Rags-to-riches story "Billy Elliot" had a massive night at the 63rd annual Tony Awards on Sunday, winning 10 awards at the annual celebration of all things Broadway. But despite onstage cameos from Liza Minnelli and Dolly Parton and a top-notch hosting job by "How I Met Your Mother" star Neil Patrick Harris, on Monday morning most people were talking about how the show almost killed Bret Michaels.
In honor of the nominations for "Rock of Ages," a theatrical celebration of '80s-era hair metal, Poison took the stage to perform their iconic "Nothin' But a Good Time" with the cast of the musical. Led by "Rock of Love" star/singer Bret Michaels, the band looked totally at home on the stage — until Michaels missed his mark at the end of the song and was slammed in the head by a large piece of scenery that descended from the ceiling. People.com reported that the extent of Michaels' injury was not known at press time, but he did not, as reported, break his nose. A publicist for the singer told the site that while Michaels was still hoping to hit some afterparties, he was planning to hit an ER first and get some X-rays to make sure he was not seriously injured.
Despite lots of hype and a handful of nominations between them, "9 to 5: The Musical" and "Rock of Ages" — the latter starring former "American Idol" finalist Constantine Maroulis — got blanked at the show, while the 1960s musical "Hair" won Best Revival of a Musical.
The Best Play award went to the comedy "God of Carnage," which chronicles a chaotic night of arguments between two sets of parents. "Carnage" star Marcia Gay Harden won Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. Best Original Score was a win for the story of a family dealing with a mother's bipolar disorder, "Next to Normal." Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush took the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for "Exit the King," and Alice Ripley won Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for "Next to Normal."
The sweep for "Elliot" — composed by Elton John — included wins for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (shared by young stars David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish), Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Gregory Jbara), Best Choreography, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Orchestrations and Best Sound Design of a Musical.
Though it garnered eight nominations, "Shrek: The Musical" had to make do with just one win, for Best Costume Design of a Musical.
Veteran Angela Lansbury, 83, won her fifth Tony in the Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for "Blithe Spirit," becoming the second actress to reach that milestone. And Minnelli's "Liza's at the Palace" beat out Will Ferrell's one-man show, "You're Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush," in the Special Theatrical Event category.