2006_06_tonywinners.jpg

Broadway's big night celebrated two hit shows, both with word "Boys" in the title. "Jersey Boys," the musical about singing group, The Four Seasons, won Best Musical and two actors won Best Actor (John Lloyd Young) and Best Featured Actor (Christian Hoff), and "The History Boys," a play about British education, won Best Play, Best Direction and Best Actor (Richard Griffiths). The speeches were all very heartfelt, touching and classy - Frances de la Tour, who won as Best Featured Actress in The History Boys, graciously thanked the crew and said she felt at home in "New York, New York." LaChanze won Best Actress in a Musical for The Color Purple, and thanked Oprah Winfrey at the very end. And Cynthia Nixon won Best Actress in a Play for The Rabbit Hole, and called herself a theater geek. The team behind The Drowsy Chaperone, the throwback to the 1920s musical, won a bunch of big awards, including Best Book and Best Score, with its Canadian creators thanking America.

Best Play Revival was awarded to Awake and Sing!, and Best Musical Revival went to The Pajama Game. And while some people wonder why the Tonys are even broadcast on CBS at all when the ratings are generally low, we think it's a great opportunity for the rest of the country to get excited about theater - if you didn't want to see The Pajama Game before, you probably do after seeing their performance last night.

The Tony Awards winners from the official site. And check out Playbill's backstage blog.

Photograph of Tony winners John Lloyd Young (Jersey Boys), La Chanze (The Color Purple), Cynthia Nixon (The Rabbit Hole), and Richard Griffiths (The History Boys) by Richard Drew/AP