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2012 Tonys - Michael Dale's Backstage Blog!

2012 Tonys - Michael Dale's Backstage Blog!

11:53 PM - That wraps things up, everyone.  Thanks so much for spending part of your Tony night with me.  Think I'll go eat some freakin' pizza, too.

11:47 PM - Audra McDonald: "If there's a role you think you can play, play it.  Don't be the one to say no to yourself."  On winning 5 Tonys:  "I don't think it's ever going to hit me.  Theatre is where I found who I was.  It's the only thing I do well." She keeps the book Porgy in her dressing room and reads some of it before going on.  "I've been dieting all week.  I can't wait to eat some freakin' pizza!"

11:39 PM - Steve Kazee:  "This (award) has given me the opportunity to share with all of you how wonderful my mother was."

11:26 PM - Nina Arianda: "Stay curious, and if you really want it, never ever stop."  At NYU she was told, "Assume you are briiliant."  And that attitude helps her survive in the business.

11:21 PM - Large group on stage, the producers of Once.  "Big is not always better."  "Newsies is a whale of a show.  It's sad there has to be a winner."

11:14 PM - Listening to a jazz instrumental of Noel Coward's "Later Than Spring" while waiting for more winners.

11:07 PM - The broadcast is over but I'm told we'll have a few more folks coming into the media room so I'll stick around for a bit.

11:02 PM - Didn't expect that... but very happy.

10:52 PM - James Corden here.  Very humbled and surprised to win over his fellow nominees.  "There are lots of people who will tell you that you're too small or too big or too funny looking.  None of that matters.  If you don't give up you'll never fail."  He calls Philip Seymour Hoffman, "the greatest actor alive at the moment."

10:46 PM - Hugh Jackman in the media room.  Says he loves to put his ear to the curtain and hear the pre-show buzz of the audience.  Doing a 1st Act read-through of Houdini in two weeks.  "Not to knock film acting, but there's something magical that happens on stage."

10:41 PM - Show of hands... Before Leap of Faith opened, how many just assumed that this would finally be Raul Esparza's Tony win?

10:38 PM - Wait... if Porgy and Bess gets a Tony for Best Revival, then why is Suzan-Lori Parks included for rewriting the text?

10:30 PM - "You always anticipate failure so when it happens you're not surprised." - Bruce Norris on his shock for the success of Clybourne Park.  He said he got the inspiration for the play when watching the movie of A Raisin In The Sun when he was 12 and realizing that the villian was the person closest to him.

10:25 PM - Norbert Leo Butz to Beth Leavel: "I'll put my peter in your starcatcher any time."

10:22 PM - The irony of Hairspray is that it’s meant to have a rare starring role for a heavy actress, but any actress who stars in it long enough starts losing so much weight that she has to wear padding.

10:15 PM - Natasha Katz, winner for her lighting for Once says that small scale productions are making lighting more a part of the storytelling.

10:14 PM - Christian Borle's advice to actors: "Other people's success is not your failure."

10:12 PM - This was the first production of Godspell I’ve ever liked.

10:10 PM - Commercial break:  Best Lighting Design of a Play goes to Peter and The Starcatcher.

10:06 PM - I'm sorry, but Ricky Martin plays Che like he's auditioning for Leading Player in Pippin.

10:04 PM - How much you wanna bet that Patti LuPone will interrupt the Evita number and say to Elena Roger, "I'll take it from here, sweetheart."

10:01 PM - Gotta agree with the selection of Clybourne Park, but why is the award for Best Play being given an hour before the program is over?

9:57 PM - "This is a story of people who don't have much.  But they have great souls and they have great songs." - Bob Crowley on Once.

9:55 PM - Tony Trivia:  In 1973, John Lithgow won his first Tony Award (The Changing Room) 23 days after giving his first Broadway performance.

9:43 PM - But Salesman wins anyway.

9:42 PM - This revival of The Best Man is so good it made me seriously question if it’s a better play than Streetcar and Salesman.

9:40 PM - Once gets Best Scenic Design of a Musical.  Invention wins over bucks again.

9:29 PM - Gregg Barnes, winner for his costume designs for Follies says he changed Bernadette Peters' dress after discussing what Sally is trying to accomplish at the party.  Every Sally in the production, including understudies, has had a different dress based on the interpretation of the character.

