Theaterdom’s annual Drama League Awards, the oldest theatrical honors in the USA, is an appetizer course before our main dish — the Tonys.
At its 85th event, the first arrival at the Marriott Marquis was Bonnie Milligan of “Head Over Heels,” the Go-Go’s musical. Her p.r. lady agreed they’d wear identical raspberry chiffon-y shmattas. Last arrival, Annette Bening, who said: “My husband (Warren Beatty) saw the Broadway show I’m in, ‘All My Sons,’ twice. He did NOT give notes on my performance. Never would he give me notes.”
Winner Bryan Cranston. So I asked: When is his last appearance? So, he answered: “If you’re inquiring as to when’s my final day on a deathbed — I cannot say I am entirely sure. If you mean to ask, when does my play ‘Network’ close, it’s the 8th. I’ll party the 9th, rest the 10th, home to LA the 11th and it’s liberation the 12th.”
Beth Leavel: “Even if I win no Tony this year, I AM winning a husband. Adam Heller, an actor.” His acting must be good because her engagement ring was. “If I win, I’ll bring two fake Tonys onstage because they were props in a scene of our show ‘The Prom.’ I’ll toss the fakes, and grab the real one.”
John Lithgow: “I’ve met Clinton three times. And Hillary came backstage after my one-man show. We knew for months they’d heard about our ‘Hillary and Clinton’ play. We offered to perform it for them alone in an empty theater, but it didn’t happen. I read lots about them, but never attempted any imitation. We love the play. It’s no political statement. It’s different, like any marriage.” About his being onstage in shorts? “I’ve had lots of compliments on my naked legs.”
“Hillary and Clinton’s” other half, Laurie Metcalf, in black pumps and knee-length white dress: “I don’t own this, but I should go buy it.” Back to the play. “Hillary knew about this. May even have read it.”
What if you forget your lines? Her answer: “Oh, please. You look the other in the eye and stare until they help you. If they don’t, you just stand there and pee.”
What they’re wearing
It was noon. One “Hadestown” female wore short shorts. Someone else, a floor-length coat. One bearded gent featured a ponytail. Yiddish “Fiddler’s” Tevye did hot pink with overlong sleeves covering his fingers. Anatevka has lousy tailors. Kelli O’Hara, in black-and-white Donna Karan just below the knee, looked stunning even as she ran into the can. Fortunately, the guy who snapped pics of A-Rod was busy.
He knows ‘Jack’
Tony winner Warren Carlyle choreographing “Hugh Jackman: The Show”: “I know Hugh 21 years. We know each other well. I love him. We did ‘Oklahoma!’ in London before he was famous and me just a dancer. Now, he’s a star, and I can tell people what to do.”
In between André De Shields, Brooks Ashmanskas and Kristine Nielsen was BD Wong, who said, “I’m in Season 4 of USA Network’s ‘Mr. Robot.’ This summer, I’m on Awkwafina’s new Comedy Central show. Also, I’m directing ‘The Great Leap’ play in Pasadena.” I left him before he informed me he’s rewriting “Othello.”
Santino Fontana on getting the “Tootsie” role: “I knew the director. Three years ago, he said, ‘I got a script based on a movie. You can’t be pretty. Can’t like the costumes. Great part, but we must be sure we get the right person.’ ” OK, so wasn’t he scared? “I was scared of everything. I’m still scared.”
The Richard Hillman office and Philip Carrubba have publicised the League probably before Katharine Cornell’s first award in 1935. Concerned I mightn’t recognize the new faces and legs in “Hadestown,” they gave me p.r. man Bill Coyle. So, I asked his background. My new helper’s answer? “Oh, listen, I’m just an old whore.”
And where else might this happen but only in New York, kids, only in New York.
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