Tony Sunday

If there’s one night of the year when my Twitter and Facebook are unbearable, it’s Tony Sunday. In my field, everyone has seen the shows, everyone knows someone in them, and anyone can get a ticket to the show or find an afterparty to take them in. Six Degrees of Broadway here, y’all. I have friends who went because they intern with the producer of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, friends who star in Rock of Ages, friends that work front-of-house for Kinky Boots, and a friend who AD-ed The Assembled Parties and is the stalwart partner of the director of Who’s Afraid of Viginia Woolf.

Me? I stayed home with A and L and drank too much wine. My first Tonys will be for my first Broadway show. And who knows. I might pull a Cecily Tyson and win at age 88.

But it was a good Tonys with lovely company in the comfort of my living room In the Heights (get it?). Every time L says how much she loves the two of us and every time A and L have moments where they are like any old friends, not brought together by circumstance.

I really wish I felt inspired to write, but by the end of the night last night, I felt inspired to act. And that, after all, is why I do all this, you know? So I’ll share a little of where that inspiration came last night. I recommend checking the telecast clips on YouTube.

from NPH’s Opening Number

“Nothing is bigger and better than seeing a veteran get an ovation.

Or seeing a brilliant beginner freak out when they win on their first nomination.

There’s a kid in the middle of nowhere who’s sitting and living for Tony performances

singing and flipping along with the Pippins and Wiggits and Kinkys, Matildas and Mormons-es.

So we might reassure that kid
and do something to spur that kid,
cause I promise you all of us up here tonight,
we WERE that kid.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BraXq07kkM

Judith Light, Best Featured Actress in a Play

“And to all of you in this community for your discipline and your devotion and your dedication, you lift our culture with your artistry. You inspire me. And I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be a part of you and call you my family.”

“And to all of you in this community for your discipline and your devotion and your dedication, you lift our culture with your artistry. You inspire me. And I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be a part of you and call you my family.”

 

 

 

Gabriel Ebert, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (he’s 26, so.)
“They didn’t get the mic high enough, but just being in this room is just really incredible and to be in this category with these paragons of men. I am so honored and grateful and slightly freaked out. And lastly, to Scott and to my mom and my dad, I hope that I have done and shall continue to make you proud. This is incredible. Thank you so much. Let’s make really good plays.”

“They didn’t get the mic high enough, but just being in this room is just really incredible and to be in this category with these paragons of men. I am so honored and grateful and slightly freaked out. And lastly, to Scott and to my mom and my dad, I hope that I have done and shall continue to make you proud. This is incredible. Thank you so much. Let’s make really good plays.”

Cyndi Lauper, Best Original Score

“I want to thank Broadway for welcoming me. You know. This city it’s… I understand how hard you work and I’ve never been a stranger to hard work, but your hard work inspires me.”

“I want to thank Broadway for welcoming me. You know. This city it’s… I understand how hard you work and I’ve never been a stranger to hard work, but your hard work inspires me.”

 

 

Andrea Martin, Best Featured Actress in a Musical
“I ran up here like a longshoreman because I know we only have 75 seconds, I’m so sorry… I’m so nervous, and I’m gonna put this down. [puts her Tony on the ground.] …  Yannick Thomas, my partner in the sky. Je t’adore.  Do you know how wonderful it is for a woman my age to be held by a man like that and never be dropped. It’s unbelievable.”

“I ran up here like a longshoreman because I know we only have 75 seconds, I’m so sorry… I’m so nervous, and I’m gonna put this down. [puts her Tony on the ground.] …  Yannick Thomas, my partner in the sky. Je t’adore.  Do you know how wonderful it is for a woman my age to be held by a man like that and never be dropped. It’s unbelievable.”

