Some like to watch mega award shows from the comfort of home, but the long night that is the TONY Awards is a worthy schmooze fest. Everything said from the rose festooned red carpet at Radio City Music Hall to its ample stage about the generosity, talent, commitment to decency of the theater community is true in spades. Sure, Robert Di Niro’s expletives deployed against the present regime—deleted for television but you can well imagine-- were not welcome to some ears, but with his well-meaning heart he introduced his pal Bruce Springsteen –Di Niro calling his Broadway one-man show “Jersey Boy.”
Here are some of my favorite moments from the 72nd TONY’s: Chita Rivera exclaiming “There’s still salt in this shaker.” Andrew Garfield, so gorgeous in a turban and gown in Angels in America as AIDS ridden Pryor Walter accepting his TONY: “Let’s all bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake.”Katrina Lenk dedicating her Band’s Visit TONY to the Israeli actress Ronit Elkabetz who brought her character to life in the movie original. Tony Shaloub honoring his immigrant father: “May we never lose sight of what they taught us.”Nathan Lanequipping even Tony Kushner’s emails are Pulitzer worthy. The British Glenda Jackson reminding everyone: “America is always great!”
Above and beyond: the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida singing “Seasons of Love” from Rent, and their brave teacher Melody Herzfeld, a New Yorker who sheltered 65 young people in a classroom’s inner office: “Get skinny,” she recounted telling them when we ran into her at the after party that took over three floors of the Plaza Hotel. “I knew once I shut that door we were safe.” They waited there for two hours before the gunman was in custody.