Who's got two thumbs and just won a Tony Award? This Guy. Well, technically, this company, but companies don't really have collective thumbs or anything, so the joke doesn't really work as well.
Still, the point is: We have a Tony Award!
Desiree Pedrami, Thom Dunn, Solange Garcia, & Catherine Halpin, outside Radio City Music Hall
This past Sunday night was an incredibly exciting evening for all of us, and not just because it's fun to wear a tux (although it is). A total of Eighty-Five Huntingtonians (including staff, Board, and guests) traveled to New York to see Michael Maso & Peter DuBois receive the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award live at Radio City Music Hall on our behalf. For a lot of us, the thrill of strolling down the streets of Midtown in our fancy dress felt like Theatre Prom, minus the curfew. The crowds of spectators had already gathered outside the police barricades around the venue by 5:30, and while admittedly they probably weren't trying to snap a photo of me (or any of the Huntington staff in attendance), parting the sea of people like a well-dressed Moses and having a friendly police officer take note of your fancy attire and help you through was still pretty cool.
Once inside Radio City, we began searching around for the rest of our Huntington family, all of whom were cleverly disguised in fabulous gowns and penguin costumes. We ran into former Artistic Director Nicholas Martin in the lobby, accompanied by Brooks Ashmanskas, who most recently appeared at the Huntington in God of Carnage. Everyone grabbed a drink, learned that drinks aren't allowed in the theatre, shrugged, and took our seats in the back of the orchestra (only Michael and Peter got to enjoy the real good seats down front for nominees).
One of the more interesting parts of the evening was experiencing the live filming and editing of the performance. Every now and then we'd hear the Production Stage Manager's voice booming over the God Mic, "2 minutes, ladies and gentlemen...and we're back in 10...9...8...a little applause everybody...and we're back live!", and as the night wore on he always found new ways to entertain us and keep the energy up while the folks back home enjoyed their obligatory commercial breaks (we don't normally have those in theatre). Although the broadcast began at 8pm, the awards themselves actually started around 7:15pm. This segment was hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and Jane Krakowski (30 Rock), who prepped the audience on the rules: hold your applause until the end, winners have 75 seconds to get to the stage and speak, et cetera. The awards presented during this segment were later aired as clips during the live broadcast; it was fun seeing which pull-quote or snippet from each acceptance speech actually made it onto television. We had originally expected Michael & Peter to accept the award during this time, but unfortunately the Lifetime Achievement speeches went a bit longer than anticipated (to be fair, it is an achievement of an entire lifetime, so...), and our fearless leaders were temporarily shunted off to a holding cell along with the children of Annie and Matilda to await their rescheduled on-stage appearance.
They eventually made it out alive, and here's their victory speech in its entirety (presented by my personal favorite time-traveling-plastic-Centurion-nurse-turned-Irish-pub-singer Rory Pond):
Michael won the backstage bet of getting his soundbite on the air ("And so together we celebrate our extraordinary audiences and with you tonight we celebrate the proud, passionate, and resilient people of the great city of Boston, Massachusetts"), meaning Peter paid for the first round of drinks. That being said, I must deny any rumors of a Maso-DuBois standup comedy duo act being added to our 2013-2014 Season.
Former Director of Public Relations John Michael Kennedy with current staff members Lisa McColgan and Michael Comey (with Christopher Durang photobombing in the background)
Overall, it was a fantastic night for Boston on the Great White Way, with Diane Paulus of the A.R.T. winning "Best Director of a Musical" for production of Pippin, which itself won "Best Revival Of A Musical" (and of course begin its run in Cambridge). And while we were disappointed that Nicholas Martin did not win "Best Director" for Vanya & Sonya & Masha & Spike despite our wild howling (although the production itself won "Best Play"), we were very pleased to see the women sweep the awards for directing. If that's what we have to take, we'll happily live with it! Our friends at Chicago's Steppenwolf also won for "Best Revival of a Play" for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, making it a strong showing for non-profit regional theatres across the country.
After being wow'd by NPH's sick rhymes (does anyone else smell a Jay-Z musical coming next fall?), we celebrated the evening at the Renaissance Hotel overlooking Times Square, where we were joined by our extended family, including former Director of Public Relations John Michael Kennedy, Peter's former assistant Chris Carcione, director Daniel Goldstein (God of Carnage, next season's Venus in Fur), and many others (we even had a few party crashers! We're that cool!). Everyone at the after party had a chance to pose with the Tony Award, which is much heavier than it looks, and munch on special Huntington cupcakes, which were precisely as delicious as they look. It's my understanding that after the evening (morning?) came to an end, a small group continued the celebration at the Kinky Boots party down the street, but that story isn't mine to tell.
You can check out our complete photo album over on Facebook or Flickr, but here are a few selects from the evening (morning?).