Drinking in The Tony Awards

Sunday, June 17, 2012

There's always some glitter of Tinseltown on Broadway; however, the 66th Annual American Theater Wing's Tony Awards had a really important film tie-in. You probably think I'm referring to: The win for Death of a Salesman produced by Scott Rudin, directed by Mike Nichols, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield, who brought along current girlfriend and Spiderman (2012 movie) co-star Emma Stone.

Or Once, totally sweeping the Tonys as a Broadway musical! Which first was a movie with an amazing soundtrack and a love story which I found to be utterly charming in it's simplicity.

But no, it's bigger than that. Could it be... Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) getting a special Tony Award for his work with Broadway Cares, presented to him by his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness who should never have worn those clunky shoes with that hideous dress. Although I must say, I do like that the love of Jackman's life is slightly plus sized.

Of course the evening boasted - Frank Langella, Paul Rudd, Jessica Chastain, Amanda Seyfried, James Marsden, James Earl Jones, John Lithgow, Cynthia Nixon, Candace Bergen and Tyler Perry - all bona fide movie stars!

But the biggest connection to film on Broadway this night, was ME! ;-D 

I no longer have Photoshop to take out or blur unwanted items in the composition

I attended last Sunday's Live Broadcast of the Tony Awards!!! I got to be a seat-filler and it was great fun and I'm just gonna say it - I looked absolutely fabulous!

Let's start with finding the right dress. I was presented with the opportunity only 2 weeks before the Tonys; so I made dress shopping a priority during the Memorial Weekend, which killed two birds with one stone, as I had been feeling sorry for myself that I didn't have any special plans for the holiday weekend.

What starts out fun, however, quickly becomes a drag when you find yourself either too fat or too poor for the dresses you really want. By 5pm I was about to give up when I entered my last dress shop for the day - Jessica McClintock. With a quick perusal I was on my way out, seeing that all the dresses were made for a size 0-6.

First dress I  tried on was a Vera Wang
Side note: When I was in my teens and early 20's, I don't remember their being a size 0. The popular teens of my day were the Facts of Life girls, none of which knew anything about a size 0. Justine Bateman was a nice, normal weight and Lisa Bonet was petite, but hardly thin.

Anyway, as I turned to go, the sales woman called out "Can I help you?" I said, "No, I don't think you have anything in my size. I need something that magically camouflages and/or minimizes the stomach area." She said, "I have one dress that does just that." I was dubious, but waited for her to go get it. Seeing the dress, I immediately said, "No, too body conscious, that won't work." She said, "Trust me, I've been dressing people for 20 years". And she was so right! I felt elegant and svelte in this dress.

One problem, normally if your hips and waist are a certain size you've got cleavage to match, not so here. I had to buy those silicone cutlets, a push up bra and a second push up bra that I cut in two and stuffed inside the first bra. And still, the dress kept wanting to slip down a bit or twist.

The art deco fan effect of the dress inspired me to go for a 1920's old Hollywood look with the hair and jewelry. A few of the girls I work with, suggested I buy a choker type necklace; they didn't care for the idea of a pin on the gown; but I knew better. The complete look garnered me many, many compliments,particularly the stunning bird pin, which I found in a vintage store Griffin & Hawkins (Philly).

I even had a male tourist single me out from the other seatfillers and ask to take my picture, while standing outside the Beacon Theater. Which brings me to a catty moment - there were a couple of seatfillers who, let's just say, didn't take advantage of the glamor of the evening. Some of the dresses were at best, something you'd wear to an office Christmas party. One girl came with her hair still wet. And I notice some un-manicured nails!

As it was my birthday weekend, I went all out. Spent way too much, but it was all worth it: stayed in a hotel in Chelsea, got the works at Ada Spa (Tribeca), makeup done at MAC, which unfortunately, the sweet, but young makeup artist, Leslie, didn't really understand how to create an understated old movie effect or even the more dramatic makeup of the roaring 20's. When I told her I was attending the Tony Awards, she said, "Wouldn't that be held in Hollywood?" I refrained from a flip retort and gently reminder her, Broadway is in NYC.

I was one of 100 seat-fillers and they (there's actually a company hired by ATW to handle this aspect of the awards) said everyone would have a chance to be seated on the main level at some point during the evening. These seat captains are all seasoned pros, a team of about 12. Our training was pretty quick and efficient and all I could do was hope that when we were actually in the trenches that it would be as simple of a process as they made it seem.

