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2014 Tony Awards Rehearsal - Editor-in-Chief Robert Diamond's LIVE Blog!

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2014 Tony Awards Rehearsal - Editor-in-Chief Robert Diamond's LIVE Blog!

It's Tony Sunday! The greatest day of the year has finally arrived. If you're like me (and if you're reading this, you are) - you're up early, and following BroadwayWorld.com for what's going to be a FULL day of fun, excitement and TONYS TONYS TONYS!

Warning! SPOILERS follow below! Warning!

Thanks everyone for following along! No spoilers for the finale, but we'll advise as always to set your DVRs to either end late, or to record the 11 o'clock news on CBS -- juuuuust in case. Join us back on BroadwayWorld.com this evening for EVERYTHING Tonys!

12:40 - For today's rehearsal, it's A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE FOR LOVE AND MURDER. Tonight? Who knows... But we can't wait to find out!

12:38 - Rosie O'Donnell is here to present the evening's final award - Best Musical!

12:37 - Hugh Jackman is now leading the audience in what will be part of the surprise finale.

12:35 - Wow! Great performance, and a great new song.

12:32 - Tina Fey is here to introduce Jennifer Hudson performing from the upcoming FINDING NEVERLAND!

12:31 - Great number, that's a lot of fun. For this rehearsal, it's Jessie as the winner... Who do you think will win tonight?

12:27 - Another Hugh Jackman musical number introduces the nominees for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. As he puts it "We're soon going to be trending..."

12:25 - Hugh is back onstage with the GREAT Tony Awards orchestra... who are now getting to show off their musical talent, one at a time. Classy and impressive.

12:22 - Ain't Nobody's Business indeed!

12:18 - Emmy nominee Zach Braff is here, to introduce the performance by the cast of BULLETS OVER BROADWAY.

12:17 - We're back on stage with Hugh Jackman, talking about his X-MEN Nude Scene, and introducing Kevin Bacon, and Kate Mara for Best Revival of a Musical.

12:16 - A beautiful presentation of the many talents we lost this season in the Memorial segment.

12:10 - I'm not going to spoil the big finish to their number, but ... BIG FINISH!

12:05 - Ready for another Musical Performance? To a SCREAMING ovation, the legendary Carole King is here to introduce the cast of BEAUTIFUL.

12:03 - 5 (or 6 by this time in the broadcast) time Tony Winner, Audra McDonald is now here to introduce Leading Actor in a Musical.

12:00 - Hugh is back onstage and is showing off how he learned every part in the intro of THE MUSIC MAN for his high school production - and lucky for us, he hasn't forgotten a word.

11:59 - Now the next Broadway commercial preview, for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

11:58 - Wayne Brady just snuck out to rehearse his intro... and now they're showing some of the highlights of WICKED on television. Happy 10th Anniversary!

11:52 - Hugh Jackman is back onstage, talking about how when he hosted 10 years ago, a show about two witches was just opening. You guessed it, he's introducing the current leading ladies from WICKED for a little 'For Good'.

11:50 - Patrick Wilson and Judith Light are here to present Best Revival of a Play.

11:49 - Now highlights are being shown from the earlier lifetime achievement award presentation to Jane Greenwood, and the Isabelle Stevenson award presentation to Rosie O'Donnell, along with the Regional Theatre Tony presentation to the Siganture Theater.

11:48 - Two Carnegie Mellon graduates are here, Matt Bomer and Zachary Quinto to talk about the Tonys first 'Higher Education Partner'. They'll be creating a new Tony honor for educators, details of which will be revealed shortly.

11:46 - A special treat for those of us at rehearsal, Sting and company are performing the song for a second time. (Side note, the concept album is great).

11:41 - Speaking of upcoming shows, Gloria and Emilio Estefan are here to introduce a preview of Sting's THE LAST SHIP, featuring none other than Sting, along with the Broadway Inspirational Voices singing the title song. (Ps - The Broadway Inspirational Voices should be in everything).

11:40 - Back from commercial, and they're showing us more highlights from the creative awards, including Best Book, and Best Score.

