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Australian costume designers Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel have picked up a Tony at Sunday’s glitzy awards ceremony for the stage musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
The pair, who designed the costumes for the original Australian film starring Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving in drag, was honoured in the category of Best Costume Design of a Musical. Their outlandish frocks, corsets, heels and wigs – including the trailing silver gown worn by the character of Adam atop a tour bus in the film – won them an Oscar 16 years ago.
This time, the design duo had the luxury of the show's mega budget to give their camp creations a little extra polish. For the movie, they famously crafted a thrifty dress made almost entirely out of thongs, setting production back $7.
In her acceptance speech at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre, Gardiner expressed gratitude to her US colleagues on Broadway. "Americans, you are so generous to outsiders and it's amazing and it says so much about your culture.
"I've been on this crazy bus ride called Priscilla for 20 years and an Oscar and a Tony is just ridiculous," she said.
Chappel added that “working on Broadway has been a magical experience” for him.
Fellow Australian and Priscilla musical star Tony Sheldon missed out on an award for the role of Bernadette in his category of Best Actor.
It was not drag queens but Mormons who cleaned up at the 65th Tony Awards: Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s satirical musical The Book of Mormon took home nine gongs, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, Music and Lyrics.
Parker and Stone are the creators of the controversial animated TV series South Park and puppet-based musical film Team America.
The Tony Awards, which celebrate Broadway achievement, are considered America’s theatre equivalent of the Oscars.
Best musical: The Book of Mormon
Best book of a musical: The Book of Mormon
Best original score, music and lyrics: The Book of Mormon
Best play: War Horse (Nick Stafford)
Best revival of a musical: Anything Goes
Best revival of a play: The Normal Heart
Best actress in a musical: Sutton Foster (Anything Goes)
Best actor in a musical: Norbert Leo Butz (Catch Me If You Can)
Best actress in a play: Frances McDormand (Good People)
Best actor in a play: Mark Rylance (Jerusalem)
Best featured actress in a musical: Nikki M Jones (The Book of Mormon)
Best featured actor in a musical: John Laroquette (How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying)
Best featured actor in a play: John Benjamin Hickey (The Normal Heart)
Best featured actress in a play: Ellen Barkin (The Normal Heart)
Best direction of a musical: Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker (The Book of Mormon)
Best direction of a play: Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris (War Horse)
Best choreography: Anything Goes
Best orchestrations: The Book of Mormon
Best scenic design of a musical: The Book of Mormon
Best scenic design of a play: War Horse
Best costume design of a musical: Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Best costume design of a play: The Importance of Being Earnest
Best lighting design of a musical: The Book of Mormon
Best lighting design of a play: War Horse
Best sound design of a musical: The Book of Mormon
Best sound design of a play: War Horse
Special Tony Award for lifetime achievement in the theatre: Athol Fugard
Special Tony Award for lifetime achievement in the theatre: Philip J Smith
Regional theatre Tony Award: Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago.
Isabelle Stevenson Award: Eve Ensler
Special Tony Award: Handspring Puppet Company
Tony Honours for excellence in the theatre: William Berloni, The Drama Book Shop, Sharon Jensen and Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts.