2011 Awards Season
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LIVE BLOG: Carrie Dunn on the 2011 Tony Awards!

LIVE BLOG: Carrie Dunn on the 2011 Tony Awards!

4.05am GMT: So The Book of Mormon wins Best Musical, NPH finishes with a summary rap, urges us all to go to see Broadway shows, and exits the stage. Me? I'm going to go to sleep. Thanks for joining me tonight/this morning (depending on your time zone). See you next year!

3.59am GMT: Chris Rock complains about it being late and then witters on about himself and makes offensive for a bit, all the better to finish on time.

3.51am GMT: What the heck has happened to Catherine Zeta-Jones's accent? She seems to remember that she's Welsh half way through, and presents Best Actor to Mark Rylance, and Best Actor in a Musical to Norbert Leo Butz. Rather surprised by the latter - again, based solely on what we saw earlier in the show.

3.45am GMT: Amazing. One of the Weather Girls duetting with the cast of Priscilla. And this performance comes just two and a half hours after Neil Patrick Harris tried to sell Broadway musicals to straight men.


3.40am GMT: Donna Murphy holds up a printed card saying hello to her dad, and adds herself to my Rage List. Sutton Foster wins Best Actress in a Musical, and proceeds to thank all her teachers since she was a kid. No, really, she actually does, I'm not just being snarky. She then bursts into tears and squeaks goodbye to her dresser who is leaving her in a range that only dogs can hear.

3.37am GMT: Frances McDormand wins Best Actress for Good People, and she is wearing a denim jacket. She says she's accepting the award for the company. But it's not FOR them. It's for you. That's why it's for the best actress. Silly.

3.30am GMT: Tyne Daly introduces the tributes to those in theatre who have passed away over the past year. Applause throughout the montage of headshots.

3.25am GMT: Well, based entirely on tonight's performances, because I haven't seen either production, Anything Goes totally deserves best revival, presented by Kelsey Grammer.

3.23am GMT: An over-excited Christie Brinkley introduces the all-star cast of Company performing Side by Side.

3.21am GMT: And then a quick compilation of clips from random plays, ditto.

3.18am GMT: A quick catch-up on the people who won Lifetime Achievement awards this year. Their achievements weren't significant enough to get longer than ten seconds of airtime each, though, obviously.

3.08am GMT: Hooray, some tap-dancing from Sutton Foster and the cast of Anything Goes! I kind of see what the red-carpet reporter earlier meant now - Foster has a gorgeous voice and she's put a brassy twist on it for her role, it seems - can anyone who's seen it confirm?

3.04am GMT: I really hoped it would be Samuel L Jackson who accorded The Mother With The Hat its full title.

2.57am GMT: One hour left. We have appearances from Catherine Zeta Jones and Patti LuPone to fit in yet.

2.55am GMT: The cast of Memphis perform. They won best musical last year. This is a sloppy show from them - maybe more sound issues? Never mind, Jackman is clapping along, which means I suppose it's good enough for me.

2.50am GMT: Patrick Wilson, aka the best singer in the Phantom of the Opera movie, presents best revival of a play to A Normal Heart.

2.40am GMT: Ooh, Patina Miller leads the cast of Sister Act in Raise Your Voice. Weird to see and hear her without the London cast. And there are some nasty sound issues here, it seems - not a great ad for the show, which is sad. However, Whoopi Goldberg, in her introduction, says Ghost will be on Broadway, so that's interesting.

2.35am GMT: Sorry, flagging a bit now. Robin Williams presents best book of a musical to Book of Mormon. It's weird, Williams looks like an old man with that big beard, but he still sounds like Mork.

2.25am GMT: Very much enjoying Damiano's wig.

2.23am GMT: Bono and the Edge say that when they first saw the Tony Awards on their schedule, they assumed they had been nominated. HA! "Thanks for your patience," says Bono, before introducing a section from the show.

2.22am GMT: Brooke Shields then completely messes up her presenter's speech, getting well and truly bleeped. That woman has not had a great night.