 

Martha Lavey, Best Revival of a Play

“We salute our colleague theaters across the country whose commitment with their artists and their communities to telling the human story enlivens the poetry of our collective life. With a special nod to the Chicago community where Steppenwolf has had its home for 37 years. And whose artists, theaters, audience, critical community and civic leadership are committed to a rich cultural life and have made Chicago a great, great theatre town. We are so proud.”We salute our colleague theaters across the country whose commitment with their artists and their communities to telling the human story enlivens the poetry of our collective life. With a special nod to the Chicago community where Steppenwolf has had its home for 37 years. And whose artists, theaters, audience, critical community and civic leadership are committed to a rich cultural life and have made Chicago a great, great theatre town. We are so proud.”

Tracy Letts, Best Actor in a Play (full speech because it’s that good. Also this guy has two Tonys in acting and writing and a Pulitzer for writing)

It’s so overwhelming. This is for my mom and dad. They encouraged a love of the arts and an appreciation for the written word that have enriched my life beyond measure. Mr. Hanks, Mr. Lane, Mr. Pierce, Mr. Sturridge you are not my competition, you are my peers and I am proud to be in your company. I share this with Amy Morton, with Carrie Coon, with the criminally undersung Madison Dirks, with Pam McKinnon for her expert captaincy and with Edward Albee for his enduring work of art. And I share this, actually, with not only everybody in this room but all the actors in Chicago, and in storefronts, and everybody who does this crazy, insane, frustrating job, the greatest job on earth. We are the ones who say it to their faces and we have a unique responsibility. I will cherish this always, thank you.”

It’s so overwhelming. This is for my mom and dad. They encouraged a love of the arts and an appreciation for the written word that have enriched my life beyond measure. Mr. Hanks, Mr. Lane, Mr. Pierce, Mr. Sturridge you are not my competition, you are my peers and I am proud to be in your company. I share this with Amy Morton, with Carrie Coon, with the criminally undersung Madison Dirks, with Pam McKinnon for her expert captaincy and with Edward Albee for his enduring work of art. And I share this, actually, with not only everybody in this room but all the actors in Chicago, and in storefronts, and everybody who does this crazy, insane, frustrating job, the greatest job on earth. We are the ones who say it to their faces and we have a unique responsibility. I will cherish this always, thank you.”

Cicely Tyson, Best Actress in a Play (also in full)

“Thou ate the potter, I’m only the clay. When I think of the moment where I stand before, this moment, I cannot help but remember all of the thumbprints that have touched this being during the course of her career. My mother and father, my sister and brother, none of whom are here with me. I’m the sole surviving member of my immediate family and I’ve asked over and over again, why? I now know why. It’s been 30 years since I stood on this stage. I really didn’t think it would happen again in my lifetime and I was pretty comfortable with that. Except that I had this burning desire for just one more. One more great role, I said, I didn’t want to be greedy. I just wanted one more. And it came to me through no effort on my part. Ben Ramsey, Hallie Foote, Michael, Bill Haber and the entire Haber family who have nurtured me for the last 40 years, M.J. who has paid the greatest price for my success. The American Theatre Wing for welcoming me home. Please wrap it up, it says. Well that’s exactly what you did with me. You wrapped me up in your arms after 30 years. Now I can go home with a Tony. God Bless you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“Thou ate the potter, I’m only the clay. When I think of the moment where I stand before, this moment, I cannot help but remember all of the thumbprints that have touched this being during the course of her career. My mother and father, my sister and brother, none of whom are here with me. I’m the sole surviving member of my immediate family and I’ve asked over and over again, why? I now know why. It’s been 30 years since I stood on this stage. I really didn’t think it would happen again in my lifetime and I was pretty comfortable with that. Except that I had this burning desire for just one more. One more great role, I said, I didn’t want to be greedy. I just wanted one more. And it came to me through no effort on my part. Ben Ramsey, Hallie Foote, Michael, Bill Haber and the entire Haber family who have nurtured me for the last 40 years, M.J. who has paid the greatest price for my success. The American Theatre Wing for welcoming me home. Please wrap it up, it says. Well that’s exactly what you did with me. You wrapped me up in your arms after 30 years. Now I can go home with a Tony. God Bless you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Finally, somehow this didn’t win Best Musical but who the fuck cares because it is perhaps my favorite musical ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Evj1z3l5hco

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