Ladies and gents,
When you go to as many fancy parties as I do, it’s easy to get jaded. How many champagne fountains can you sip from before it feels boring? How many gift bags must a hedge funder sort through before you can call him a man? How many beach parties must a young starlet attend before she sleeps in the sand?
But one annual bacchanal has the power to dazzle even the most partied out among us: O&M’s annual Tony party. Celebrating its 10 year anniversary, the party was back at its most beloved home: the Carlyle. For a while, devotees like myself worried that the party might become a victim of its own success — expanding outward from the intimate confines of the Royal Suite to the Empire Suite and eventually taking over Bemelman’s Bar, Cafe Carlyle, the Gallery, and the restaurant. Well, this year allayed all my anxiety. It was as starry as ever, with Andrew Garfield, Jordan Roth, Matthew Morrison, Andrew Rannells, Zachary Quinto, Rachel Antonoff, Rachel Bloom, Elaine Paige, Katharine McPhee, William Ivey Long, Ethan Slater, Tony Kushner, Lee Pace, Sara Bareilles, David Cromer, Ari’el Stachel, Harry Hadden-Paton, Marianne Elliott and Chris Harper, Tim Levy, Mindy & Bob Rich, and just about every other person you’d ever want to see on Broadway’s night of nights. Even Broadway’s most avuncular teetotaler, Joey Parnes, was spotted still standing as the clock ticked ever closer to dawn! But as lovely (and, for those of us with low self-esteem, validating) as being amongst the glitterati is, the real heart and soul of this party has always been the collegiality it fosters amongst what host Rick Miramontez calls “Broadway’s Little Soldiers.” Well, this year’s vibe was particularly friendly, without even a whiff of the kind of cutthroat Awards Season competition in the air.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, fresh off winning a Tony for Lifetime Achievement, played DJ – spinning his own dance party in the Café Carlyle-renamed “Disco Lloyd Webber” complete with a light-up dance floor, à la Saturday Night Fever. Among those boogying to his genuinely quirky playlist (which included “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini”) was the casts of Dear Evan Hansen and Frozen, Carole Shorenstein Hays, ATG’s Mark Cornell, Bernie Telsey, Lia Vollack, Christine Schwarzman, and Sonja Morgan, along with family members Madeleine Lloyd Webber, Imogen Lloyd Webber, Bella Lloyd Webber and longtime consigliere Peter Brown.
(My Tony Awards weekend, I should mention, got kicked off in high-style at Le Bernardin for a party saluting Lord Lloyd Webber thrown by John Gore. Gore and I both ended our weekend in similar high-style, lounging in the Royal Suite.)
Tidbits from around town…
- Witnessed… freshly minted Tony winner Katrina Lenk carousing with her old Spider-Man cast mates Reeve Carney, Patrick Page, and Christopher Tierney.
- Watched… William Ivey Long dragging culture photographer and Tony Honors recipient Sara Krulwich around the party to have her ring kissed.
- Caught… New York Times theater heavies Scott Heller and Michael Paulson being escorted up to the Royal Suite late into the evening — making sure to lay eyes on every last corner of the party like the thorough journalists they are.
- Champagne flowed, fun was had, and every single person who managed to snag a coveted invitation felt like a valuable member of New York’s most exciting club.
I made my exit at 4am, and with that — another season had gone by. Now, we take a long, deep breath, and gear up to do it all over again. See you in September.
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!