Broadway's old guard held off a rock-and-roll invasion as "Kiss of the Spider Woman" won best-musical honors at the 1993 Tony Awards Sunday night, beating out "The Who's Tommy."
"Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," Tony Kushner's examination of the national psyche in the age of AIDS, added four Tonys - including best play - to its roster of awards, which already includes this year's Pulitzer Prize.
The main suspense Sunday was in the contest between "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "Tommy," the one-time anthem of rock rebellion reworked for the stage.
Pete Townshend, author of "Tommy," and John Kander and Fred Ebb, the veteran songwriting team behind "Spider Woman," shared the Tony for best score.
"Tommy" also captured awards for its MTV-inspired sets (John Arnone), lighting (Chris Parry) and choreography (Wayne Cilento). And its director, Des McAnuff, beat out Broadway's most successful director of musicals, Harold Prince, who directed "Kiss of the Spider Woman."
But that production, in addition to winning best musical and score, won Tonys for its stars, veteran Chita Rivera, newcomer Brent Carver, and featured actor Anthony Crivello. Terence McNally won for the musical's book, and Florence Klotz picked up the Tony for best costumes.
As expected, "Angels in America," was named best play of the 1992-93 Broadway season. It also won awards for best actor, Ron Leibman; director, George C. Wolfe; and featured actor, Stephen Spinella.
Four other shows picked up one prize each.
Madeline Kahn, who plays the comic sister in "The Sisters Rosensweig," won the Tony as best actress in a play.
Featured actress in a play, Debra Monk in "Redwood Curtain," and featured actress in a musical, Andrea Martin in "My Favorite Year," both were in shows that have closed. So has Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie," which won a Tony as best revival.
The Tony presented to a regional theater, along with $25,000 from the American Express travelers check group, went this year to California's La Jolla Playhouse, where "Tommy" originated.