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Harry Potter And The Cursed Child scoops gongs at the Tony Awards

Producer Sonia Friedman and the cast and crew of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child accept the award for best play at the 72nd annual Tony Awards (Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)
Producer Sonia Friedman and the cast and crew of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child accept the award for best play at the 72nd annual Tony Awards (Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child was a big winner at the Tony Awards.

The two-part spectacle captured six accolades, including best play, book, lighting, sound design, orchestrations and director for John Tiffany, who asked the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to his boyfriend.

The night also saw British actor Andrew Garfield win his first Tony, for best leading actor in a play, for playing a young gay man living with Aids in the sprawling, seven-hour revival Angels In America.

Garfield dedicated the win to the LGBTQ community, who he said fought and died for the right to love. He said the play is a rejection of bigotry, shame and oppression.

“We are all sacred and we all belong,” Garfield said.

He then referenced last week’s US Supreme Court decision which ruled in favour of a baker’s right to deny a gay couple a wedding cake based on his beliefs.

The 72nd Annual Tony Awards – Show
Andrew Garfield accepts the award for best leading actor in a play (Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

“(Let’s) just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked,” he said, to rousing applause.

Sunday night also saw Robert De Niro take to the stage to introduce a performance from Bruce Springsteen, with an expletive directed at US President Donald Trump.

“I’m gonna say one thing. ‘F*** Trump’,” he said, which garnered him a sustained standing ovation from the crowd.

Robert De Niro introduces a performance by Bruce Springsteen at the 72nd annual Tony Awards (Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)
Robert De Niro introduces a performance by Bruce Springsteen at the 72nd annual Tony Awards (Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

In other wins of the night, Glenda Jackson scooped a Tony Award for best actress in a play for her work in a revival of Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women.

That show also yielded the featured actress win for Rosanne star Laurie Metcalf.

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and American actress Chita Rivera received honorary tributes, the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Thanking the audience, Lloyd Webber said: “I have to say, I am completely overwhelmed.”

He added: “What made me absolutely certain I wanted to be a musical theatre composer was the movie South Pacific. I devoured absolutely everything I could find by Rodgers and Hammerstein and all I wanted when I was 10 years old was to be Richard Rodgers.

“I never dreamed that one day I, a Brit of all things, would be honoured with the same lifetime award that my idol won, by my peers and the true home of the musical, Broadway. I’m absolutely humbled.”

US musical The Band’s Visit was the other big winner.

The Band’s Visit, based on a 2007 Israeli film of the same name about an Egyptian band that goes to the wrong Israeli town, won 10 statuettes — including best musical, best direction, orchestration, sound design, best book of a musical, lighting and featured actor Ari’el Stachel, who gave a heartfelt speech about his past.

“For so many years of my life I pretended I was not a Middle Eastern person,” he said, addressing his parents in the audience.

He thanked the creators of the show “for being courageous for telling a small story about Arabs and Israelis getting along at a time that we need that more than ever”.

Angels In America star Nathan Lane won his third Tony, for best featured actor in a play

Lane said the play still speaks to society in the midst of “political insanity”.

The 72nd Annual Tony Awards – Show
Nathan Lane accepts the award for featured actor in a play for Angels In America (Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

In a mesmerising moment, Melody Herzfeld, the heroic drama teacher who nurtured many of the young people demanding change following the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, was honoured from the stage.

Ms Herzfeld saved 65 lives by barricading students into a small classroom cupboard on Valentine’s Day when police say a former student went on a school rampage, killing 17 people.

The 72nd Annual Tony Awards – Arrivals
Melody Herzfeld, drama teacher from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The night also saw Billy Joel gave his friend Springsteen a special Tony Award.

“This is deeply appreciated, and thanks for making me feel so welcome on your block,” The Boss said.

Co-hosts Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles kicked the show off with a self-parodying duet on piano for all the losers out there — including themselves.

The 72nd Annual Tony Awards – Show
Co-hosts Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles perform This One’s For You, during the 72nd annual Tony Awards (Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

Neither Bareilles nor Groban have won a Grammy or a Tony despite selling millions of albums and appearing on Broadway. They turned that into a playful song.

“Let’s not forget that 90% of us leave empty-handed tonight. So this is for the people who lose/Most of us have been in your shoes,” they sang in the upbeat opening number. “This one’s for the loser inside of you.”

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