New York theater stars and film favorites were recognized by the theater-lovers on Sunday at the Whatsonstage.com Awards, the only major theater awards in the United Kingdom voted on solely by the public.
"The Whatsonstage.com Awards are the only major ones decided across the board by the public and so unashamedly measure popularity as well as quality," Terri Paddock, managing and editorial director of Whatsonstage.com, said in a statement. " The overwhelming response of 60,000 voters shows that the theatre remains a vital and important part of our society as well as a wonderful excuse for a bit of fun!"
Some of the evening's notable winners included Rupert Everett (Blithe Spirit) for The Judas Kiss, Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter) and Michael Ball (The Woman in White) for Sweeney Todd, former Spice Girl Melanie C for Jesus Christ Superstar, Tony Award winner Idina Menzel (Wicked) for her concert at the Apollo, and Ramin Karimloo (Love Never Dies), who is set to reprise his now award winning role this fall in Toronto, for Best Takeover in Les Miserables. The Best Ensemble award went to Richard III/Twelfth Night, starring Tony Award winner Mark Rylance (Jerusalem). English actor, writer, and director extraordinaire Stephen Fry, won Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Globe's Twelfth Night.
"I am simply astonished," Fry said in his acceptance speech. "Seventeen years ago, I left this country in disgrace having run out of a play (Cell Mates) and I thought I might never return to the stage again. But thanks to the Globe, to Tim Carroll the director, the author William Shakespeare, and to the wonderful Sonia Friedman (producer), and most of all, to the audiences at the Globe and the Apollo, I have been back onstage in a wonderful play and had the privilege of playing with one of the best casts that has ever been assembled."
Production awards went to Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi, Taboo at Brixton Club House, the touring production of American Idiot, and Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre. The late Marvin Hamlisch's score for Sweet Smell of Success received the inaugural prize for Best Original Music in the show's London premiere.
The best leading actress category was full of familiar Broadway names: Tony Award winner Heather Headley (Aida) for The Bodyguard, Megan McGinnis (Les Miserables) for Daddy Long Legs, and Scarlett Strallen (Mary Poppins) for Singin' in the Rain.
For a full list of winners and a recap of the event, visit Whatsonstage's awards analysis here.