Wednesday, May 5 at 10:45 a.m., the elevator opens on the 8th floor of the Millennium Hotel in NYC and there in front of me is Jude Law nominated for a Tony Award in Hamlet and Charlotte St. Martin the Executive Director of The Broadway League standing in front of the step and repeat getting their photo taken.
I am at the 64th Annual Tony Nominations Press Event. All nominees are being interviewed about their nominations in one of 26 categories ranging from Best Musical to Best Actor to Best Choreographer to Best... You get the
idea. How can I tell in the hustle and bustle who is a nominee? Each nom has been presented with a circular TONY pin on their lapel. They are busy signing TONY posters, and beginning the interviewing process which will not
stop until the coveted Antoinette Perry Award is handed our on June 13.
Still wondering what is a step and repeat? You see it at every opening night or award ceremony. It is the large background banner that celebrities stand in front of for photographs and interviews. This one says multiple times TONY AWARDS and CBS.
As I look around the entire floor is filled with pipe and drape creating a world of smaller booths with a film crew and two chairs, one for an interviewer and a star in each booth. Press people from around the world waiting to interview stars and creative teams.
The air is alive with the latest buzz, congratulations and “wow its early” from the performers who are relatively wide-awake given the time of day.
I immediately get on my IPhone to text the Variety Magazine reporter Gordon
Cox who will be interviewing me regarding our ASU Gammage’s Tony Viewing Party.
While I am waiting to find Gordon, a myriad of producers like Stuart Thompson from A View From The Bridge, Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman from American Idiot pass by and we greet each other with hugs and kisses of congratulations.
Shawn Purdy who is the public relations contact for Wasserworld, the producer of the Tonys says, “Colleen, you’re looking for Gordon and Gordon is looking for you. Both of you are standing side by side texting each other!” We all chuckle and Gordon hustles me off to the land of little booths to begin our interview. To Gordon’s credit, despite Denzel Washington, Scarlett Johansson, Bill T. Jones, Alfred Molina and other stars swirling around, he gives me his full focus and attention as if I was one of them!
It is such a fun and festive atmosphere that the reporters are equally as excited as the nominees and the organizers of the event The Broadway League and American Theatre Wing.
Check out my interview with Gordon interview here
After this event, I attended two of the last seven shows I have to see as a Tony voter…Enron and Collected Stories. Enron is a musical that starred Leo Norbert Butz (who everyone should remember the Tony Award winning star in
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on Broadway and in the touring production at ASU Gammage from the 07-08 Season as well as Gregory Itzin (President Charles Logan from the TV show “24”.
Collected Stories stars Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulson. Sadly, the musical version of Enron closed on Sunday. It was a smash hit in West End in London and had a grand run. I found it to be intriguing and entertaining. Collected Stories is still on Broadway. These two mark the 31st and 32nd play and musical I have seen this Tony season with
only five more shows to see. Guess which five I have left before I cast my Tony ballot? FENCES,SONDHIEM ON SONDHIEM,COME FLY AWAY,EVERYDAY RAPTURE and AMERICAN IDIOT.
My next blog will be a blog a day from The Broadway League conference next week where I will be meeting, greeting and introducing some of the performers, producers, choreographers, book writers, composers and lyrists. All this leading up to our Tony Viewing Party, a LIVE Tony Award® simulcast from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The event will take place on Sunday,June 13 at ASU Gammage. It will feature an advance telecast of the 2010 Tony Awards allowing guests to see the ceremony and the winners prior to the local airing on CBS 5. Red Carpet activities begin at 4 p.m. and the live simulcast begins at 5 p.m. at ASU Gammage.
Partygoers will enjoy a Red Carpet arrival complete with local celebrities, paparazzi and more. Each guest will receive the official Tony Playbill® (the same Playbill that will be handed out to guests inside Radio City Music Hall).
As Arizona’s only Tony voter I have had the pleasure to see the Tonys live for many years in New York. This year, 3,000 people can join me at ASU Gammage to see the stars, the performances and of course who walks away with the Tony Awards live first-hand. Tickets to the Tony Viewing Party are on sale and available at the ASU Gammage Box Office and through Ticketmaster. Tickets for reserved seating are $20 and $35. $150 tickets for the Tony Viewing Party and a VIP post-show dinner are available through the ASU Gammage
Box Office or at 480.965.3434 only. For more information on the event, please contact 480.965.5062.