Tony Awards: ‘Once’ Nabs Eight; Ricky Martin & Raul Esparza Light Up Stage

Ricky Martin performs with the cast of "Evita" at the 66th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday June 10, 2012, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes /Invision/AP)

Ricky Martin performs with the cast of "Evita" at the 66th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday June 10, 2012, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes /Invision/AP)  (AP2012)

Ricky Martin did not win a Tony award on Sunday night, but he ignited the stage at the Beacon Theater along with the cast of “Evita” at theater’s most important celebration.

The Puerto Rican actor kicked off the 66th annual awards ceremony as he is seen opening the door of his room backstage to a Mormon and being highly annoyed by it.

The cast of “The Book of Mormon” then broke out into a full performance which ended with host Neil Patrick Harris, also dressed as a Mormon, saying hello to the crowd.

Other explosive onstage moments included a performance by the cast of “Leap of Faith,” with Cuban hunk Raul Esparza, who showed off a slimmer and toned new figure as he got the crowd up on their feet.

The tear-shedding musical “Once” won the coveted “Best Musical” Tony along with seven other awards.

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"'Once' is a story about when people believe in each other they can move on in life,” said John Tiffany onstage as he received the Tony for “Best Director of a Musical.”

“So many people have believed in me," he added.

The “Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” also came out triumphant on Sunday evening, winning the Tony for “Best Revival of a Musical” beating other highly-praised revials such as “Evita,” “Follies,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The production’s Audra McDonald was also awarded “Best Actress in a Musical.”

"I was a little girl with a potbelly and afro puffs, hyperactive and overdramatic,” McDonald said teary-eyed clutching her Tony. “I found the theater, and I found my home," she continued. She then told her daughter, who was in the audience, how much she meant to her.

The revival of “Death of a Salesman,” was also in the spotlight, winning Tonys for “Best Direction of a Play,” awarded to Mike Nichols, and “Best Revival of a Play.”

"There's not a person in this theater that doesn't know what it is to be a salesman — to be out there in the blue riding on a smile and a shoeshine," said Nichols."As we know, a salesman has got to dream. It goes with the territory."

The shocker of the evening came as James Corden, the leading actor in the silly play “One Man, Two Guvnors,” won the Tony over veteran actor Philip Seymour Hoffman of “Death of a Salesman.” A stunned and emotional Corden thanked his girlfriend, Julia, and his newborn son.

"I would not be holding this if it wasn't for her," Corden said voice cracking. “She made me say 'us' instead of 'I' and 'we' instead of 'me' and I love her," he added.

“ClyBourne Park” won the Tony for “Best Play” for its thought provoking production focusing on gentrification and ownership in both the African-American and White communities. The play beat other buzzed about shows such as “Other Desert Cities,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” and “Venus in Furs.”  

You can reach Alexandra Gratereaux at: Alexandra.Gratereaux@foxnewslatino.com or via Twitter:@GalexLatino

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