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Bruce Norris wins best play Tony Award for ‘Clybourne Park’

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Updated: July 12, 2012 6:15AM

It has been a very good year for Chicago playwright Bruce Norris. Not only did his “Clybourne Park” win the Pulitzer Prize, but on Sunday night it won the 2012 Tony Award for best play.

The drama about an evolving Chicago neighborhood riffs satirically on “A Raisin in the Sun,” Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark play about race, real estate and more.

Norris, a graduate of Northwestern University who has enjoyed a long association with Steppenwolf Theatre (one of the many places at which “Clybourne Park” was produced before it arrived on Broadway), was clearly nervous. While he paid homage to its pre-Broadway companies, the single omission was Steppenwolf, where many of his other plays have received their world premieres over the years. (It was clear he knew a name had slipped from his memory, but he never recalled it.)

Norris did remember to thank Hansberry, noting that it was she who “built the neighborhood [Hyde Park/Kenwood], and we just moved in and depressed the property values.”

Winner of the best musical prize was “Once,” based on the 2006 film.

“Death of a Salesman” won awards for best revival of a play and for its director, Mike Nichols. A reworked version of “Porgy and Bess” won the Tony for best musical revival.

Jessie Mueller, a veteran of Drury Lane Oakbrook and the Marriott Theatre nominated for her work in “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” lost the featured musical actress Tony to Judy Kaye of “Nice Work If You Can Get It.”

Contributing: AP

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