Billy Porter wins best actor in a musical Tony

NEW YORK (AP) — Billy Porter, who plays a fierce drag queen in “Kinky Boots,” has strutted off with the Tony Award for best actor in a musical.

Porter, the 1992 winner of “Star Search,” has amassed several Broadway credits, including “Miss Saigon,” ”Grease” and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.” This was his first nomination.

“Kinky Boots” is based on a real-life shoe factory that struggles until it finds new life in drag footwear. It has songs by Cyndi Lauper and a story by Harvey Fierstein, but Porter’s role as a man tormented by disappointing his father is the show’s soul.

Porter beat out Bertie Carvel from “Matilda the Musical,” Santino Fontana of “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” Rob McClure from “Chaplin,” and his “Kinky Boots” co-star Stark Sands.

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