9:26 PM -Laura Osnes has been the leading lady in three New York Rodgers and Hammerstein productions, with another on the way:  South Pacific (Broadway), Pipe Dream (Encores!), The Sound of Music (Carnegie Hall) and the upcoming Broadway production of Cinderella.

9:22 PM - Commercial break: Best Set Design of a Play goes to Peter and The Starcatcher.  They do more with a piece of string than some designers do with millions of bucks.

9:17 PM - "There's something about the way working class men communicate through songs that they can't through words."  - John Tiffinay on his inspiration for the concept of Once.  He's working with Alan Cumming on a one-man MacBeth.

9:16 PM - Re: End of the Rainbow - Somewhere out there you know there’s at least one producer dumb enough to think he can get Liza to do the tour.

9:13 PM - Nice to see musical theatre favorite Judy Kaye win another.  I would have given her one for Souvenir.

9:11 PM - I have no problem with giving the music (and sometimes music and lyrics) of plays the same consideration for Best Score as the scores written for musicals.  If Private Lives were a new play, I would have picked “Someday I’ll Find You” alone as this season’s Best Score.

9:03 PM - In Oh! Kay! Gertrude Lawrence introduced "Someone To Watch Over Me" famously holding a rag doll in her arms.  Having Kelli O'Hara hold a tommy gun as she sings it in Nice Work If You Can Get It is a fun inside joke.

8:58 PM - Christian Borle wins.  Damn those television actors taking over Broadway!

8:54 PM - Judith Light in the media room.  Wow, she is stunning.  Has upcoming projects she can't talk about yet.  "This business is not about you or your ego.  It's about giving a performance and making it about someone else."

8:53 PM - Costume Design of a Play goes to Peter and The Starcatcher.

8:52 PM - Tony Talk:  What would get your vote as the strangest moment in Tony history?  Mine would go to the time in 1978, when the writers apparently thought it would be a fun idea to have presenter Ed Asner, backed by the orchestra, sing the names of the nominees for Best Actress in a Musical:  Madeline Kahn, Eartha Kitt, Liza Minnelli and Frances Sternhagan.  He gave it the old showbiz try.

8:41 PM - Christopher Gattelli is in rehearsals for Dog Fight at Second Stage.  The newspapers the Newsies cast throws into the audience are replicas of actual 1899 papers.

8:39 PM - Michael McGrath to the press.  Possibility he'll be starring in a musical based on The Honeymooners.

8:36 PM - A shout out to Kelly Cameron and the gang at BroadwayWorld's Toronto page!

8:34 PM - During commercial, Sound Design of a Play goes to Peter and The Starcatcher.

8:32 PM - If they every add a Best Song category to the Tonys, "Buddy's Blues" is the kind on song it should honor.  It is so unique to the character and the style of the show.

8:30 PM - "Buddy's Blues"  -- She can say "Damn it" but not "God damn it" on television.

8:27 PM - Not only does Michael McGrath get his name pronounced correctly, he wins!  No more calling him another Nathan Lane... he's a musical comedy Tony winner

8:22 PM - In Follies Danny Burstein makes you feel sorry for a guy who’s cheating on Bernadette Peters.  Now that’s great acting.

8:21 PM - During commercial break, Once wins for sound design of a musical.

8:13 PM - Judith Light wins the first award for Best Performance in a Role Linda Lavin Decided Not To Take To Broadway.  Let's see if Jane Houdeyshell wins the second.

8:09 PM -The list of Broadway productions categorized as plays that received nominations for Best Score includes Much Ado About Nothing, The Good Doctor, The Song of Jacob Zulu, Twelfth Night, Enron, Fences and now One Man, Two Guvnors and Peter and the Starcatcher.

7:59 PM - Manny Azenberg on his love for his commercial failures, Side Show and La Boheme:  "They are the resume of my soul."

7:59 PM -Tony Trivia:  Angela Lansbury won her first Tony Award at the age of 40 (Mame) and her fifth at age 83 (Blithe Spirit).  Julie Harris won her first at age 26 (I Am A Camera) and her fifth at age 51 (The Belle of Amherst).  If Audra MacDonald wins tonight, she’ll have tied them for most Tony wins for acting, having won her first at age 23 (Carousel) and her fifth at age 41.

7:51 PM - Manny Azenberg in the media room.  When asked how Broadway has changed, he quotes Mike Nichols: "Do you realize we used to go to the theatre to be depressed?" He says audiences are reluctant to do that anymore.