11:39 - Just arrived in the house, it's the cast of BEAUTIFUL, heading backstage. Back in 2 minutes.

11:36 - Back in commercial, we now are getting the final 2 creative awards of the night, presented again by the wonderful Billy Porter and Karen Ziemba -- for Best Lighting Design of a Musical, and then Play.

11:34 - After one of the best numbers of the morning, we're back to commercial. It's going to be a good broadcast, with all the musical numbers looking really good.

11:32 - The cast of VIOLET is bringing down the house!

11:29 - Emmy Winner Wayne Brady (who made his Broadway debut in CHICAGO) will now introduce Sutton Foster, Josh Henry and the cast of Roundabout's VIOLET!

11:28 - For this rehearsal only, it's ALL THE WAY. They're now rehearsing the first large rush of producers to the stage.

11:27 - And John Patrick Shanley, talking OUTSIDE MULLINGAR. Great way to do this segment.

11:26 - And now MOTHERS AND SONS author, Terrence McNally!

11:25 - Followed by the one of a kind Harvey Fierstein, for CASA VALENTINA...

11:23 - After each intro, clips are shown from the play. Next, ALL THE WAY author Robert Schenkkan.

11:22 - Now it's a stand in for Kenneth Branagh to present Best Play. This year, the authors of the plays will each talk about their plays. First up, James Lapine talks ACT ONE.

11:21 - Hugh is now introducing Alan Cumming, who is here to talk about the American Theatre Wing, which is 97 years old (like Betty White he jokes).

11:20 - Now, RuPaul is here, rehearsing the intro for HEDWIG while host with the most Hugh Jackman gets into position for the next return from commercial.

11:19 - We're back in commercial, where they are showing promos for upcoming new shows, including HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME and HONEYMOON IN VEGAS (with Rob McClure and Tony Danza giving a shout-out to Jason Robert Brown).

11:16 - You never know WHAT Neil Patrick Harris might do in character as Hedwig, and performing 'Sugar Daddy' on tonight's Tonys is NO exception!

11:11 - Now a surprise appearance by the stand-in for RuPaul to introduce HEDWIG!

11:09 - Hoots and hollers for Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Novello to present Best Lead Actor in a Play... For this rehearsal, (and likely for tonight) it's Bryan Cranston.

11:08 - Hugh Jackman has now sung all about this year's Best Leading Actress in a Play nominees... Who will win tonight?

11:02 - And Billy Porter and Karen ZIemba are back for the next two creative awards - Best Costume Design of a Musical, and Best Costume Design of a Play.

11:01 - With a rousing ovation, we're back in commercial!

10:57 - The next Best Musical Nominee is here, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder!

10:54 - Now up, it's a stand-in for Ethan Hawke and Vera Farmigato present Best Featured Actress in a Play.

10:53 - Back again from commercial, where they are playing highlights from earlier this evening. Now, Hugh Jackman is talking about Broadway's economic impact.

10:49 - Now up again are Billy Porter and Karen Ziemba giving the award for Best Choreography.

10:45 - Now it's a stand-in for Maggie Gylenhaal (who will make her Broadway debut this fall) to introduce the company of CABARET! Willkommen...

10:42 - Now up are Fran Drescher and Zachary Levi to present Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

10:42 - Coming back from commercial again, Hugh's up in the Mezzanine, with some audience participation for 'I Got Rythym'

10:40 - Back in Commercial, where they're presenting Best Score of a Musical.

10:38 - ROCKY in 2.5 minutes! You've got the boxing ring, you've got the fans on stage. Kudos as they've managed to recreate some of the feel of seeing the ending of the show - live!

10:35 - A stand-in for Samuel L. Jackson is now here to introduce ROCKY!

10:35 - Next up, it's Clint Eastwood's stand-in again, to present Best Direction of a Play. (and perhaps to subtly promote the Jersey Boys movie).

10:34 - For this rehearsal only, it's Michael Mayer's stand-in now accepting.

10:33 - A shout out to Leigh, who I'm told is refreshing this blog every 30 seconds. Thank you.

10:32 - Hugh has introduced the stand-in for Clint Eastwood, who will present Direction of a Musical.

