“THE NUTTY CRACKER SUITE”
Ladies and gents,
It’s my last column before summer hiatus and I’m feeling reflective. But, as much as I’d like to figure out some way to sum up the totality of this remarkable season, I am obliged to give you what you want: a recap of the annual DKC/O&M Tony night bash at the Carlyle. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive an invitation this year, so I’m relying on the kindness of sources for all of this scoop.
Among the glittery guest list were Annette Bening and Warren Beatty, Joe Iconis, Jay Armstrong Johnson, the entire cast of The Boys in the Band, the entire cast of Torch Song, Jez Butterworth and Laura Donnelly, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, Anaïs Mitchell, Rachel Chavkin, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Aaron Tveit, Molly Gordon, Beanie Feldstein, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Jawan M. Jackson, Andrew Rannells, Judith Light, Laurie Metcalf, Jordan Roth and Richie Jackson, Sara Bareilles, Daryl Roth, Julie White, Montego Glover, and the party’s perennial mascot for eleven straight years: Jackie Hoffman.
I’m told that Sonia Friedman was spotted in deep conversation with Mary Wilson, while the party’s co-host John Gore chatted up his longtime pal Elaine Paige. Jamie DuMont, Rob Russo, and Leslie Kritzer were doing a live version of their popular theaterworld podcast, The Fabulous Invalid.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the velvet ropes, there was such a bottleneck at the door that some of the older revelers said it reminded them of a modern-day Studio 54. John Gore himself had to come rescue certain people stuck in line for upwards of an hour.
Standing outside the hotel, The Prom’s Brooks Ashmanskas wryly noted, between drags of his cigarette, “The Carlyle knows how to deal with this kind of crowd. Elaine Stritch used to live here.”
Apparently, the door policy was even tighter getting upstairs into one of the two suites the party had taken over, thanks to the hotel’s severe restrictions on headcount after some material damage to the Royal Suite at last year’s bash.
Though I wasn’t at the Carlyle, I was lucky enough to get to attend the official Tony Awards gala at the Plaza — every Tony winner, nominee, and presenter’s first stop of the evening, and one over-the-top glamorous way to toast victory or wash down the taste of defeat. Even the food was over-the-top! Heather Hitchens and Charlotte St. Martin held court alongside their respective chairmen, David Henry Hwang and Tom Schumacher. When I wasn’t on the dance floor, I was enjoying a cabaret performance by Jarrod Spector and Kelli Barrett.
As for my invitation to the DKC/O&M bash, Rick Miramontez has apologized about two dozen times. Keeping an organized guestlist in the middle of the busiest time of his year is an administrative challenge for the left-brained Miramontez, he explained, and he does his best but, well, “mistakes were made.” I told him no hard feelings. It was the first time in a decade that I woke up on the Monday after the Tonys without a hangover!
A parting thought about the party scene, which many people deem a frivolous and expensive addendum to an already overlong evening. I disagree; I think the parties are essential. I recently heard David Rockwell talk about how theater creates these instant communities forged over a shared experience, and how increasingly important this is in our digital age. Well, whether you’re at the Plaza or the Carlyle or at home watching the telecast with friends, it’s the shared experience that matters most. It’s what theater is all about.
As always, a toast of something sparkling to you and yours!
Photo credit: Little Fang Photo