Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Drama League Awards, Or When Hugh Jackman Came To Me

Thanks to ModFab Gabriel's urging, I finally volunteered at this years Drama League Awards where I got to see a lot of theatre stars up close and personal! The Drama League Awards also act as a fund raiser for their Directors Project Program so it's a nice way for fans (with money) to mingle with theatre folks while raising money for a good cause, AND with Broadway currently filled with many A-list Hollywood types, the party is feeling more and more glamourous!

And since there are really only 5 actual awards with only ONE award for Best Performance, there seems to be a more congenial, less competitive feel between all the actors since there's only 1 overall winner and really, in this case, it's pretty amazing just to be nominated already. (Plus it's a free lunch with booze so picture the Golden Globes with no camera's or press, which means the stars don't have to play for the camera and let loose!)

But enough about that. Let's talk about seeing all the STARS! Luckily I got put into VIP Registration, which as I suspected, was really dealing with everyone's publicist and not the stars themselves, but since we're also essentially the gates to the VIP room, I got to see pretty much everyone pass by at close range at least.

But seriously, apparently EVERYONE has a publicist or a handler or somebody to talk to the plebes like me. Except Nina Arianda (nominated for Venus in Fur and was adorably excited to be amongst such a famous nominee list) and Hugh Jackman. Yes. HUGH FREAKIN' JACKMAN. No publicist. No manager. No entourage. Just came up to us/me (I may or may not have pushed my fellow volunteers aside and overtaken the table. I don't really remember except the gaze of Hugh's face looking directly back at me with his charming Australian smile) and registered himself (because, Hugh Jackman needs a ticket to get in. Please, he's HUGH FREAKIN' JACKMAN. He needs no ticket). Anyways, not only was he incredibly gracious and funny, he even offered us his second ticket that he didn't need. I don't remember much at that point. I think all of us had our mouths gaping open with drool slightly dripping onto the table and to be honest, all I could think of was: BLBGLDBGLDBGSDSKLJDAKSFLKFLFBLFBDALFBSLDKF. And damn, he looked amazing in his suit.

I think I told him about the media room and VIP room and other details, but I'm only sorry that I did not ask him to have my babies right there and then. Instead I just directed him to where he had to go and what he had to do. As if I'm to tell Hugh Jackman what to do. (And yet he stood listening and chatting back. Seriously, as if I didn't love him already before, now I seriously will throw my body into a volcano to save the world if he asked me to, but he would never do that. He would save the world some other way).

So other cool things I noticed. Hugh Jackman seemed to be chums with EVERYONE. He was talking with Kelsey Grammar like they were old buddies.

The legendary Angela Lansbury waved at ME! (She was being shuttled off somewhere but looked back, I waved a "Hi" and she stopped and waved back before being herded somewhere else (by her own people)). It was funny because at one point, her people were trying to find her tickets (her publicist had already picked them up). But seriously, if anybody other than Hugh Jackman doesn't need a ticket, it's Angela Lansbury! Seriously. She's motherf#$ken Angela Lansbury! She needs no ticket!

I noticed Scarlett Johansson chatting up with Superior Donuts (and ABC's upcoming Detroit 1-8-7) Jon Michael Hill! Oh, and many actresses I've met before are less impressive in person, but damn, ScarJo's skin is like porcelain. She is stunning.

I had just seen Fences on Broadway and got my photo with Viola at the stage door but she really seems professional but fun and grounded, but someone serious about her craft (hence, why she's AMAZING all the time).

Sean Hayes apparently LOVES dogs. Stopped to pet one of the security dogs on watch and talked and talked about his own dogs he's left behind in LA.

Michael Urie and Vanessa Williams hosted the awards (and both being nominated for their respective shows, Off-Broadway's The Temperamentals and Broadway's Sondheim on Sondheim, making them hosting together a perfect match of the Drama League's all encompassing awards). They did a little number which was totally fabulous and hilarious.

I sort of gasped "Oh Marin Mazzie" when she and her publicist came to the registration table. She's freaking original Mother! (Ragtime people. Ragtime). In a nice touch, she was sitting next to revival Younger Brother Bobby Steggert during the awards!

Sigh. Bobby Steggert! Love!

Liev Schreiber, who just always looks so serious, also stopped to pet the security dog leaving ScarJo to walk ahead and lose him.

Levi Kreis, fantabulous in Million Dollar Quartet, winked at me as he walked by the registration table!

Loved Katie Finneran's outfit!

Jessica Hecht looked so beautiful and it was nice to see all three stars from A View From The Bridge back together.

Benjamin Walker is going to be such a star! But for now, he seemed more amazed to be nominated in such illustrious company. Oh, and he's pretty tall too. And did I mention how hot he looks?

