At Sunday evening’s Tony Awards, Broadway placed on a united entrance about carrying masks in theaters for the protection of audiences and performers alike.
“Everyone here is vaxxed and tested, and everyone is wearing a mask,” host Leslie Odom Jr. stated as he walked by celebs like Bernadette Peters and Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Every Broadway theater will look like this for a while, and that’s OK.”
But away from the glare of the cameras on the Winter Garden Theater, the lecturing stopped chilly.
Up within the mezzanine bar, as Jennifer Holliday was brilliantly belting out her traditional “And I Am Telling You” from the musical “Dreamgirls” onstage, I overheard a tuxedoed man loudly discussing the recent afterparty for “Slave Play” at Neuehouse, which appropriately was requiring proof of vaccination and a damaging COVID take a look at to attend.
“My assistant found a picture online of a BinaxNow test that was negative, and sent it,” one stated with fun, encouraging his buddies to do the identical. Not so humorous to your paying audiences, fellas.
“Slave Play” by Jeremy O. Harris was anticipated by all people to win the Best Play prize, and the room was shocked into close to silence when “The Inheritance” by Matthew Lopez gained as a substitute.
Harris — channeling Stephen Schwartz when “Wicked” lost to “Avenue Q” in 2004 — vamoosed. And the viewing celebration at Neuehouse, sources stated, turned the TVs off after the loss.
His buzzy bash was deliberate as a large-scale indoor occasion close to Madison Square Park. It was additionally one among few fetes being thrown, together with the bash for the fabulous Best Musical victor “Moulin Rouge The Musical,” which was quietly thrown at Tavern on the Green as an outdoor-only get-together for about 300 folks.
Other revelers, absent a spot to go, poured into Midtown pubs such because the Glass House Tavern.
The foremost Tony Awards celebration, initially meant to be held in an out of doors tent, was canceled, organizers stated, as a result of the town wouldn’t grant them a allow. And in case you consider that, I’ve a bridge to promote you.
In the Winter Garden, the present was divided in two elements — the dry nominees and winners portion was on the streaming service Paramount+ and a starry live performance aired nationally on CBS. Some celebs solely confirmed up for the glitzier community Broadcast. Kristin Chenoweth whooshed in, like Glinda the Good in her “Wicked” bubble, simply earlier than 9 p.m.
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose “Cats” performed the Winter Garden for 18 years, advised The Post he was giddy to be again from throughout the pond for the primary Tony Awards for the reason that pandemic shuttered theaters final year.
“We got open in London six weeks ago, — finally finally — with our shows, and you know to be back here is of course extraordinary,” he stated. “It’s so difficult to put into words, really, because it’s so moving for everybody involved in theater to be back doing what they love. And that’s the bottom line of it all. We’re back doing what we’ve been put on the planet to do.”
Lloyd Webber additionally revealed that his acclaimed West End musical “Cinderella,” with a ebook by “Promising Young Woman” winner Emerald Fennell, will doubtless open on Broadway subsequent season.
“I would think we’ll be open by late summer next year,” he stated.
You had to be a rock not to be impressed and moved to see Broadway — a beleaguered business — come again collectively in celebration as its exhibits reopen.
But, Broadway, in case you’re going to make security calls for of your viewers at this making an attempt time, don’t be a bunch of hypocrites.