Veterans of stage and screen gathered at the Edison Ballroom on April 15 to honor Christopher Plummer with the 13th annual Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Monte Cristo Award. Thesps Kevin Spacey, Zoe Caldwell and Nikki James, and Julie Andrews, the latter via pre-recorded video, paid tribute to the legendary actor’s theater career.
Previous Monte Cristo winner Caldwell toasted Plummer’s 60-year career, which began with his 1953 Broadway debut in “The Starcrossed Story.”
“But now he’s gone too far, he doesn’t just get older like the rest of us, he gets better, simpler, more powerful. And more capable of removing his armor. That’s a great actor. What do you think of that Eugene?” she joked.
Raising his glass of a triple Jack Daniels, 2009 Monte Cristo winner Spacey toasted to Plummer, calling him by his nickname, the Doctor: “I know we’re all very happy to know that if anything goes down tonight, there is indeed a doctor in the house.”
Spacey commented on the night’s award: “Compared to some of the awards that you might have won in the past, it’s much wider than the London Evening Standard Award, it’s more plentiful than the Edwin Booth Award, not easily as bought as the Golden Globe, doesn’t quite have the shine of your Oscar. But if we tonight behave as true actors of the living theater, it will make us drunker than the Jason Robards Award you got a few years ago.”
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Plummer took the stage to accept his award, explain a past drunken episode with a horse in a Times Square bar and thank his fellow thesps, saying, “I am humbled and proud and grateful, grateful to all of you for giving me such a lovely night and making the whole thing go to my head!”