Karen Olivo and David Alvarez took home top honors at the 2009 Tony Awards, held last night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Olivo earned the award for Featured Actress in a Musical for her inspired turn as the Latina spitfire Anita in the revival of West Side Story. The role was first made famous by Broadway veteran Chita Rivera, who tackled it for the original production in 1957, while Rita Moreno won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her version of Anita in the West Side Story film released four years later. A shocked Olivo accepted her award saying, "I'm completely unprepared for this. ... I just want to dedicate this to everyone who has a dream." She then thanked the production's 91-year-old director, Arthur Laurents, before completely losing it and dissolving in tears.
Meanwhile, Alvarez had some friends to share the spotlight with as he, along with his two Billy Elliot counterparts, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish, took home the Best Actor in a Musical prize for their portrayal of a coal miner's son who dreams of becoming a dancer. The three boys took to the podium together and traded off saying shy thank you's to members of the cast, their friends and family. Kulish ended their thank you's with a shout out to his peers, saying, "We want to say to all the kids out there who might want to dance, 'Never give up!'"
Check out Karen's tear-inducing acceptance speech below and congrats to her and David Alvarez for their Tony Awards!