On the red carpet at the 65th Tony Awards, The Observer found herself in the middle of the media blitz, between a reporter from Allure and a correspondent from Yahoo!, straining for glimpses of the crème of the creative class. “Who are these people?” asked a correspondent from a monthly publication. “Broadway stars”, answered The Observer. “Oh. Let me know when the celebrities get here.”
The red carpet attendees were notably more theatre-based names, giants of the stage, and innovators of the dramatic arts, with faces you would not recognize on a subway platform. Composer and bandleader Paul Shaffer, accompanied by his 17-year old daughter Victoria, divulged to The Observer that he still gets nervous around Julia Roberts.
Last year, the Tonys were criticized for their spotlighting movie stars outside the Broadway community–and the movie stars in attendance seemed less than interested in indulging the press. The likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Rock, Al Pacino, and Anika Noni Rose whisked past the press in a whirl of sequined gowns and unfathomably expensive tuxedos. John Leguizamo lingered for a while, regaling The Observer with his impressions of the evening. “It’s a really competitive year, like Belmont Racetrack. A lot of thoroughbreds are going up against each other.”
Christie Brinkley was all-too-thrilled to entertain the cameras, posing as a pinup girl in front of the cameras, blowing kisses at newspaper reporters. Arguably, the most anticipated arrival was that of newlywed couple Kelsey and Kayte Grammar. Kayte wasted no time doting on her husband to The Observer, and her joy at accompanying him to the award gala. “It was love at first sight,” she assured. “I’m his partner. I support him with whatever he does. I love being a newlywed, being with the man I was supposed to be with.” Kelsey chimed in, “It was love at first sight.”
Robert Lopez, co-creator of The Book of Mormon, was incredibly candid about his less-than-glamorous journey to Broadway success. “On the night Avenue Q [his first Tony award-winning play] opened off-Broadway, we [Mr. Lopez and wife Kristen[ didn’t have enough money to get to the theatre. We had to pick up Kristen’s check from the temp agency and cash it.” Reception of The Book of Mormon from the Church of Latter Day Saints has been overwhelmingly positive. “They respect the First Amendment,” said Lopez. “The moral of the story is that believing in God is good for you.” It worked, evidently, for the Book of Mormon crew last night!