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Take a Bow: 'Kiss me Kate' Tops at the Tony Awards

Aired June 5, 2000 - 1:57 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: If you agree with Shakespeare that the play is the thing, you will be glad to know the Bard was honored, in a way, at this year's Tony Awards.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: A 50-year-old musical based on "The Taming of the Shrew" picked up more Tonys than any other show.

CNN's Cynthia Tornquist reports from New York.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VICKI LAWRENCE, ACTRESS: And the year 2000 Tony goes to "Kiss Me Kate."

CYNTHIA TORNQUIST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The revival "Kiss Me Kate" took home the most Tony awards, five, the same number the musical won when it first opened on Broadway in 1948.

Its star got a trophy for Best Musical Actor.

(on camera): What does it say when "Kiss Me Kate," a revival, gets more awards than any of the new shows?

BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL, TONY AWARD WINNER: It says that we need more new writers and more new composers and more producers that will back them up.

TORNQUIST (voice-over): "Contact" won four awards, including Best New Musical, despite some opposition. The Musicians Union complained the show used recorded music.

Elton John's "Aida" failed to get a nomination for Best Musical. Still, it received four awards, including Best Score for Elton John. As many expected, Heather Headley won for Best Actress.

HEATHER HEADLEY, TONY AWARD WINNER: I am proud of Elton. He has put another notch in his belt. You know, I mean, we know him as this Grammy award-winning composer and pop king, and now he's a Broadway composer.

KELSEY GRAMMER, ACTOR: And the Tony for Best Play of the Year goes to...

TORNQUIST: "Copenhagen," Michael Frayne's intellectual drama about physics and friendship, was named Best New Play.

MICHAEL FRAYN, PLAYWRITE, "COPENHAGEN": Even the reviewers who liked the show, they said, Broadway audiences will never stand for this kind of thing. Well, they have.

TORNQUIST: "The Real Thing," Tom Stoppard's drama about love and betrayal, was chosen Best Revival. Its stars, Stephen Dillane and Jennifer Ehle, received the top acting awards. Ehle beat out her mother, Rosemary Harris, for the prize.

(on camera): The Broadway season was profitable, even though there were fewer productions: 37, as compared to 39 last year. The industry estimates it grossed a little more than $600 million.

Cynthia Tornquist, CNN Entertainment News, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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