Fans were plenty excited to see “God of Carnage” thesps James Gandolfini, Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden and Jeff Daniels outside the 2009 Tony Awards, but the really hysterical screaming was reserved for one woman and one woman only: “Dol-ly! Dol-ly! Dol-ly!”
Dolly Parton, on the scene for the tuner version of her pic “9 to 5,” wasn’t the only musician celebrating her Rialto debut. Representatives from the hair band eraarrived to congratulate multinommed tuner “Rock of Ages,” including the band Poison (which contributed “Nothin’ but a Good Time” to the jukebox musical’s score and performed at the ceremony). “I think they represent it well,” said Rikki Rockett, the band’s drummer. “It’s a comedy, but it’s not silly.”
Begging to differ was “Rock” thesp James Carpinello, who gave interviews in character as Stacee Jaxx and took to the carpet in full costume: a knee-length, rhinestone-encrusted silver trench coat; a red-and-white sleeveless zebra-striped shirt; and a snakeskin-trimmed cowboy hat. “I’m still trying to find an owner for these,” he said proudly, brandishing a brief pair of translucent panties.
Carpinello’s Off Broadway predecessor in the role, Will Swenson, was a little more buttoned down. The thesp, nominated for featured actor in a musical for “Hair,” introduced well-wishers and reporters to his 6-year-old son, Bridger. Swenson, who has to climb on top of nearby audience members during the perf, said he was used to all kinds of reactions from theatergoers (which he censored for Bridger). “I had one guy shout, ‘F you!’ I thought, Really? You’re going to come to ‘Hair,’ sit in the front row, and complain when people touch you?”
Bridger wasn’t the only minor on the carpet — all three Billy Elliots (sharing a nomination for actor in a musical) and 13-year-old David Bologna (competing against Swenson for featured actor) skewed the kid-to-adult ratio further. “I’m on a high of highs right now,” Bologna said. “I really want to keep this up and do it as a career.”
Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter, both nommed for leading actress in a play for “Mary Stuart,” arrived and talked together. “We’ve known one another ages,” Walter confided. “We don’t think of it as competing,” McTeer said. “We’re just having a great time.”