Broadway hit Matilda has picked up steam ahead of the Tony Awards next month (Jun13) by scooping five top prizes at the 2013 Drama Desk Awards on Sunday (19May13). Matilda will be one of the frontrunners at the prestigious Tonys with 13 nominations, and the family-friendly show proved a favourite at the 58th annual Drama Desk Awards, which celebrate the best in New York theatre.
The show nabbed the coveted Outstanding Musical trophy, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for Bertie Carvel, as well as honours for best book, lyrics and set design.
Hollywood stars Tom Hanks (Lucky Guy) and Nathan Lane (The Nance) missed out on winning the Outstanding Actor in a Play prize, which went to Tracy Letts for Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, while Cicely Tyson was named Outstanding Actress for The Trip to Bountiful, seeing off competition from Vanessa Redgrave (The Revisionist).
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike was crowned Outstanding Play at the ceremony, held at Town Hall in Manhattan.
The West End production took home Best New Musical, Best Director (Matthew Warchus), Best Actor in a Musical (Bertie Carvel), and Best Actress in a Musical, presented jointly to the four child stars who share the title role.
Eleanor Worthington-Cox, who at 10 years old became the youngest Olivier Award winner, said of her win, "That's pretty cool. Scary. But I find that pretty amazing."
Matilda also swept the technical categories for choreography, set design and sound design.
The trophy for Mastercard Best Play went to John Hodge's Collaborators, and taking home the prize for Best Actor were Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, who alternated the roles of scientist and creature in Danny Boyle's Frankenstein.
Ruth Wilson saw off competition from the likes of Kristen Scott Thomas and Celia Imrie to land Best Actress for her performance in Anna Christie.
The cast of Les Miserables was handed the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award, while Anna Christie was named Best Revival and Crazy for You was the Best Musical Revival.
The Olivier Awards, which celebrate the best of the year's British stage shows, was hosted by Sweeney Todd co-stars Imelda Staunton and Michael Ball at London's Royal Opera House.
Matilda The Musical's big evening eclipsed the previous record set in 1980 by Nicholas Nickleby when it brought home six trophies.
The musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved book received the maximum possible nods, including best actor in a musical for Bertie Carvel and best supporting actor in a musical for Paul Kaye.
Young actresses Kerry Ingram, Sophia Kiely, Cleo Demetriou and Eleanor Worthington Cox share the title role in the production and received a joint best actress in a musical nomination. They will be up against Kat Fleetwood, Sarah Lancashire and Scarlett Strallen.
Featuring songs by funnyman Tim Minchin, Matilda the Musical, which focuses on a schoolgirl who has magic powers, has been a huge hit after opening in London's West End last year (12), and will head to Broadway in 2013.
The nominations for the Olivier theatre awards, which celebrate the best of the year's British stage shows, were announced on Thursday (15Mar12).
One Man, Two Guvnors and The LadyKillers received five nominations each including best play, while the musical adaption of hit 1990 movie Ghost scored four nods
Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch and Trainspotting actor Jonny Lee Miller received a joint best actor nomination for Frankenstein, and will compete against Jude Law, James Corden, David Haif and Douglas Hodge for the award.
Kristen Scott Thomas, Celia Imrie, Lesley Manville, Marcia Warren and Ruth Wilson are vying for the best actress honour.
The award ceremony takes place on 15 April at London's Royal Opera House, and will be hosted by Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.