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June 11, 2012 at 2:14 PM
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'Once,' 'Starcatcher,' 'Salesman,' 'Porgy' clean up at Tonys

NEW YORK, June 11 (UPI) -- The Dublin-set romance "Once" won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in New York Sunday night.

"Clybourne Park" was declared Best Play, "Porgy and Bess" Best Revival of a Musical and "Death of a Salesman" Best Revival of a Play.

In addition to the top musical prize, "Once" also scooped up the awards for Best Direction of a Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Orchestrations, Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Musical and Best Scenic Design of a Musical.

The show's leading man, Steve Kazee, snagged the trophy for Best Actor in a Musical and dedicated it to his mother, who died of cancer in April. He offered his heartfelt thanks to his fellow cast members for helping him through his grief, as well.

"My mother always told me before shows to 'stand up there and show them whose little boy you are.' And I'm showing you today that I am the son of Kathy Withrow Kazee, who lost her fight with cancer on Easter Sunday this year and I miss you every day and I feel you here with me here tonight and I love you all so much and thank you for this award," Kazee said.

James Corden also gave an emotional acceptance speech as he collected the Tony for Best Actor in a Play for his work in the British slap-stick comedy "One Man, Two Guvnors."

"I am overwhelmed," Corden said. "The audiences here have embraced our show like we never, ever imagined they could. Every night is a joy."

At a ceremony dominated by first-time winners such as Kazee and Corden, Audra McDonald scored her fifth Tony Award for her moving performance in the tragic love story "Porgy and Bess."

"I was a little girl with a pot belly and Afro puffs, hyperactive, and I found the theater and I found my home and a place to express myself and I was so grateful, even at the age of 9, and, to think the theater would be so good to me, is mind-blowing. I'm so grateful to be a part of this company," said McDonald, winner of the Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award.

"Peter and the Starcatcher," a Peter Pan inspired story, was also a big winner Sunday night. Christian Borle won the Tony for Best Supporting Actor in a Play for his portrayal of the outrageous pirate Black Stache, while the show earned the awards for Best Scenic Design of a Play, Best Sound Design of a Play, Best Lighting Design of a Play and Best Costume Design of Play.

The Tony for Best Direction of a Play went to Mike Nichols for "Death of a Salesman."

"This was my neighborhood movie theater when I was a kid. I once -- at a Saturday kids' matinee -- won a pie-eating contest. It was nice, but this is nicer. You see before you a happy man," Nichols, a six-time Tony Award winner for directing, said of this year's Tonys venue, the Beacon Theatre. "I have to thank Rebecca Miller because she trusted us to do Arthur Miller's greatest play and I got to do his play and I got to do it with a cast straight from heaven. ... I can't talk about them. I love them too much."

"Other Desert Cities" star Judith Light won the prize for Best Supporting Actress in a Play, while "Nice Work if You Can Get It" co-stars Michael McGrath and Judy Kaye went home with matching statuettes for Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Musical. Nina Arianda earned the Best Actress in a Play title for her work in "Venus in Fur," and "Newsies" won Best Choreography and Best Original Score honors.

Neil Patrick Harris served as the host of the 3-hour-long Tony Awards show, which aired on CBS.

Robin Roberts suffering from MDS

NEW YORK, June 11 (UPI) -- "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts announced Monday she is battling the blood and bone marrow disease myelodysplastic syndrome.

Roberts, 51, is a breast cancer survivor. She said she is to begin chemotherapy immediately and will receive a bone-marrow transplant with the help of her sister later this year, People.com reported.

"My doctors tell me I'm going to beat this -- and I know it's true," Roberts wrote in a message on the "GMA" Web site.

"If you Google MDS, you may find some scary stuff, including statistics that my doctors insist don't apply to me. They say I'm younger and fitter than most people who confront this disease and will be cured," Roberts said. "I am very fortunate to have a sister who is an excellent match, and this greatly improves my chances for a cure."

Roberts said she hopes to continue working full-time on "GMA" until the transplant, then will take a little time off to recover from the procedure.

Lady Gaga hit by metal pole at N.Z. show

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, June 11 (UPI) -- U.S. pop singer Lady Gaga took it in stride when bonked on the head by a metal pole during her Sunday night concert in Auckland, New Zealand.

ONE News reported Gaga was performing her 2011 song "Judas" when a backup performer accidentally dropped the pole on her.

"I want to apologize," she told her fans. "I did hit my head and I think I may have a concussion but don't you worry I will finish this show."

And soldier on she did, cranking out another 16 tunes, TMZ.com reported.

The singer's makeup artist, Tara Savelo, confirmed the injury on Twitter overnight.

"Gaga has a concussion but she is going to be okay," Savelo tweeted. "She wants u to know she loves u. I'm taking care of her.cant believe she finished the show."

Lady Gaga was in Auckland for three concerts as part of her Born This Way Ball world tour.

'Madagascar 3' wins weekend box office

LOS ANGELES, June 11 (UPI) -- "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," the third installment in the adventures of escaped New York zoo animals, was No. 1 at the U.S. box office.

The animated sequel took in $60.3 million in its first weekend at theaters, followed by the lavish sci-fi flick "Prometheus" with $50 million.

"Snow White and the Huntsman," starring Charlize Theron, fell to the third spot with $23 million.

"Men in Black 3," starring Will Smith, earned $13.5 million for fourth place.

All studio estimates of gross box office receipts are via Box Office Mojo.

"Marvel's The Avengers" was No. 5 with $10.8 million; "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" sixth with $3.2 million; "What to Expect When You're Expecting" seventh with $2.7 million; "Battleship" eighth with $2.28 million; and "The Dictator" ninth with $2.15 million.

"Moonrise Kingdom" rounded out the top 10 with $1.57 million.

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