Don't get me wrong, we were made to understand the do's and don't's, but the atmosphere was a lot more light-hearted than I expected, with an emphasis on our enjoying the evening.

Speaking of Do's & Dont's the letter we received via email confirming our status as seatfillers clearly stated in big, bold, all capital letters - DO NOT BRING YOUR CELLPHONES, security will confiscate them. Being ever in a blogging state of mind, I was devastated by this directive. Celebrities, glamor, Broadway, New York, Tonys and no pictures?!

I polled both friends and family asking if I should sneak my phone inside the many layers of my bra stuffing. The odds were not in my favor. Most were afraid I'd be escorted out if it were found or if I was caught using it at some point during the evening, so the consensus was to leave it at the hotel, and I did. But I'm sure you can guess - Yes, every single seat-filler I talked to had their cellphone!!! That's how I got these two pics of me outside and inside the theater, one of the well-dressed girls, Jill, took these shots and emailed them to me.

Pic taken before the house opened
After the training, there was a bit of a wait for the house to open, you could hear all the milling about in the lobby and I was dying to go out there to witness the arrivals on the red carpet, but that would have been frowned upon, so we waited for the celebs to come to us. Unfortunately, I was on the far side of the theater, most people entered in by the first two doors, but I did get one very famous person down my aisle - Christopher Plummer!

Once the pre-show awards started, I got a very good seat, right behind Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, who later I saw knoodling in a holding area. In this same area was seated Ellen Barkin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, (did you know he's only 45, why does he look so aged? He needs to start taking whatever elixir is keeping Bernadette Peters looking so dewy and fresh) Cynthia Nixon, John Lithgow and Christopher Plummer. I could see Judith Light a couple of row over to the left and Linda Lavin to the right.

As was expected, I wasn't able to sit there for long. Still, I got very lucky in my next and final move. Not only did I enjoy sitting next to a fun, lively, fellow seatfiller, who was a super Broadway theater buff, aptly named Tony. I was also seated behind Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, the two creator, musicians and stars of the movie Once. In front of them was Trey Parker and Matt Stone,the creators of South Park and the equally irreverent musical The Book of Mormon, which won 9 Tonys last year. Next to them was gorgeous John Stamos, who appeared to be good friends with Trey. It's funny, when you see someone as familiar as Stamos, you feel like they should know you too.

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.  I got to talk to Glen at the end of the night. So adorable. And so genuinely please for everyone associated with Once the Musical.

To my left was a big CBS Exec, John Nogawski. No, he didn't introduce himself, and although I'd recognize Les Moonves, I wouldn't know those under him. Actually, I was sneaking a peek at who he was texting all through the show. I saw his name on the to: from: and later Googled him. Oddly enough, I saw two of his texts were to Arsenio Hall and Rosie O'Donnell, of all the has beens.

I also watched the musical chairs of the other seatfillers during the commercial breaks, poor suckers were up and down and in and out, where as Tony and I lucked out and got seats of no shows, so we just sat back an enjoyed one lively musical number after another.

I did tape the broadcast and later in the week watched to see if I got on TV. You can see my hands and bracelet and a bit of my purse when the camera zoomed in on Glen and Marketa, and one other time there's a very quick shot of me I was able to see on freeze frame.

Okay, well this post is getting way too long. Suffice it to say, I'm thankful I got to do this and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience! I did manage an invite into the after party at The Plaza Hotel. I had some appetizer upstairs, but learned of the real savories downstairs in Food Hall too late. The only edible to exclaim over was a piece of Green Tea Layer Cake. I love green tea ice cream, but it's even better as a cake, so cool and light. (Wish I had a picture). Some of the goodies in the swag bag contained: Pain D'Avignon bread, David Burke brownie, Todd English Mixed Dragee, and William Greenberg cookie. The big non-perishable item was a super deluxe Nexus hair care package.

Here I am with Tom Brandt, the Film Buff & Foodie I interviewed last month
I met people and danced and stayed til the end, then loaded with three glasses of champagne and a martini, I poured myself into a cab and made it back to my hotel, where I fell asleep, face still painted.

Congratulation to all the winners and to everyone at the American Theater Wing and The Broadway League for presenting a fabulous night to salute the magic of theater!

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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