Lea performs at Tonys with 'Once On This Island' cast

Tina Fey and

"I am standing here because Tony (Kushner) wrote one of the greatest plays of the 20th Century, and it is still speaking to us as powerfully as ever in the midst of such political insanity", he said as he choked up. In addition to Tina Fey's nomination for Best Book, the production was up for Best Musical, and three acting awards for Taylor Louderman, Ashley Park and Grey Henson, for their teen roles as Regina George, Gretchen Wieners and Damian Hubbard, respectively.

"At a moment in time, where maybe the most important thing that we remember right now is the sanctity of the human spirit, it is the profound privilege of my life to play Prior Walter in "Angels in America" because he represents the purest spirit of humanity", said Garfield.

Metcalf's award marked the second consecutive Tony for the actress, who past year won for best lead actress in a play for her performance in "A Doll's House, Part 2".

Ari'el Stachel, accepting for his featured performance in The Band's Visit, fought back tears explaining that he hid his Middle Eastern identity following September 11, encouraging people to embrace who they are: "Your biggest obstacle may be your greatest goal".

Best Actress in a play victor Glenda Jackson, recognised for work in "Three Tall Women", praised the multi-cultural nature of the theatre business.

The Tonys, hosted by singer-songriter-actors Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles, capped another record year on Broadway with $1.7 billion in box office receipts, despite the smallest number of new productions in 20 years.

Glenda Jackson, 82, won best actress in a play for her fiery portrayal of an elderly woman in "Three Tall Women", and her co-star, Laurie Metcalf, won featured actress.

Angels In America was named best play revival on Sunday. Cats and Evita composer Andrew Lloyd Webber will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award. Herzfeld saved 65 lives by barricading students into a small classroom closet on Valentine's Day when police say a former student went on a school rampage, killing 17 people. She later encouraged many of her pupils to lead the nationwide movement for gun reform. "And for those of us who are fortunate enough not to be suffering so deeply, let's make sure we answer them". They turned that into a playful song. "Mean Girls" won nothing and "SpongeBob SquarePants" got only one for best set design.

Ostensibly a celebration of theatre, the annual event was an opportunity for Broadway to talk up the virtues of inclusion and diversity, while also drawing attention to gay rights, gun control, and the challenges facing immigrants.

Sparky featured in musical Once on this Island, which actually took out the award for Best Revival of a Musical on the night. To all artists out there, she said: "Just be your true self and the world will take note". The cast of "Dear Evan Hansen" will also return for a performance. The stage adaptations of the Lindsay Lohan film and the Nickelodeon cartoon are both up for 12 prizes, including the coveted Best Musical.

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