2.18am GMT: Oh, Hugh Jackman, how I love you. He and NPH do a little skit about who is the best host, including a big song-and-dance medley, with elements of West Side Story ("Stick to your sitcoms! Stick to your situation comedies!") and A Chorus Line. I wish Hugh Jackman could be in everything ever.

2.08am GMT: A bit from The Book of Mormon, which is proving to be the big winner of the night so far.

2.01am GMT: She's in bits, bless her. "I tried to write a speech, but I felt silly!" And now she's getting waved off the stage and talking about bumblebees.

1.59am GMT: Nikki M James wins best featured actress in a musical for The Book of Mormon. I wasn't expecting that one.

1.52am GMT: They keep trailing the imminent arrival of Hugh Jackman. They're just toying with us.

1.48am GMT: Don Cheadle introduces the company of The Scottsboro Boys.

1.45am GMT: Hooray for War Horse, getting accolades on Broadway after its run in London - Best Direction of a Play.

1.41am GMT: NPH has decided to do as many Spider-Man jokes as he can in 30 seconds. "I sent Bono a congratulatory cable. But it snapped." I laughed so hard I think I woke my neighbours.

1.37am GMT: Whoa, that was BUTZ in that scene? I actually didn't recognise him. Why is he shouting so much? He has a lovely voice. 

1.34am GMT: Too much growly-shouting in this bit. Not my cup of tea.

1.32am GMT: A bit from Catch Me If You Can now. Aaron Tveit doesn't really suit a uniform. Surprising. 

1.30am GMT: Amazing. The orchestra just played John Benjamin Hickey off the stage while he was in mid-speech. This is the way to make sure shows run to schedule.

1.26am GMT: This comedy routine is really not translating well across the Atlantic. Or is he just not funny?

1.18am GMT: Spitting mad about that cheap Book of Mormon OBCR offer on Amazon. I PAID FULL PRICE, DAMMIT.

1.13am GMT: Ooh, song-and-dance man Harry Potter. His breathing is all over the shop, but it's a cute performance.

1.11am GMT: She's still talking. Yawn.

1.08am GMT: Alec Baldwin reads the nominees for Best Supporting Actress in a Play. Elizabeth Rodriguez blows a kiss at the camera which makes me hate her. Ellen Barkin wins. She looks...weird. Is it just make-up and that she's weeping?

1.04am GMT: And then he skips past Al Pacino who is "way too famous" to be used in this kind of skit. I love that this song uses the word "sodomy" and the line "we'll be twice as proud to have you if you go both ways." NPH ftw! Can't even be snarky about this. Amaze.

1.02am GMT: Oh, NPH performs a paean to masculinity, singing that Broadway is "not just for gays any more". He tells Brooke Shields that she made him think he was straight for 23 years. And then she totally screws up the bit she is supposed to be singing. Cringarama.

1am GMT: Here we go! Neil Patrick Harris says good evening! Squee!

12.56am GMT: I'm told that best score and orchestrations have gone to The Book of Mormon, and best choreography to Kathleen Marshall for Anything Goes...the show proper will start shortly!

12.27am GMT: Am actually laughing out loud at the end credits to the red carpet coverage. It's basically an excuse to thank the people who gave the lady presenters their dresses for free.

Anyway, that's the end of the red carpet coverage. Presumably the technical awards are happening now, but they think we don't care about those.

12.25am GMT: And...now the presenters don't know they're back on camera. Check one-two. Well, this is awkward.

12.24am GMT: People dressed up as sailors in homage to Anything Goes. Really? REALLY?!

12.19am GMT: I love that Brief Encounter has just been referred to as "a Noel Coward thing".

12.15am GMT: Poor Mackenzie Crook. The red-carpet reporter doesn't seem to know who he is.

12.13am GMT: Victoria Clark is talking about God. Mark Rylance is next to her, probably thinking up another crazy speech.

12.10am GMT: Harry Connick Jr is presenting tonight, and will star in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever next season. He says Broadway is where the real talent is. I do love him. He has just basically called his movie colleagues talentless no-marks.

12.07am GMT: Did Tony Sheldon just say one of the Weather Girls is going to be performing It's Raining Men with the cast of Priscilla later? 

