Memorable quotes from the 2011 Tony Awards

2011 Tony Awards ShowMemorable quotes from the 65th annual Tony Awards ceremony Sunday night at the Beacon Theatre.

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“It’s the proudest moment of my career. Being involved in something this important is I think a once-in-a-career opportunity. I’m so proud to be shouting out this message that needs to be heard, 30 years later. … Being in political theater, being allowed to rage against the machine every night — I think it just feels great.” Ellen Barkin on winning featured actress in a play for the AIDS play, “The Normal Heart.”

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“I really want to thank ‘South Park’ fans. If it weren’t for you guys, we wouldn’t be here.” Trey Parker, on winning best direction of a musical award with Casey Nicholaw for “The Book of Mormon.”

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“I didn’t expect to be standing here tonight and tried to write a speech and I feel silly,” Nikki M. James in tears as she accepted the prize for actress in a featured role in a musical.

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“It’s a thrilling experience in the theater — it’s not just terribly sad. It resonates as much today as the first day I read it around 1986. … It’s still alive, this play. It’s not just a piece of art history.” John Benjamin Hickey, winner of actor in a featured role in a play for “The Normal Heart,” on working in Larry Kramer’s play about AIDS.

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“We quite like it when people cry.” Tom Morris, winner of best direction of a play with Marianne Elliott for “War Horse.”

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“I can do eight performances a week but I can’t read a TelePrompTer.” Brooke Shields, who had flubbed an opening song with host Neil Patrick Harris and had to be handed a piece of paper with her lyrics.

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“Trey and Matt don’t usually write a lot of girls into their work. I was really honored to be the only chick. They’re like my brothers,” Nikki M. James on being in the mostly male “The Book of Mormon.”

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“Coming to Broadway next season, Moammar Gadhafi in ‘Catch Me If You Can.’” Robin Williams.

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“Thanks for inspiring us with the gift of ‘The Normal Heart.’ It is the ultimate love story.” Daryl Roth to playwright Larry Kramer after winning the prize for best revival of a play.

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“It’s very hot in that theater. It was nice to get out of your seat.” Andre Bishop, a producer of “War Horse,” asked how he felt winning a Tony.

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“I love my job, I love my job. … I believe that young actors will grow up one day to play this role. … Thank you very much. This means more to me than you may know.” Frances McDormand, winning lead actress in a play for “Good People.”

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“If you told me … that I would miss the best basketball game ever to hang out with Nathan Lane I would have said you were crazy.” Chris Rock, presenting best musical prize to “The Book of Mormon.”

“We know what the best musical is — it’s like taking a hooker to dinner.” Rock, before reading the nominees and announcing the winner for best musical.

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“I feel kind of sad when I win things, to be honest with you.” Why? “I don’t know.” Mark Rylance, winner lead actor in a play for “Jerusalem.” Onstage, he recited a poem by Louis Jenkins, “Walking Through a Wall,” as he accepted the award. Why did he recite these lines from the poem? “I don’t know. I was getting a little bored. I always think you should prepare something to say.”

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“Has to be ‘Wicked.’ Flying in on a rope like Errol Flynn in tight white pants, bent over, ripped my pants up the back. there’s nothing but 9-year-old girls in the audience. That has to take the cake. I don’t think it gets worse.” Norbert Leo Butz, best actor in a lead in a musical for “Catch Me If You Can,” on his most embarrassing moment onstage.

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