Last night I went to the Tonys at Radio City, as a guest of my friend William Ivey Long, who was a nominee for his glorious costumes for On The Twentieth Century; he’s also the Chairman of the American Theater Wing, where he’s been doing a great job. Here’s what I learned:
– If you want to get on camera, it’s a good idea to be seated behind Helen Mirren, because she won for Best Actress In A Play. That’s what happened to me, and I had two choices. I could constantly whisper gushing praise or disturbing warnings in her ear, like, “Judi Dench is outside and she’s got a gun.” Or I could just watch her, which I did, as she was gracious and charming to everyone.
I decided that maybe I was seated behind Dame Helen because we had similar haircuts.
– What you don’t see on TV: the cameramen dressed in black, with Steadicams balanced on their shoulders, as they rush all over the stage trying to keep up with the amazing dancers from An American In Paris.
– Up close, Bradley Cooper looks just like Bradley Cooper. Joe Manganiello is seriously tall.
– I accidentally stepped on the train of Ivanka Trump’s gown, and she was very nice about it. She is also seriously tall.
– When the brilliant Lisa Kron won for her book and lyrics for Fun Home, I watched her and thought, “Lisa looks terrific in her black gown, with all of that glittering embroidery near the neckline.” Then I realized that the glitter was the result of her holding her two Tonys.
– Sydney Lucas, the 11-year-old actress from Fun Home, is astounding. She’s been in the show for awhile, and she sang “Ring of Keys” in front of Helen Mirren and everybody else at Radio City, and the song was still completely fresh and moving. I wondered if Sydney made Alex Sharp, the 26-year-old Best Actor In A Play winner, feel old.
– There was a gala afterwards at the Plaza, encompassing the ballroom and the entire underground gourmet food court, where all of the fancy chocolates, macarons and the yogurt bar were free. It was like a childrens party for grownups.