I watched the Tony Awards last Sunday night at a friend’s place on West 73rd. Nothing like getting off of the 1 train at 72nd, climbing up the stairs, and walking into a well-dressed crowd of attendees and seat-fillers, plus passers-bys taking pictures at the red carpet. I enjoyed the Tonys in general (was annoyed of the absence of the In Memoriam clip and Bernadette Peters’ acceptance speech missing from the broadcast. Certainly the Tonys have become a giant commercial (and rightly so) for Broadway (and now, apparently, cruise ship shows) and I thought they showcased some great options now on Broadway (and, sadly, already closed and soon-to-be-closing shows like Godspell, Venus in Fur, and Leap of Faith). It’s so disheartening that some shows close immediately after the Tony Awards, either because they didn’t win any awards or even despite winning awards! But I’m happy that creatively-fueled shows like Clybourne Park and Once won, and was thrilled that Judy Kaye nabbed one (see this blog entry for more on Judy Kaye).
After the Tony Awards, I left my friend’s West 73rd St apartment. I turned the corner from 73rd and, without giving away my exact location, found myself witnessing Isabelle Stevenson Award-Winner of the evening – Bernadette Peters herself – walking from her car into an apartment building! I was a bit stunned, but took in the moment of appreciation for this wonderful performer, and decided not to interrupt her evening. I smiled and took 10 more steps down the street, and then had the same experience with Tony Nominee James Earl Jones, whose tall and larger-than-life frame disappeared into the lobby of the building before I could say “ohmygoodnessthankyouforyourtalentyouweregreatinbestman
andofcourseyouredarthvaderhiyoureamazing.” I walked away from the West End Avenue area with flutters in my heart.
Thoughts on this event: there’s always a moment of consideration that goes through my mind after such innocent and fleeting interactions and I have to tell myself, “these are your future fellow employees and co-cast members, not Gods or icons to be put onto pedestals.” As artists, we can’t be afraid of our own brilliance, and since we are constantly gauging and doubting our talents we have to remember that these Titans of our craft started somewhere and are themselves constantly gauging their careers and creative choices. That night, Tony Winner Nina Arianda was floored that Christopher Plummer (who she had a crush on since she saw “The Sound of Music”) handed her her Award. We have all been there, so might as well assume that all actors/directors/singers are potential future creative partners.
On that thought, I’m throwing this out into the Universe: I would love to attend the 2013 Tony Awards!