Just like Cyndi Lauper, Shindigger has prepared since childhood for Broadway’s biggest night by practicing our acceptance speech “to the shower curtain.” Of course, that practice came in handy for Ms. Lauper as she took home a statue at last Sunday night’s 67th annual Tony Awards. Shindigger, meanwhile, had to make do with running after her on the red carpet.
Thousands of fans shrieked with excitement behind a bevy of police barricades across the Avenue of the Americas. Indeed, the police presence was so large you would have thought the Obamas were doing a musical number. Sadly, they were not. But lord knows everyone else was.
A seemingly presidential stretch limo slowly rolled up to the front entrance and Cicely Tyson swanned out. The 79-year-old, who was nominated for her marvelous turn as Mrs. Carrie Watts in Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful, looked dazzling in an iris-hued custom b. michael couture gown with scalloped and origami detailing. Some thought it was a bit busy—like Kathleen Turner, who wore a black Akris frock and said, “I don’t like frills or ruffles; I’m a very plain dresser”—but Shindigger says: Ms. Tyson can do as she damn well pleases.
“I’m wearing Tamsen Z and David Meister,” hollered five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald as she scurried through the step and repeat.
We then asked the passing (and stunning) Condola Rashad, nominated as a featured actress in Bountiful, how Broadway was treating her. “We have so much fun every night. I’ve got my Uncle Cuba [Gooding Jr.], I’ve got my fairy godmother Vanessa Williams, it’s just been great!”
Before we could ask anything else, Ms. Tyson rolled up beside her and reached in for a hug. We moved on to Annaleigh Ashford, nominated for her performance in Kinky Boots.
“I’m wearing an up-and-coming designer called Novis. She’s a fierce young girl and I’ve been wearing her all season,” the waifish blonde dished.
Pippin star Patina Miller went with a floral mesh Zac Posen couture number with Fred Leighton jewels. “I’ve always wanted to wear a mermaid-style gown,” she reasoned. “Last time, I was very sleek and slinky; this time I wanted to be very romantic and sweet.”
Kinky Boots’s Billy Porter had to be the evening’s best-dressed gentleman. “I’m wearing a designer named Wooyoungmi. She is a French-Korean designer,” he rasped.
“We hope you win tonight,” Shindigger gushed unabashedly, making sure no one from Matilda was listening in.
“Me too!” was Mr. Porter’s excited response.
And win he did. So did Ms. Miller and Ms. Tyson.
As did Judith Light for her role as Faye in Richard Greenberg’s play The Assembled Parties, her second win in two years.
“I was away from this community for a really long time,” Ms. Light said. “I went away to Hollywood. I was there for 22 years, and I was terrified to come back to the theater. I needed to prove to this community that I meant it, that I really wanna be back here.” And the result? “The result of this is an ongoing love affair between me and this community!”
Along with Hannes Otto, a third-year Juilliard student, and Billy Morrissette from last season’s Girls, we then pranced from Radio City over to The Plaza, where Larry Kramer, Andrea Martin and Courtney B. Vance were celebrating their Tony victories.
“I was just so—as you can imagine—incredibly proud,” Angela Bassett said of her husband Mr. Vance’s win for best featured actor in Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy. “It’s great when the good guys get it and the hard work is appreciated and applauded.”
Meanwhile, celebrity chef Todd English had prepared a menu worthy of the Tonys. “I work very hard with my team to prepare for one of the most important nights on Broadway,” Mr. English told Shindigger at The Plaza Food Hall. “It’s such a fun night, meeting new and old friends. It was a pleasure to meet Jesse Tyler Ferguson, being a fan of Modern Family. Also Matthew Morrison and Megan Hilty, who were both so gracious and nice.”
As we slipped out the door, we bumped into Mike Tyson, the butt of many of host Neil Patrick Harris’s jokes during the ceremony.
We asked him what he’d thought of the Tonys.
“Awesome, this is not my last!” he told us with a playful punch to the ribcage, which we survived.
Shindigger’s entourage soon grew to include Broadway producers David Garfinkle and Beverly J. Camhe, and we all headed to Rick Miramontez’s O&M Co. bash at the Carlyle Hotel. We grabbed a glass of champagne and lifted it toward Ms. Lauper.
“Congrats!” we yelled.
“Thank you,” she purred with a smirk and then shifted direction.
In another corner, Tracy Letts, who took home an award for his role in Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf?, held court with a gaggle of friends.
Later that night, Shindigger found actor Patrick Page, who most recently received acclaim for his role as the Green Goblin in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, in an expansive penthouse on the 21st floor of the Carlyle.
“What’s kept you here so late?” we wondered.
“It’s the best part of the year in Manhattan,” he proclaimed, confessing that he had watched the ceremony from home and then met up with actor/director Steven Berkoff, who just happened to being staying at the hotel.
“I thought it was the best opening number that has ever been on the Tony Awards,” Mr. Page continued. “I think that Neil Patrick Harris is kind of a genius.”
Just then, Billy Porter’s sister could be heard repeating the phrase: “Billy, it’s five in the morning.” A quick glance at our iPhone confirmed that the Tony winner’s sis was more than right—it was finally time to bring down the curtain and shuffle-ball-change our way home.