The Canadian musical Come From Away won a Tony Award Sunday for best direction, which went to American stage director Christopher Ashley.
The production is based on real-life stories of people in and around Gander, N.L., who provided food, shelter and comfort to thousands of stranded passengers after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"I'd like to accept this [award] on behalf of the people of Newfoundland and all of the first responders and their families in New York," Ashley said during his acceptance speech.
"The people who gave their lives and the people who extended their hearts and their homes and were generous and kind at the very worst moments."
"The same story that inspired us is inspiring so many other people." - David Hein, Come From Away co-writer
The feel-good hit, which has become the toast of the theatre scene since it officially opened on Broadway in March, was written by Canadian husband-and-wife team David Hein and Irene Sankoff.
"What's amazing is seeing that the story behind it resonates just as strongly with everyone who comes to it," Hein told CBC News in New York. "Over this six-year journey, the same story that inspired us is inspiring so many other people and that means the world."
Come From Away received seven Tony nominations in total, including best musical, best book of a musical and original score.
- Come From Away wins 3 Drama Desk Awards, including outstanding musical
- Come From Away wins 4 Helen Hayes Awards, including outstanding musical
All of those awards, however, went to the heartfelt Dear Evan Hansen, about a teenager with social anxiety disorder who becomes an unlikely hero following the suicide of a classmate.
Dear Evan Hansen's Ben Platt won for best actor in a musical. Other winners included Oslo for best play and Hello, Dolly! for best revival of a musical.
House of Cards star and Tony-winning actor Kevin Spacey hosted the evening, opening the show with a lighthearted number about the pains of helming the Tonys for the first time.
Stephen Colbert, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg made cameo appearances to offer hosting advice. Goldberg included a shout-out to Newfoundland.
"If you want to learn, you've got to go to where some of the greatest hosts of all times have gotten their start. Carson, Crystal, Letterman. You've got to go to the Rock," Goldberg said, just before the Come From Away company performed Welcome to the Rock from the musical.
Click here to learn more about Come From Away and its Canadian writers. A complete list of this year's Tony winners can be found below.
2017 Tony Award winners
Best musical: Dear Evan Hansen
Best play: Oslo
Best book of a musical: Dear Evan Hansen
Best original score: Dear Evan Hansen
Best revival of a play: Jitney
Best revival of a musical: Hello, Dolly!
Best actor, play: Kevin Kline, Present Laughter
Best actress, play: Laurie Metcalf, A Doll's House, Part 2
Best actor, musical: Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen
Best actress, musical: Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!
Best featured actor, play: Michael Aronov, Oslo
Best featured actress, play: Cynthia Nixon, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
Best featured actor, musical: Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!
Best featured actress, musical: Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
Best scenic design, play: Nigel Hook, The Play That Goes Wrong
Best scenic design, musical: Mimi Lien, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Best costume design, play: Jane Greenwood, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
Best costume design, musical: Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!
Best lighting design, play: Christopher Akerlind, Indecent
Best lighting design, musical: Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Best direction, play: Rebecca Taichman, Indecent
Best direction, musical: Christopher Ashley, Come From Away
Best choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler, Bandstand
Best orchestrations: Alex Lacamoire, Dear Evan Hansen