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Broadway Beat Tony 2010 Q&A: Kelsey Grammer

The Tony Awards Nominations were announced Tuesday, May 4th and the Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 13, 2010.

The day after the nominations, on Wednesday, May 5th, Broadway Beat talked to nearly all of the nominated stars in advance of a special two-part Broadway Beat Tony Awards extravanganza. Every day, we'll be presenting unedited, raw "Short Takes" sneak peeks of some of these amazing interviews. Next up - Kelsey Grammer, nominated for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance in LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. Read the transcript of his interview below!

Click here for the full list of nominations!

Click here for the complete list of Tony Reactions from all the nominees that BroadwayWorld.com checked in with after the nominations were announced!

Want to watch the nomination announcement and relive the fun? Click here.

Click here for complete photo coverage of 'The Women' and Click here for complete coverage of 'The Men.'

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KG: Well you know you don't count on these things but it certainly is a real honor. It is a seriously deep honor to be recognized, at least given a nomination for the Tony. It's like your wildest dream come true. At least it's mine.

Bway Beat: When you were growing up did you watch the Tony's? I mean I was from the Long Island and we watched it every year. That was a big deal in my house. This is the pinnacle of what it was. As an actor did you have aspirations earlier, you know "maybe I'll get to New York, wouldn't it be great to be at, you know, the Tony's?"

KG: You know what? It never really entered my mind until I got a little older. I mean my family loved theater and my mom started taking me about it when I was 8 years old. I saw HELLO DOLLY when I was 8 for my birthday. I had a chance to tell Jerry Herman that when he was standing on stage with us on opening night, taking a bow, it was...it was huge, it was really exciting. And so that for me was really important because it was such a big part of my life when I was a boy. I met Carol Channing years later and it was the same kind of vibe. It was like a breathtaking moment in my life. I love theater and that's what happened to me when I was a little boy and I didn't know I'd get back to it but when I was around 16 I started. And it's made all the difference in my life. It is where I always wanted to be. And certainly Fraser was a great success for me and I think, partially, because of my theatrical background. I think sitcoms work best if you've got kind of an understanding about audience and that ‘give and take' that you get from that organic mass of fellow creatures that are out there with you.

Bway Beat: Let's talk about the audience, I mean there are people coming to Broadway for the very first time and that's because of you.

KG: Aww...

Bway Beat: You know what, it's true. I remember the first shows I saw. You remember that first show because you recognize somebody from television that changed your life. I can only imagine what this means to the young audiences that are coming in and the people coming for the first time to see you in LA CAGE.

KG: Well I'm thrilled that whatever my successes may have been might open some eyes and might have some people, you know, become fans of theater. I think it's the greatest place to be entertained. I've always believed that. Live breathing actors in front of a live breathing audience. And what happens on that day with that group of people will not happen with any other group of people, and that's what I love about it. It is a solely individual, personal, and yet, a community experience that can be truly uplifting if it's good. And let's face it, it's not all good. This is theatre, it's an art form. Not everybody that picks up a paintbrush is a good artist, you know, that's just the way it is. But if you can suffer through some of the bad ones and have the good fortune to see some good ones, it can be a gratifying part of your life for your entire life.
Bway Beat: That's what I'm saying, this particular LA CAGE - brand new, rediscovered, you singing, I mean there's a whole other side people are seeing of you. What's this whole experience been like for you, working on it and doing the show?

KG: I always liked the idea of singing. I started out as a singer but my career took me elsewhere and so this opportunity was double-edged for me because I thought, "boy, I'll get to sing! People will know he actually can sing a little!" And so we've had some success with that. The whole process was extraordinary because they'd already sort of laid the groundwork and the blueprint for the traffic of the show, and that to me is like a blessing because if I know where the character goes, I find it really easy to flesh him out. So the blocking to me is one of the chief components of finding a character and they'd already done it, and they did a pretty good job on it in London, so I was able to step into a framework that made it easier for me to free up my creativity. It was a great experience.

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BroadwayWorld.com is THE place to watch for the best and most comprehensive coverage of the 2010 Tony Awards. Check back daily for new photos, videos and more from all the nominated shows and performers on our mega 2010 site!

Broadway Beat, the popular weekly television program for and about the Theatre World, right here on the web site. Broadway Beat is the premier, award-winning half hour television program covering theatre, music and performers. Each week, the show's popular and knowledgeable host, Richard Ridge, takes you behind-the-scenes for a look at the very best of New York Theatre - on Broadway, and beyond. The show always features beautiful footage shot by video veteran Bradshaw Smith.

Broadway Beat takes you from the rehearsal studios to opening nights, including in-depth interviews with Tony Award winning stars and directors. Broadway Beat is your front row seat to all the music, all the magic, and all of the magnificent drama that is Broadway.

 

 

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