“SO BIG, SO SMALL”
Ladies and gents,
This time of year on Broadway, everyone is so focused on winning Tony Awards that it can often feel like the Tony is the end game. Well, one only need look to last year’s winner to realize that winning a Tony Award isn’t an end at all. In fact, it’s often much closer to a beginning. The producers of Dear Evan Hansen could be sitting at home eating chocolates, preparing to hand the baton to a new winner in just under an month — after all only one show gets the bragging rights and those bragging rights only last 12 short months — but instead they are about to launch a much anticipated National Tour, while the mothership is still selling out nightly on Broadway.
Lead producer Stacey Mindich, who is helping to redefine the old boys club of theatrical lead producing, hosted a breakfast for all the road presenters this week, complete with blue donuts. (I wasn’t invited, I follow the donut-obsessive instagram feed of former New York Times scribe Erik Piepenburg, so I’m in-the-know.)
And, for the teams actually working on bringing Dear Evan Hansen across the country — from Orlando to Denver, from Los Angeles to Buffalo (tip: go to Jim’s SteakOut for the chicken finger sub) — there was another, even more exclusive breakfast held at Bond 45. I hear even those who showed up just for the free food, left completely awestruck by the growing potency of the Evan Hansen brand across press and social media. So, like I said, the Tony is really more the beginning than the end.
Of course, the big question on everyone’e mind is what show will grab that coveted baton from Dear Evan Hansen. As my dear readers know by now, I never make predictions about winners and losers, so I’m keeping my best guess mum. What I know for sure, though, is that in just about a year, that show hopes to be in the enviable position that last year’s winner is in right now. I make a point of, each year when they crown a new winner, to lift my glass of champagne to toast not just the new Best Musical, but also last years, and all the Best Musicals that came before. And ‘round and around we go.
Tidbits from around town…
Jimmy Buffett explaining the term “Uke Box Musical” to People Magazine topper Jess Cagle at Bar Centrale.
Broadway powerhouse Wendy Orshan hailing a taxi on West 44th Street.
Local news personality Frank DiLella marveling at quality of produce at Whole Foods so early in the growing season.
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!