A toothless transvestite greeted VIPs on their way to the Directors Guild private back garden before Monday’s 20th Annual NAACP Theater Awards.

Inside, presenter Nia Long failed to materialize when hosts Mekhi Phifer and LisaRaye announced her, and the Teleprompter definitely had a mind of its own. “They won’t get any awards for organization, that’s for sure!” Phifer joked from the podium.

But everything was all right when performers Sheryl Lee Ralph and Obba Babatunde took the stage, and the trio of Kim Coles, Quinton Aaron and Darrin Dewitt Henson broke up the joint with their comic patter — “Let’s do this because my Spanx are falling down!” cracked Cole — that ran the gamut of accents from British to Jamaican to Spanish.

The event were also distinguished by having one of the youngest lifetime achievement award honorees ever: the 44-year-old Jeffrey Wright.