Once wins big at US drama awards

Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti in Once the Musical Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti play the unnamed protagonists in Once the Musical

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Broadway musical Once was the big winner at the Drama Desk Awards in New York, picking up four prizes.

The show, based on the 2006 Oscar-winning Irish film of the same name, won for best musical, direction, lyrics and orchestration.

British actor James Corden took home the award for best actor in a play for his role in One Man, Two Guvnors.

Richard Bean's comedy also won best featured actor in a play for Tom Edden and best music in a play.

Corden beat Philip Seymour Hoffman in the revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Kevin Spacey in Richard III to win his award.

Other triple winners included Miller's drama, which won best revival and best director in the play categories, and the Gershwin-inspired Nice Work If You Can Get It, which won two acting awards and best book of a musical.

Stephen Sondheim musical Follies also picked up three awards for best musical revival, costume design and best actor in a musical for Danny Burstein.

"I am only one of 12 actors in our play - without any of them it just wouldn't work. Being onstage with them is a joy," he said at the awards ceremony.

Other British success came from Tracie Bennett, who picked up the award for best actress in a play for her portrayal of Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow.

While Nina Raine's Olivier-nominated work Tribes, which began at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2010, won the outstanding play category.

Irish actor Cillian Murphy also picked up the prize for best solo performance for his work in Enda Walsh's Misterman, which opened at the Galway Arts Festival last summer before transferring to New York and the National Theatre in London.

The annual Drama Desk Awards, which are handed out to shows both on and off-Broadway, are voted for by journalists and theatre critics.

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