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Danny Boyle's Olympics opening ceremony a winner at theater awards

February 19, 2013|By Deborah Vankin
  • Fireworks light up Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of London 2012.
Fireworks light up Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of London… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle may be best known for "Trainspotting" and “Slumdog Millionaire,” but his globally upbeat opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics was named Theater Event of the Year on Sunday at London's audience-driven awards.

The lavish spectacle of British history and culture, "Isles of Wonder," was loosely based on Shakespeare's "The Tempest." It beat out the Susan Boyle bio-musical, "I Dreamed a Dream” as well as an arena tour of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Globe to Globe’s" season of 37 plays in 37 languages that was part of the World Shakespeare Festival.

Whatsonstage award recipients are nominated -- and chosen by -- the theater-going public. For the 2013 awards, held at the West End's Palace Theatre, that meant more than 60,000 people. They chose "The Bodyguard" as best new musical and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" as best new play. The long-running "Les Miserables" won West End show.  

Sheridan Smith won for actress in a play for "Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic,” and Rupert Everett walked off with the actor prize in a play for his role in “The Judas Kiss at Hampstead.” Actor Will Young won London newcomer of the year for “Cabaret at the Savoy.”

The director honor went to Jonathan Kent for “Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi.” “Sweeney Todd” also walked off with four other awards Sunday night, including Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton’s wins for actor and actress in a musical.

The 2013 Whatsonstage awards, formerly the Theatregoers' Choice Awards, is held annually in February and this year was hosted by actor-comedians Mel Giedroyc and Rufus Hound.


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