10:29 - Back from commercial, and Jonathan Groff just introduced the 'Wickedly Talented' Idina Menzel to sing Always Starting Over from IF/THEN.

10:23 - Back in a Commercial, and Billy Porter and Karen Ziemba are back to present Best Book of a Musical.

10:22 - If you thought 'Friend Like Me' stopped the show during ALADDIN, just wait till you see how it looks on TV.

10:16 - Lucy Liu is here, last seen on Broadway in GOD OF CARNAGE to introduce the number for Disney's ALADDIN. Bring on the Genie! (and company).

10:14 - Now it's stand-ins for Leighton Meester and Tony Goldwyn, to present Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

10:13 - They promised early on that tonight's broadcast was going to have the most music EVER and they mean it. Hugh is now thanking the steady-cam operator for tonight's opening number.

10:11 - Hugh has advised that they're going to be having him performing, as they return from commercial breaks, with the numbers starting just before the commercial ends. First up? Mack the Knife!

10:09 - Hugh is now back out, showing footage of some of his 'training' for his hop-filled opening number, while we're in our first commercial.

10:09 - During the dress rehearsals, stand-ins accept the awards with 'For this Dress Rehearsal Only'

10:07 - We're now going back in time as Orlando Bloom and Anna Gunn are now here and rehearsing their presentation of Best Featured Actor in a Play.

10:06 - We're now in the show's first commercial break...

10:04 - A screaming ovation in the house for the cast of LES MIZ.

10:03 - Time for another performance, Emmy Rossum has just introduced the cast of LES MIZ for "One Day More"!

9:58 - Now it's the first ON Broadcast award, with stand-ins for Orlando Bloom and Anna Gunn to present Best Featured Actor in a Play.

9:56 - Hugh's opening monolugue is both funny, and topical.

9:54 - They're then joined by Dule Hill, and the best dancers on Broadway from the cast of AFTER MIDNIGHT... Maybe also a cameo from tonight's host.

9:51 - The first performance is indeed AFTER MIDNIGHT, featuring Fantasia, Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight.

9:50 - Without spoilers, I'll note that it's Hugh-tastic, and Hop-tastic.

9:45 - The orchestra is playing a wonderful medley from many of this season's biggest hits... I'm not sure if this will be shown on TV, but it's fabulous.

9:42 - The show is kicking off with Patrick Vaccariello's LIVE Tony Orchestra, which looks like 30 pieces from out here.

9:35 - No spoilers for the opening number, but we're now getting our first look at what some of the hopping this week has been about.

9:32 - Visible on stage is the large, LIVE orchestra - yeah!

9:31 - Also pre-Broadcast will be the Sound Design of a Musical, and Play and Scenic Design of a Musical and play. They're now clearing the aisles for the full rehearsal to begin.

9:14 - Next up, it's the Lifetime Achievement award, which will also be given pre-Broadcast to Jane Greenwood.

9:13 - First rehearsing, is the Regional Theatre Award, this year given to the very deserving Signature Theatre.

9:10 - We're getting ready to begin here shortly, and currently onstage are Billy Porter and Karen Ziemba for the pre-Broadway Creative Arts Awards. Now, they're advising the audience about the broadcast itself -- telling them that they don't have to lean into the mics, that they have 90 seconds for their speech, and how they'll be giving awards out both pre-show and during the commercials (for the creative awards). More tips? Don't stand in front of the telempropters, and best of luck to the nominees.

9:00 AM - I'm currently live at Radio City Music Hall, coffee to my left, backup batteries and chargers to my right, and a laptop ready to GO with all things from the Tony Awards Dress Rehearsal. As usual, I'll be blogging withOUT details on the opening, closing and certain special surprises -- but everything else you will see below.

And for later... Here's a reminder of our schedule!

5:00 PM: BroadwayWorld.com's live coverage will begin with photos from the red carpet and Superfan BroadwayGirl NYC's special blog of the red carpet PLUS you can watch the entire red carpet -- right here!

7:30 PM: The ceremony officially begins. Unless you're at Radio City or watching live in Times Square, we're the only place that you'll get direct live updates of who is winning all of the pre-telecast Creative Tony Awards!

