2011 Awards Season
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LIVE BLOG: Michael Dale Backstage at the 2011 Tony Awards!

LIVE BLOG: Michael Dale Backstage at the 2011 Tony Awards!Join BroadwayWorld.com's Chief Theatre Critic, Michael Dale, for updates, commentary and whimsy from the press center in an exclusive blog LIVE from the 65th Annual Tony Awards!

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11:41PM:  We've just been told not to expect any more visitors.  Thanks for joining me, everyone.  We should have some great press room interview footage for you soon!

11:14PM:  Expecting Sutton Foster, too.

11:13PM:  The broadcast may be over but I'm sticking around for some visits.  Let's see who pops in.

11:12PM:  Norbert Leo Butz is on his way over.

11:03PM:  On the way to the theatre I ran into Lin-Manuel Miranda.  Watching Neil Patrick Harris' closing, I think I know what he was doing tonight.

10:59PM:  And Chris Rock exposes the elephant in the room.

10:53PM:  It's a great night for Broadway dressers.

10:52PM:  Darn, I was hoping he'd just start giving his opening speech from La Bete.

10:46PM: Up Next?:  Frank Langella reminds the nominators that he'll be appearing in a play this season.

10:45PM:  Neil, she's touching you because Broadway is not just for gays anymore.

10:43PM:  I just realized how much the costumes for this number look like Dr. Seuss illustrations.  That's a good thing.

10:40PM: Fun Fact: The last Paul Shaffer song to be heard on Broadway was "Honey (Touch Me With My Clothes On)" from Gilda Radner -Live From New York.

10:31PM:  During the commercial break War Horse won lighting design of a play.

10:30PM: "Samuel L. Jackson smiled at me!":  Tony winner Nick Stafford, author of War Horse

10:23PM:  How does Company sound?  It looks great.

10:18PM:  And just as James Earl Jones is speaking my headset goes on the fritz.

10:14PM: Up Next?:  An emotional tribute to all the characters that were shot dead in musical comedies this season.

10:12PM: And during the commercial break Book of Mormon just won for Lighting Design of a Musical.

10:07PM:  Sutton Foster miscast?  I don't think so.

10:03PM: You know how thrilling War Horse is? You see the puppeteers working right in front of you and you still believe those horses are real.

9:52PM:  Updates are coming in less frequently now because we're getting visits from winners which I'm taping.  It's getting so busy here that sometimes we don't know who won an award until they drop in.  John Larroquette admits to not being the most upbeat person in the world.  He opened with a Samuel Beckett joke.

9:31PM:  We just spent a few minutes with the very excited and overwhelmed Nikki M. James:  "I feel like I have to move into a better apartment that's worthy of this award."

9:22PM:  Everyone in the blog room has raised their head from their computer and is watching Spider-Man.

9:18PM:  You know what comes between Brooke Shields and her Calvins?  The censors.

9:17PM:  Shades of Nathan Lane and Gregory Hines... nice job, fellas.

9:12PM: While you were watching "I Believe" we were being charmed by the Tony-winning directors of War Horse, Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris.  She'll be working on a new musical with Tori Amos, The Light Princess.

9:02PM:  Dear Steve Colbert, Martin Short already pulled that "Please sit down" gag when he won for Little Me.

9:00PM:  During the commercial break, The Importance of Being Ernest got the award for costume design of a play.

8:59PM:  Another tech glitch but we're back.  You've heard of Not Since Carrie?  Tonight we may be in for Not Since The Producers.

8:41PM:  Only for the talented Ellen Barkin would I not mind missing Neil Patrick Harris' Spider-Man jokes.

8:36PM: Accidentally bumped into Viola Davis backstage and she angrily called me a womanless man.  No idea what that was about.

8:34PM:  That performance is up there with Michael Jeter in Grand Hotel.

8:31PM:  But first, Norbert Leo Butz shows what it means to be a Broadway star.

8:30PM:  Up Next?:  Colman Domingo sings his big number from The Scottsboro Boys with the lyric changed for network television to "Meeskite Money."

8:28PM:  Broadway may not be just for gays anymore but it's shaping up into a good night for The Normal Heart.

8:25PM:  Slight technical problem but I'm back.  For you Tony trivia geeks, when Robert Morse and Matthew Broderick introduced How to Succeed... it was the first time 2 Tony winners for the same role introduced a musical segment from a revival of that same show.

8:12PM:  Kathleen Marshall just stopped by to tell us she's working on a new project; a reworking of the classic Gershwin music, Oh, Kay!

8:04PM:  And I believe we just got our first censored f**ker.

8:00PM:  And we're off!  Neil Patrick Harris is singing about how Broadway is not for just gays anymore.  On behalf of straight lovers of musical theatre everywhere, was it ever?

7:54PM:  And Kathleen Marshall wins for her Anything Goes choreography.

7:53PM:  The Book of Mormon is off to a fast start with wins for score and orchestrations.

7:45PM: Later Tonight?:  On a very special episode of Glee, the kids teach a chorus of children from New York City's homeless shelters to sing their own lyrics to "Hasa Diga Eebowai."

7:20PM:  Things will be revving up here pretty soon, but in the meantime be sure to check out BroadwayWorld's two other Tony night bloggers; Carrie Dunn reporting on the broadcast from London and the mysterious BroadwayGirlNYC,now reporting on the red carpet. 

7:03PM:  Unsubstantiated Rumor:  This year, since the Tony Awards fall on Loving Day - the day we celebrate the United States Supreme Court's decision that made outlawing mixed-race marriages unconstitutional - all nominees who are in inter-racial relationships receive 10 extra bonus votes.  Unreliable sources tell me Sutton Foster has broken off with Bobby Cannavale and has been seen flirting shamelessly with Chris Rock.



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