7:48 PM - Best Book:  Enda Walsh for Once.  He says that asking a dark-hiumored man like himself to write a tender love story is like asking Charles Manson to write a musical version of It's A Wonderful Life.

7:45 PM - Best Choreography goes to Christopher Gattelli for Newsies.  "I've worked with so many of you in this room and I love you."

7:42 PM - Best Orchestrations goes to Martine Lowe for Once.  He thanks all the music directors working on Broadway.

7:39 PM - Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC receives Regional Theatre Award.  Michael Kahn accepts.

7:37 PM - Special Tony for Actors Equity accepted by President Nick Wyman, a fine character actor.  "Receiving a Tony Award is a dream come true.  Of course, in my dreams I don't share it with 49,000 other people."

7:34 PM - Bernadette Peters receives the Isabelle Stevenson Award for her charitable work with Broadway Cares and Broadway Barks.  She speaks of the importance of companion animals to those in need.

7:29 PM - Legendary producer Emanuel "Manny" Azenberg enters to "Man of La Mancha" to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award.  He reminds the creative artists behind Smash that no actor has ever received a starring role by sleeping with a director or producer. 

7:27 PM - Winners have 90 seconds from the time their names are announced to finish their speeches.

7:26 PM - Norbert Leo Butz and Beth Leavel enter to host the creative arts awards.

7:24 PM - Del Ross, of Intercontinantal Hotels, sponsor of the 1st half-hour, enters to the tune of "Brotherhood of Man.:

7:22 PM - Broadway contributes 11.2 BILLION dollars to New York's economy!

7:18 PM - Hey, we have a feed to the Beacon.  Looks like I'll be seeing the pre-show awards after all.

7:08 PM - Less than a half hour away from the pre-telecast awards.  The rumor around the media room is that Tony host Neil Patrick Harris promises that tonight’s ceremony will contain more inside gay references than the first three seasons of Will and Grace combined, plus special subliminal messages guaranteed to make impressionable youths watching at home choose the homosexual lifestyle.

6:51 PM - And be sure to following the blogging exploits of my two amazing colleagues.  My favorite Brit, Carrie Dunn, will be up late in London giving her snarky point of view, reminding us of how much better West End theatre is than Broadway and complaining about our American habit of giving entrance applause.  And back here in Gotham, the mysterious BroadwayGirlNYC, one of New York theatre's most popular Twitter celebrities, is already giving her red carpet reports.

6:45 PM - Remember, feel free to add comments below and I'll try and answer any questions you might have.

6:29 PM -Good evening!  And thanks so much for making BroadwayWorld, and this blog in particular, a part of your enjoyment of the 2012 Tony Awards!  I’m sure most of you will be tuned into the CBS telecast of the event.  I’ll be reporting from the media room at the JCC of Manhattan,  a block away from the Beacon Theatre.  Believe it or not, you’ll probably be seeing more of the telecast than I will!  This room will be loaded with about 100 press members watching the ceremonies on 2 large screens, but we’ll only see what’s televised.  The first half hour of the ceremonies, from 7:30-8:00, can only be seen from the video monitor above Times Square.  Also, this year there will be awards presented during commercial breaks.  As the evening goes on, winners will be taken to the media room to briefly speak with the press, so while you’re enjoying the program, I’ll be reporting on what they have to say.  Refesh this page whenever you want the latest updates.  Sound good?  Let’s do this!

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Michael Dale After 20-odd years singing, dancing and acting in dinner theatres, summer stocks and the ever-popular audience participation murder mysteries (try improvising with audiences after they?ve had two hours of open bar), Michael Dale segued his theatrical ambitions into playwriting. The buildings which once housed the 5 Off-Off Broadway plays he penned have all been destroyed or turned into a Starbucks, but his name remains the answer to the trivia question, "Who wrote the official play of Babe Ruth's 100th Birthday?" He served as Artistic Director for The Play's The Thing Theatre Company, helping to bring free live theatre to underserved communities, and dabbled a bit in stage managing and in directing cabaret shows before answering the call (it was an email, actually) to become BroadwayWorld.com's first Chief Theatre Critic. While not attending shows Michael can be seen at Citi Field pleading for the Mets to stop imploding. Likes: Strong book musicals and ambitious new works. Dislikes: Unprepared celebrities making their stage acting debuts by starring on Broadway and weak bullpens.