8:00 PM: Our full team kicks into gear to bring you complete coverage. We'll feature not one, not two, but THREE exclusive live blogs from Michael Dale backstage, superfan BroadwayGirlNYC, and BroadwayWorld.com's West End Editor Carrie Dunn with her trademark British snark (or 'Britsnark' as she calls it).

We'll also be bringing you live coverage of who's winning, transcriptions of the the on-air and backstage thank you speeches, live photos from the best photo team in the business, videos of the winners after they come offstage, special surprises, fashion and more!

Social! If you're not already following us on Twitter, and Facebook, do so for even more exclusive content!

Beyond...: Keep checking BroadwayWorld.com on Tony night, well into the early morning hours, and in the days ahead for EVERYTHING Tonys including Red Carpet interviews from Randy Rainbow, a special SOUND OFF wrap-up by Pat Cerasaro and more!! Plus, catch the Season Finale of SUBMISSIONS ONLY, right after the Tonys, followed by THE BROADWAY FASHION REPORT on Monday - only on BroadwayWorld.com!

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Robert Diamond The 2001 Syracuse University graduate (School of Information Studies) is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media, an award-winning leading design company for entertainment and technology web sites. In his previous life, he held an executive position for the world's leading publisher of technology magazines, web sites and conferences and, as a result, was named among the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by FOLIO Magazine.

Robert Diamond founded BroadwayWorld.com in 2003, which has now become the largest theatre web site in the world. He also serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief, covering Broadway and beyond, with specific local coverage for 100 cities in the United States, 35 countries worldwide and 15 other related areas of entertainment - including dance, opera, fashion, concerts, comedy, films, television and more. In May of 2014, the site was awarded a 2014 Award for Excellence in Theatre Arts Education by the prestigious Theatre Museum.

Diamond got his start in the entertainment field, accidentally, when he created the 'official web site' (while in college) for Michael Crawford, the popular actor and original Tony and Olivier Award-winning star of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. (He still blames Crawford - and credits him - for anything that goes particularly right or wrong during an average day.)

As a respected member of the Broadway and theatre community, Diamond also served as Lead Producer for a series of sold-out shows using the BroadwayWorld.com 'brand' for a set of 'Standing Ovations' concerts, which also branched out into titles that included Holiday Shows and even more specific concerts like 'From Stage to Screen and Back Again' in tandem with publishers and movie studios. All proceeds were in turn donated to Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, the industry's leader in aid for performers in need.

Robert lives in Manhattan with his wife and two dogs, growing the business and getting little sleep. In addition, you can usually find him in a theatre many nights a week. Robert's very popular blog, 'The Broadway Pulse' appears daily on BroadwayWorld.com and he also wrote weekly about theatre for the USA Network's Character Approved blog.

In December of 2011, Diamond was one of 5 Syracuse University Alumni, all having achieved success in the world of start-ups, business growth and venture capital, participating on a panel addressing young alumni who are currently pursuing their dreams of running their own business and experiencing the day to day challenges of a startup. It is part of the university's new Student Accelerator Program, for which Rob was recommended by Syracuse University's i-School.

In late 2012, Wisdom Digital Media announced the official spinoff and launch of 10 new entertainment web sites including BWWMoviesWorld.com, BWWTVWorld.com, BWWFashionWorld.com, BWWBooksWorld.com, BWWMusicWorld.com, BWWArtWorld.com, BWWComedyWorld.com, BWWDanceWorld.com, BWWClassicalWorld.com and BWWOperaWorld.com.

In January of 2013, BWWGeeksWorld.com, devoted to home entertainment, mobile technologies and social media launched as well, followed by BWWFitnessWorld.com and BWWTravelWorld.com in April of 2013. In July of 2013, BWWHub.com launched as a portal to the complete family of entertainment and lifestyle offerings.

In 2014, BroadwayWorld.com returned to the concert stage, with a series of benefit concerts featuring Broadway's brightest stars. A new partnership with Rock-it Science Records will record and release these special evenings, with proceeds benefiting various charities.


 
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