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'Kinky Boots,' 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' win big, Larry Kramer honored at 67th annual Tony Awards

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Last night Neil Patrick Harris hosted the 67th annual Tony Awards, recognizing excellence in theater. Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein’s Kinky Boots received awards in six categories, including Best Musical while playwright and LGBT activist Larry Kramer accepted the Isabelle Stevenson Award.

Inspired by a true story, Kinky Boots recounts the struggles faced by a shoe factory owner who is inspired by a drag queen to reinvent his business. In addition to Best Musical honors, Kinky Boots received the awards for Best Choreography, Best Sound Design of a Musical and Best Orchestrations. Its star, gay performer Billy Porter, received the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. Ally Cindy Lauper also made history by becoming the first solo female to receive the Tony Award for Best Original Score.

The Best Play award went to Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which marks the first Tony Award for gay playwright Christopher Durang. The play was also nominated for a GLAAD Media Awards this year. It recounts the story of a 50-something gay man living with his adopted sister in their childhood home in Bucks County, PA. Their uneventful lives are thrown into disarray when their movie-star sister, whose career is declining, moves back home with a boyfriend twenty years her junior.

Larry Kramer was the recipient of the Isabelle Stevenson Award, a “non-competitive Tony Award given to an individual from the theater community who has made a substantial contribution on behalf of humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations.”

Kramer is known for his work as an HIV/AIDS advocate and is a co-founder of ACT UP and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. His play, The Normal Heart, is based on his work as an activist in the early days of the epidemic. In 2011, The Normal Heart won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and is currently being adapted into an HBO film by Ryan Murphy, starring Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Mark Ruffalo and Jonathan Groff

In his acceptance speech, Kramer announced yesterday was the first day of shooting for the film adaptation of his play. In his speech he also thanked his lover, David Webster as well as The American Theater Wing for recognizing him as an influential activist and gay writer. Watch his remarks below.

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