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Feel-good 'Kinky Boots' wins at feel-good Tonys (with video of Cyndi Lauper accepting her award)

BY JOCELYN NOVECK, AP NATIONAL WRITER

NEW YORK -- On a feel-good night for Broadway, it was only natural that the Tony award go to its most feel-good musical, the joyous "Kinky Boots." But most everything about Sunday's Tony telecast was warmhearted, from inspiring speeches about the theatrical community to the inspired antics of Neil Patrick Harris, who should officially be awarded the host job on a permanent basis.

It was an especially happy night for female theater artists: In a rare feat, women took home both directing prizes, for a musical (Diane Paulus for the high-energy "Pippin" revival) and for a play (Pam MacKinnon for the searing revival of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?").

And Cyndi Lauper won best original score for "Kinky Boots," a result that had many in the audience whooping with delight. "Girl, you're gonna have fun tonight!" shouted presenter Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the "Modern Family" actor - a reference, of course, to Lauper's iconic "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."

In winning best musical, "Kinky" scored something of an upset over the terrific but decidedly darker "Matilda the Musical." And underscoring the sunny nature of this year's ceremony, a comedy - Christopher Durang's dysfunctional-family satire "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" - won for best play over the more typical dramatic fare.

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