B’way gets H’wood treatment

Film stars in Gotham for Tony Awards

NEW YORK — Hollywood made its presence known on the red carpet at the 60th annual Tony Awards on Sunday night.

Julie Andrews, Glenn Close, Josh Lucas, Marcia Gay Harden, Kyra Sedgwick, Anna Paquin and nominees Oliver Platt and Ralph Fiennes were among the film stars making their way down the carpet.

“As long as they are good actors, I am in favor of Hollywood coming to Broadway,” said scribe David Lindsay-Abaire, whose “Rabbit Hole” was nommed for best play. “It certainly makes for good business. But you have to remember that a lot of these TV and film people have their roots in theater.”

When asked if he would have cast Julia Roberts prior to her Broadway debut in “Three Days of Rain,” the scribe would say only, “I would be lucky to have Julia now that she has had stage experience.”

Presenter Julianna Margulies, who starred in Broadway’s “Festen” this past season, explained why she enjoys working in both television and theater.

“With theater you get to make it better every night,” Margulies said. “You get to be in charge of your own performance. With television you get to mess up and start over, and it reaches more people, so I love working in both formats.”

“The more we can embrace one another and keep the fields open for all of us to work in all places, the better it is for every actor,” “Well” nominee Jayne Houdyshell agreed.

Those multimedia names come in handy in other ways as well.

“The Color Purple” original score nominee Stephen Bray noted that without the help of a well-known figure, the musical might not have made it to the stage as quickly as it did.

Producer “Oprah Winfrey was like a booster rocket,” Bray said. “People were ready for this story to come out in a new form, but she really launched it.”

The musical’s Felicia P. Fields, a first-time nominee, was happy to share the carpet with Oprah and the Hollywood community.

“One year you are looking at these people on TV and the next year you are here,” Fields said. “I just keep saying to myself, “What the heck is happening?”

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