about walking through walls? Who cares? It's one of the best speeches of the evening.

The Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical is Norbert Leo Butz for "Catch Me If You Can." He won in 2005 for "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."

"This award doesn't mean I'm the best at anything," says Butz, "but it does mean I may be the most grateful man in the room." He calls the role of Carl Hanratty the best he's ever had in his life.

10:41 p.m. Paul Shaffer is on stage. For a pianist, this guy always seems to do a lot of talking. But he's here to introduce "It's Raining Men," which - you may have forgotten - he co-wrote! And one half of "The Weather Girls" is here to perform it with the cast of "Priscilla Queen of the Desert." IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO DISLIKE THIS SONG!

10:37 p.m. Radcliffe returns to present Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. It's Sutton Foster in "Anything Goes." Based on how it's gone for that show thus far this evening, we're not surprised. Foster won in 2002 for "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

"I've never been happier in my life and I've never been happier in my job. It doesn't even feel like a job," she says. After thanking Bobby Canavale and his son for being in her life, Foster loses it when she thanks her dresser, who's moving to Cape Cod to pursue...something else.

10:35 p.m. Harry Potter alert! Daniel Radcliffe presents the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. The winner is Frances McDormand for "Good People." And may we just say: What is she wearing? "This means more to me than you may know," she says as she concludes her acceptance speech.

10:26 p.m. "Well my old friends, it's time to say goodbye." Tyne Daly introduces a segment in tribute to members of the Broadway community who died in the past year. Among those honored include James Gammon, Michael Gough, Betty Garrett, Tom Bosley, Pam Gems, Arthur Penn, Elizabeth Taylor, Romulus Linney, Sada Thompson and Lanford Wilson.

10:24 p.m. Kelsey Grammar presents the award for Best Revival of a Musical. The nominee list is short: "Anything Goes" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." "Anything Goes" wins. Producer Todd Haimes accepts the award with a gang of beaming cohorts behind him.

10:20 p.m. Christie Brinkley, who's starring in "Chicago," introduces the cast of "Company" (which includes host Neil Patrick Harris!) for a performance.

10:16 p.m. Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones are on stage to present "wonderful moments from play's that have been the last few months in the theater," as Redgrave puts it. As for Jones: That deep, sonorous voice of his brings gravitas to anything.

10:06 p.m. Joel Grey is up to talk about Best Revival of a Musical nominee "Anything Goes." He calls Sutton Foster "the great Tony nominee" as he introduces a performance from the musical (in which he co-stars).

10:03 p.m. Samuel L. Jackson gives the award for Best Play to "War Horse."

10:02 p.m. Rae Smith wins Best Scenic Design of a Play for "War Horse."

9:49 p.m. Patrick Wilson presents the award for Best Revival of a Play. (He describes Shakespeare as "Shakespearian" with a smirk.) The Tony goes to "The Normal Heart." Producer Darryl Roth accepts the award, calling "The Normal Heart" "the ultimate love story."

Its writer, Larry Kramer, says, "Know that we are a very special people, an exceptional people, and our day will come."

9:46 p.m. Why, it's Marg Helgenberger! She introduces Bobby Canavale, who fills viewers in on the "The Motherf**ker in the Hat," which he stars in. Then there's a description of "Warhorse," followed by Neil Patrick harris riding in on

9:39 p.m. Whoopi Goldberg introduces the company of "Sister Act" for a performance. Goldberg starred in "Sister Act," the 1992 musical. Before she goes, she reminds the audience that "The Color Purple" has been on Broadway and "Ghost" is coming soon.

9:35 p.m. "The Book of Mormon" wins Best Book of a Musical. Matt Stone, Trey Parker and Robert Lopez, co-writers if the book, accept together.

9:35 p.m. Robin Williams, starring in "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo," is on stage. Check the scenery for teeth marks. He's announcing winner of Best Book for a Musical.

9:32 p.m. Desmond Heeley wins Best Costume Design of a Play for "The Importance of Being Earnest" during the break.

9:26 p.m. Peter Parker and Mary Jane need some vocal coaching. What happened there?

9:22 p.m. Finally we see why Bono and The Edge are here: To introduce a performance from "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark."

9:20 p.m. Bono and The Edge take the stage. "When I saw the Tony Awards on our schedule, I'd assumed we'd been nominated," says Bono.

The Edge jokes that "Spider-Man" was ready in February but they wanted to keep the excitement level up with the help of the "New York Post."

9:17 p.m. They just bleeped Brooke Shields - a lot. Something about not being able to read a TelePrompTer. She presents Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical to John Larroquette for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Is Rory O'Malley angry?

9:13 p.m. Hugh Jackman joins Harris on stage and the two hosts exchange barbs about who's a better host. Finally, they get into a riff on "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better" with Jackman saying he'd be better than harris on "How I Met Your Mother."

AND NOW IT'S A DANCE OFF.

They seem to become friends when Jackman offers to score Harris a better gift bag than the one he's already received.

After their song they introduce Brooke Shields.

9:02 p.m. Andrew Rannells sings "I Believe" from "The Book of Mormon." The number is introduced by a stiff Stephen Colbert. Is "Play it stiffly" the direction for the presenters?

8:58 p.m. Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical goes to Nikki M. James for "The Book of Mormon." It's James' first Tony Award, presented by a really stiff Harry Connick Jr.

"I didn't expect to be standing here tonight," she said. "I was going to write a speech but I felt silly." She said later, "They're tell me to wrap it up but I won't leave the stage." BROADWAY!

8:43 p.m. Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker win for Best Direction of a Musical for "The Book of Mormon." Nicholaw thanked "everyone I've ever met in my whole life."

"Warhorse" directors Marianne Elliot and Tom Morris win Best Director of a Play. It's the first Tony nomination and win for them.

8:40 p.m. Neil Patrick Harris, with a 30-second time limit, railed off jokes about "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" (he limited himself because the jokes were "too easy," he said).

Here are some highlights: "Pretty soon they'll be changing the name to "Spider man turn off the lawsuits.

"The only thing not falling over at "Spider-Man" are the ticket prices."

And for an encore, he said, "One more: I sent Bono a congratulatory cable but it snapped."

Bono and The Edge, there in the audience, took the jokes with a laugh.

During the commercial break, Kathleen Marshall wins the Tony for Best Choreography.

8:35 p.m. Frank Abagnale Jr. is in the audience at the Tonys to witness a musical number from the stage version of "Catch Me If You Can."

8:28 p.m. Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play goes to John Benjamin Hickey. A joke: His family in Texas better not be watching the Mavericks' game.

8:10 p.m. The Tony award, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role, went to Ellen Barkin for her performance in "The Normal Heart." The win came moments after host Neil Patrick Harris opened the show with a musical number letting straight people know that Broadway wasn't just for gays anymore.

With some singing help from a bleeped-out Bobby Canavale, Stephen Colbert and Brooke Shields (who needed a cue card and restarted her part twice - live TV!), Harris let the world know that now was the time for straight people to enjoy Broadway.

Barkin's award kicked off a performance of the song "Brotherhood of Man" from the musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," featuring Daniel Radcliffe and John Laroquette.

"The Book of Mormon" won two awards before the telecast even began -- best orchestration and best original score. Kathleen Marshall won for best choreography for "Anything Goes."

"The Book of Mormon" goes into the Tonys with 14 nominations, one shy of the record held by "The Producers," and is heavily favored to win at the very least the best musical crown.

The show, by the creators of "South Park" and "Avenue Q," has already been declared the season's best musical by the Outer Critics Circle, the Drama League and the New York Drama Critics' Circle. It has also produced the fastest selling digital release of a cast recording in history.

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