Once sweeps the boards with not one, but eight Tony awards on Broadway

Tony winners James Corden, Audra McDonald, Nina Arianda, and Steve Kazee, who won best performance by a leading actor in a musical for Once. Getty Images

THE play of the Glen Hansard budget Dublin flick was the toast of New York last night after scooping eight Tony awards.

The musical stage show was written by Irish playwright Enda Walsh and is based on the 2006 Oscar-winning film by John Carney, which starred Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

Hansard, lead singer with The Frames wrote the music and lyrics together with his then Czech girlfriend Irglova.

Their song 'Falling Slowly' won best original song at the 2007 Academy Awards in LA.

Once the Musical began its Broadway run on March 18 this year after a hugely successful seven-week run off Broadway at the end of 2011. President Michael D Higgins attended the opening night and praised the use of traditional music as well as "all of the fine ironies" in the script, which, he joked, were "about the most substantial resource we have in recent times".

Amongst the awards it won last night were the Tony for best new musical, best musical performance for actor Steve Kazee, and A Tony for Enda Walsh, for best book of a musical.

Actor Steve Kazee fought back tears as he thanked his cast members, including his leading lady Cristin Milioti, and said after his mother died early on in performances, they "carried me around and made me feel alive and I will never be able to fully repay them."

Glen Hansard had more than the awards on his mind last night, tweeting at the start of the ceremony: “Wishing all the cast and crew of the Once musical the best of luck for the Tonys tonight in NYC! And the Irish team of course! Ole ole ole!!”

Also amongst the winners on Broadway last night was Gavin and Stacey comic star James Corden, who won Best Dramatic Performance for ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’, which transferred from London’s West End earlier this year.

The awards show kicked off with host Neil Patrick Harris welcoming the audience to the 66th Tony Awards, "or as we like to call it, 'Fifty Shades of Gay,'" referencing Broadway's campy reputation and the popular erotic fiction novel, "Fifty Shades of Grey."

It is expected that Once will begin an international tour given its massive success last night.

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