The Tony Awards celebrated the best of Broadway during a ceremony that was packed with music, dance and celebrations of the theater world’s diversity with calls for even more diversity, too. But there was a lot going on that the cameras didn’t catch before, during and after the big show. Here are some of the highlights…
Fresh Flowers: If the rainbow of roses on the wall of the red carpet looked extra bright it’s because they were spray-painted up until minutes before arrivals began. Members of the crew continually warned guests not to get to close or they risk being schmeared with wet paint. Anna Wintour was intent on making sure everything looked right—she was spotted putting flowers back up that had fallen to the ground.
Morning Madness: James Corden’s big opening number included dozens of people from this season’s hottest musicals. But there was good reason he told Variety he was really nervous about getting it right because there wasn’t much rehearsal time. In fact, there was only one run-through of the entire number with everyone—at about 7 a.m. on the day of the show! In other words, the actors, singers and dancers rehearsed in the morning, went back to their theaters to perform the matinee shows and returned to Radio City Music Hall in time to open the show—in full costume after walking the red carpet. “I’m so happy,” Corden told Variety during a commercial break. “We actually pulled it off!”
Sing-a-long: During a few commercial breaks, Corden played rounds of karaoke. Billy Porter slayed and received a standing ovation with “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from “Gypsy.” Corden and Ben Platt sang “Annie’s” iconic “Tomorrow” while former Christopher Jackson and Anthony Ramos joined forces to perform “In the Heights'” “96,000.”
Souvenir Shop: On sale in the lobby were t-shirts emblazoned with “Future Tony Winner” for $35 along with Tony-branded tote bags ($25), a set of four pins ($15), metal water bottles ($30) and keychains ($10).
Smoked Out: Guests craving a cigarette or a hit of their vapers were out of luck because security warned them that there was no-reentry once they left the building. “I can’t believe this,” one woman complained waving her e-cigarette in the air as she stomped back to her seat after unsuccessfully trying to convince not one, not two but three security officers to let her out for a smoke.
Night Owls: Shuttle busses were used to get guests from Radio City to the official gala at the Plaza. With the Tonys not ending until after 11 p.m., the after-parties didn’t get going until the wee hours. However, powerhouse publicity firm DKC/O&M’s after-party at the Carlyle started to fill up at about 12:30 a.m. with “To Kill a Mockingbird” star Will Pullen spotted on the dancefloor dancing to Montell Jordan’s “Get It On Tonite.”