Steve Kazee wins best actor in a musical Tony

Associated Press
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Host Neil Patrick Harris performs at the 66th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday June 10, 2012, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes /Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Steve Kazee (kuh-ZEE) has won the Tony Award for best lead actor in a musical for his heartfelt and touching performance in "Once."

Kaee plays an Irish street musician and vacuum cleaner repairman in Dublin who falls in love with a Czech flower seller. It's based on the 2007 film that featured the Oscar-winning song "Falling Slowly."

A 36-year-old rising star and guitar player with matinee idol looks, Kazee has gone from replacement parts in "Spamalot" to an understudy role in "Seascape" to starring in "110 in the Shade." He also starred on CMT's series "Working Class."

He beat out Danny Burstein and Ron Raines, both from "Follies," Jeremy Jordan from "Newsies" and Norm Lewis from "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess."