“The Night They Invented Champagne”
Ladies and gents,
After what has been the most eventful week in recent memory, my sleep patterns are finally back on track thanks to the “Three M’s”: melatonin, meditation, and massage (well, 4 if you count the seven glasses of Malbec I’ve downed this week). Of course, the big theatrical news of the week are the Tony Award nominations. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder dominated the headlines, by snagging a whopping 10 nominations – more than any other show. It’s up for the most coveted prize of the night, Best Musical, along with After Midnight (which snagged 7 nominations in total), Beautiful—The Carole King Musical (also 7), and Aladdin (5). All the Broadway pundits – usually a bunch of know-it-all blowhards (some of whom I count as my dearest friends) – have found themselves scratching their heads trying to call an early frontrunner. It’s looking to be a real nail-biter of a season, which means everyone should heed my advice: stock up on melatonin, download a meditation app, and get a strong masseur on speed dial.
With nominations spread out among a large number of shows, the only people you should pity this week were those trying to find champagne in the Times Square area. I got several reports about massive bubbly shortages, with some folks forced to pay more than $100 for a simple bottle of Moet. So where did all the champagne go? Here is how the nominated Best Musicals chose to celebrate:
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder played it old school, with an on-stage champagne toast for the full company. Lead producer Joey Parnes reportedly gave a very funny and heartfelt speech, using the number ten as a theme for the show that took ten years to wend its way to Broadway and wound up garnering that same number of Tony nods. The producers also distributed t-shirts to everyone reading “Keep Calm and Kill a D’Ysquith.”
After Midnight waited until nearly, well, after midnight to celebrate – carting the entire company over to Tommy Tune’s East Side penthouse for an impromptu party. A jam session ensued and I’m told things got so rowdy that the cops showed up. They didn’t end up breaking up the bash, though.
I’m told they joined in the champagne prayer circle that Tommy led. What’s the matter? You’ve never heard of a champagne prayer circle? Silly reader, champagne, you see, is the sacramental wine of Broadway! I hear Disney Theatricals topper Thomas Schumacher sent mounds and mounts of goodies (everything from baked goods to, you guessed it, champagne) over to the theater for the cast and crew of Aladdin to enjoy.
The producers of Beautiful, taking a cue from my own play book, ended up giving the entire cast and crew gift certificates for massages. Not only was this a thoughtful gesture to help buoy everyone through the most insane time of year, it had the added benefit of not utilizing a single precious drop of champagne.
I don’t imagine the celebrations will end anytime soon, so if you are in need of some bubbles between now and June 8, try an East Side retailer like Sherry-Lehmann or someplace downtown like Astor Wines & Spirits.
Tidbits from around town…
Spotted Disney star Cody Linley waiting a very long time for an Uber on 3rd Avenue and 27th Street.
Overheard Christine Baranski and Mika Brzezinski wishing each other “happy birthday” as they passed each other on East 63rd Street. What are the chances?
Saw Brian Williams hopping out of a cab stuck in gridlock on 14th Street and running into a subway station. You know the traffic is out of control when even our national news anchors are forced to ride the C Train.
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!