Monday, May 18, 2009

"Billy Elliot" adds more theater prizes ahead of Tonys

NEW YORK (Reuters) – "Billy Elliot, The Musical" added to its growing awards roster on Sunday, winning the Drama Desk Award as the season's best new musical and bolstering its frontrunner status for next month's Tony awards, Broadway's top honors.

The hit show based on the 2000 film about a ballet dancing schoolboy in a northern England mining town earlier won several Olivier Awards in London, as well as the earlier Outer Critics Circle best musical prize. It is nominated for 15 Tonys.

"Billy Elliot" won nine other Drama Desk awards, including Elton John for outstanding music and Stephen Daldry for direction of a musical. Other honors went to Gregory Jbara for featured actor, Haydn Gwynne for featured actress, and for choreography, book, orchestrations, lighting design and sound design.

The 54th annual awards are chosen by theater critics and writers to honor Broadway, off-Broadway and off off Broadway productions.

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