12.06am GMT: Tony Sheldon and Beth Leavel are talking about clothes and jewellery.

12.04am GMT: Seriously, British readers, we should totally have an Olivier Awards party in Leicester Square. We can manage it for West End Live, we should do it properly to celebrate our theatre.

12 midnight GMT: We tick into Sunday, here in the UK, with Sutton Foster being accused of a) being a broad and b) being surprisingly thin.

11.57pm GMT: It's Samuel L Jackson! He's going to be playing Martin Luther King in The Mountaintop next season - a transfer of the show we saw at Theatre503 and the Trafalgar Studios.

11.50pm GMT: Helen Reddy is Tony Sheldon's aunt? How did I not know this? The red-carpet reporter asks her if she'd like to perform on Broadway. Reddy points out that she has done. The red-carpet reporter asks her if she'd like to return. Reddy points out that she retired nine years ago. Cringe.

11.47pm GMT: Anybody else repeatedly getting a message that says "This channel is not currently available" over the actual footage? How frustrating. But by this time in the Olivier Awards, everyone had switched over.

11.37pm GMT: Here's Glenn Slater, nominated for Sister Act, but now forever known to me as Glenn "TEN. YEEEEARS. OOOOOOOLD!" Slater thanks to his epic work in Love Never Dies.

11.31pm GMT: By this time in the Olivier Awards, Jodie Prenger was having a chat with her mate that she did a TV series with a few weeks ago.

11.26pm GMT: Oh, the Times Square reporter woman is talking in front of the screen broadcasting her. So there is AN ECHO. A shrill echo at that.

11.24pm GMT: If anyone's interested in dresses, red seems to be the colour to wear to the Tonys this year. I know nothing about dresses so expect no further fashion commentary from me.

11.21pm GMT: Some chat about The Book of Mormon, including general wondering why there haven't been protests about it. British-based readers, do you think Christian Voice (the ones who picketed Jerry Springer: The Opera) would take offence to Mormon if it transferred?

11.15pm GMT: Some quick clips of earlier red-carpet arrivals, including Joel Grey. I interviewed him when he was in London last year. He bought me cake. Very nice man. Not JUST because he bought me cake.

11.12pm GMT: Now time for some diplomatically phrased and answered questions about Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. Jennifer Damiano looks very grown-up, and also thin.

11.10pm GMT: And here's Adam Godley of Anything Goes, sounding ridiculously English. Good for him.

11.07pm GMT: Aw, it's Patina Miller. We in the UK feel fairly protectively towards her, after she opened Sister Act over here. Shame she had such a tough category to battle in for the Oliviers this year.

11.02pm GMT: For comparison, by this stage in the Olivier Awards, Jodie Prenger had already ignored half the nominees.

11.01pm GMT: OK, the red-carpet presenters seem to be in a marquee, apart from one who's in Times Square and is horrendously overdressed.

11pm GMT: Are you excited, then? Red carpet coverage is about to start. 

10.30pm GMT: This time last year I had just got DRENCHED in New York, running up from the matinee of In The Heights to the press room near the Radio City Music Hall. And this year it's bucketing it down in London. I feel that this adds a pleasing kind of symmetry to the affair.

So. It's 8pm here in the UK (3pm in New York), and I'm very excited indeed. Of course, that might be the anticipation of the sleep deprivation kicking in, but I don't think so. I adore the Tony Awards - Broadway always knows how to put on a show and celebrate excellence, even when it doesn't go entirely to plan (I'm thinking of scenery landing on people's heads, primarily).

You see, here in the UK, our Olivier Awards has had a patchy history with broadcasting. Basically it's not been on TV for ages, and then this year the BBC stuck a TV camera in a dressing room to film two men chatting about the ceremony, and called that comprehensive coverage. It wasn't good. So staying up to watch a show that's actually been rehearsed and directed for television seems a pretty good deal to me. 

This time last year, I was actually in New York and blogging from the press room (my colleague and friend Michael Dale has that job this year); this evening I'm lying on my sofa in London and ready to ramble on about my Limey opinions for hours. Sound fun? Join me later on this evening! (And/or follow me on Twitter - @carriesparkle.)

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