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Tony Awards: ‘Once’ Wins Best Musical

"Once," a low-key musical based on the indie film of the same name, received 11 nominations

"Once," the musical based on the 2006 indie film of the same name, won the Tony Award for Best Musical on Sunday.

Unlike its competitors in the category, "Once" is a restrained, low-key musical without splashy dance numbers or expansive sets. It follows the budding romance between an Irish busker and a young Czech immigrant girl who share a love for music.

Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti play characters known only as Guy and Girl, roles brought to life on the big screen by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. The production features songs from the film, written by Hansard and Irglova, including the Oscar-winning "Falling Slowly."

"Once" premiered off-Broadway in December 2011 at New York Theatre Workshop and opened on Broadway in March at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.

The musical received 11 Tony nominations and ended the night with eight wins. Irish playwright Enda Walsh won for Best Book of a Musical; John Tiffany won Best Direction; Kazee for Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical; Bob Crowley for Scenic Design; Natasha Katz for Lighting Design; Clive Goodwin for Sound Design, and Martin Lowe for Best Orchestrations. 

It faced stiff competition from another film-to-stage musical, Disney's crowd-pleaser "Newsies." "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and "Leap of Faith" rounded out the category.

Plans for a national tour, beginning in the summer of 2013, were announced last month.  

Photo by Joan Marcus