Last year, we arrived about an hour before things got happening and had no trouble finding a good spot to stand. This year, we took the subway up to the Upper West Side after we finished up at the Big Apple BBQ Festival, arriving at the Beacon Theater around 4:00 p.m. That was way earlier than we planned to get there, but it ended up being a good thing - the red carpet was already set up and the street was already lined with fans waiting to see some celebrities. Luckily, we were able to squeeze in along the barricade in a prime spot with a view of the entrance to the red carpet.
Tony Awards at the Beacon Theater
Entrance to the red carpet
The full red carpet setup
The Tony Awards actually posted this photo of the crowd across the street on their Twitter - I'm the person on the very far left, in the blue dress and hat! See me?
We thought we would have a long time to wait, but things started happening much sooner than we anticipated. We knew things were getting started when drag queens from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert showed up. They were hard to miss, to say the least.
They do stand out in a crowd, don't they?
Next to arrive was the host of the evening, Neil Patrick Harris. I find him to be just about as cute as a button, so I was excited to see him.
Hi there, NPH!
Didn't he do a fabulous job hosting? I thought the show was fantastic overall, but I just loved NPH. If you missed it, check out these highlights (or if you watched it, enjoy them a second time!): NPH's opening number ("Not Just for Gays Anymore!"), NPH's duet with Hugh Jackman, and the closing credits rap, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail during the show. Good show, right?
But, let's not get ahead of ourselves - back to the red carpet!
We didn't really care for the new venue, as far as celeb-sightings go, because the street at the Beacon Theater is a much busier street than the street alongside Radio City. They don't stop traffic, but it's generally fine at Radio City because it's just one lane passing by anyway. The traffic is not too much in the way, and celebs can even come over to the fans easily if they want to (although last year only Daniel Radcliffe actually did - he's very friendly!). This year, there were several lanes of traffic passing by, so several times we missed getting a photo of someone we wanted (such as David Schwimmer!) because some rude bus or cab or truck was stopped right in front of us. Oh, how the crowd would scream and yell at the offending vehicle!
We ended up with a bunch of pictures that look like this. You can tell there's something to take a photo of thanks to the girl behind the cab pointing her phone camera at someone, but that cab totally photobombed our picture.
But, all in all, I would say it was a celebrity-sighting success! We saw many of the evening's nominees and winners, including Sutton Foster and Joel Grey (both of whom I loved in Anything Goes), Trey Parker and Matt Stone (who won several awards for their musical The Book of Mormon), Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad from The Book of Mormon, Norbert Leo Butz (Catch Me If You Can), John Laroquette (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), Bobby Cannavale (The Motherf**ker with the Hat), Al Pacino (The Merchant of Venice), Edie Falco (The House of Blue Leaves), Judith Light (Lombardi) and Vanessa Redgrave (Driving Miss Daisy).
Matt Stone and Trey Parker (they won Best Direction of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Musical for Book of Mormon)
Norbert Leo Butz (winner of Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his role as Carl Hanratty in Catch Me If You Can) and his wife being interviewed on the red carpet
Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells from Book of Mormon
John Larroquette (winner of Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying)
Sutton Foster (winner of Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Anything Goes)
Al Pacino! We're still upset we never got to see him in Shakespeare in the Park last year. That hurts.
We also saw quite a lot of other celebrities (some on Broadway but not nominated, some there as presenters, etc.), including James Earl Jones, Kate Flannery, Kelsey Grammer, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Alec Baldwin, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Shaffer, Matthew Broderick, Christie Brinkley, Brooke Shields, Harry Connick Jr., Tyne Daly, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, John Leguizamo and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
James Earl Jones
Samuel L. Jackson
Harry Connick Jr.
The Tony Awards red carpet gave us enough celebrities to bring our total NYC Celebrity Sighting count up over 300! Can you believe it? We're averaging 100 celebrities a year here! Plus, there are lots of repeat sightings on our list, but we only count people once. We are celeb-spotting machines.
As we were watching the red carpet, there was a protest going on by a group of people accusing the show The Scottsboro Boys of being racist. I haven't seen this show (and in fact, it is not even playing anymore), so I can't comment on the matter, but the protesters paced back and forth behind the crowd of fans for a while, chanting and shouting. They then moved around to the front of the theater where they set up camp.
Protesters marching behind fans
Protesting in front of the theater
Other than that though, it was a very upbeat and fun evening. The red carpet wrapped up by 7:30, so Eric and I made our way home to watch the show (and the Mavericks beat the Heat!) at home.
And as I said, the show was great, wasn't it? I was glad to see Sutton Foster win for Anything Goes, which also won for Best Revival of a Musical. We loved it when we saw it in March, so I agree with that win! And The Book of Mormon really cleaned up. That show is definitely next up on my "Must See" Broadway show list. Thanks to a tip from a friend (hi, Megan!), I downloaded the soundtrack last week on Amazon, and it is hilarious! Now the show just needs to stop being sold out all the time and I'm there.
Don't you just love the theater?