'THE Will Rogers Follies," an all-American revue about a lasso-spinning cowboy humorist, won the Tony for Best Musical, beating the British import "Miss Saigon." The ceremony at the Minskoff Theater in Times Square last Sunday was also a triumph for "Miss Saigon," however, as its stars Jonathan Pryce and Lea Salonga won Tonys for Best Leading Actor and Best Leading Actress in a Musical.
Best Play went to Neil Simon's Pulitzer-prize winning "Lost in Yonkers.Follies" director Tommy Tune won Best Director of a Musical and Best Choreographer.
Broadway insiders had predicted that a wave of post-Gulf war nationalism sweeping the country would make Tony voters more inclined toward the traditional Broadway show full of razzle-dazzle Americana. The wit of Will Rogers - the writer of the 1920s "Illiterate Digest" who started his routines with "all I know is what I read in the papers" - carried Broadway's biggest prize.
British actor Nigel Hawthorne, the star of William Nicholson's "Shadowlands," won the Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Play.
The award for Best Leading Actress in a Play went to Mercedes Ruehl, star of "Lost in Yonkers." She was in close competition with Stockard Channing, star of "Six Degrees of Separation."
"Separation" director Jerry Zaks won Best Director of a Play.
"Fiddler on the Roof," starring Topol and produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, won a Tony for Best Revival.
Best Scenic Design went to "The Secret Garden." Daisy Eagan, who plays a little girl living with her uncle in "The Secret Garden," won Best Featured Actress in a Musical.