Other tidbits? David Alan Grier's publicist is outrageous (in a funny "oh no she didn't" way) which seems to match Grier's personality, especially after his GREAT speech about being the "GREATEST ACTOR IN THE WORLD"! Hilarious!

Nathan Lane, love or hate him, had a hilarious speech for his award (basically a lifetime achievement award). He knows how to bring the laughs.

Michael Urie seemed excited to meet Sean Hayes and introduced himself. Linda Lavin and Valerie Harper seemed like old friends and seemed to have a ball. Rosemary Harris was happy to be seated between (the very tall) former co-stars Alfred Molina and Christopher Walken.

Here are the winners:
Distinguished Performance Award — Alfred Molina, “Red
Distinguished Production of a Musical — “Sondheim on Sondheim
Distinguished Production of a Play — “Red
Distinguished Revival of a Musical — “La Cage aux Folles
Distinguished Revival of a Play — "A View from the Bridge

Here's the full nomination list:


AFTERMATH by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, New York Theatre Workshop
A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE by Martin McDonagh, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
THE BROTHER/SISTER PLAYS by Tarell Alvin McCraney, The Public Theater
CLYBOURNE PARK by Bruce Norris, Playwrights Horizons
ENRON by Lucy Prebble, Broadhurst Theatre
NEXT FALL by Geoffrey Nauffts, Helen Hayes Theatre
THE PRIDE by Alexi Kaye Campbell, MCC Theater
*RED by John Logan, John Golden Theatre* WINNER
VENUS IN FUR by David Ives, Classic Stage Company


Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice; Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
Book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer; Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong; Music by Green Day, St. James Theatre
Book by Alex Timbers; Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman, The Public Theater
by Noel Coward; Adapted by Emma Rice/Kneehigh Theatre, St. Ann’s Warehouse
Conceived by Twyla Tharp; Music and Lyrics by Various Artists, Marquis Theatre
Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro; Music and Lyrics by David Bryan, Shubert Theatre
Book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux; Music and Lyrics by Various Artists, Nederlander Theatre
Book by David Thompson; Music and Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, Vineyard Theatre
Conceived by James Lapine; Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Roundabout Theatre Company* WINNER

*The Broadway transfer of the musical FELA! was nominated for the 2009 Distinguished Production of a Musical during its Off-Broadway run, and was therefore ineligible for nomination this season.


AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare, Brooklyn Academy of Music
BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS by Neil Simon, Nederlander Theatre
COLLECTED STORIES by Donald Margulies, Manhattan Theatre Club
THE EMPEROR JONES by Eugene O’Neill, Irish Repertory Theatre
FENCES by August Wilson, Cort Theatre
LEND ME A TENOR by Ken Ludwig, Music Box Theatre
A LIE OF THE MIND by Sam Shepard, The New Group
*A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE by Arthur Miller, Cort Theatre* WINNER


Book by Hugh Wheeler; Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Walter Kerr Theatre
Book by Yip Harburg and Fred Saidy; Lyrics by Harburg; Music by Burton Lane, St. James Theatre
Book by Harvey Fierstein; Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman, Longacre Theatre* WINNER

Book by Neil Simon; Lyrics by Hal David; Music by Burt Bacharach, Broadway Theatre
Book by Terrence McNally; Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens; Music by Stephen Flaherty, Neil Simon Theatre


Nina Arianda, Venus In Fur - Attended
Laura Benanti, In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play
Barbara Cook, Sondheim on Sondheim
Daniel Craig, A Steady Rain
Tyne Daly, Love, Loss and What I Wore
Hugh Dancy, The Pride
Viola Davis, Fences - Attended
Brandon Victor Dixon, The Scottsboro Boys - Attended
Colman Domingo, A Boy and his Soul - Attended
Ensemble, Aftermath** - Attended. Represented by Fajer Al-Kaisi

Ensemble, Brief Encounter**
Katie Finneran, Promises, Promises - Attended
Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking
John Gallagher, Jr., American Idiot - Attended
Victor Garber, Present Laughter
Montego Glover, Memphis - Attended
Mark-Paul Gosselaar, The Understudy - Attended
Kelsey Grammer, La Cage aux Folles - Attended
David Alan Grier, Race - Attended
Lance Guest, Million Dollar Quartet - Attended
Jonathan Hammond, The Boys in the Band - Attended
Valerie Harper, Looped - Attended
Sean Hayes, Promises, Promises - Attended
Jessica Hecht, A View From The Bridge - Attended
Jon Michael Hill, Superior Donuts - Attended
Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles - Attended
Judith Ivey, The Glass Menagerie/The Lady With All The Answers - Attended
Scarlett Johansson, A View from the Bridge - Attended
Marc Damon Johnson, The Brother/Sister Plays - Attended
Leslie Jordan, My Trip Down The Pink Carpet - Attended
Levi Kreis, Million Dollar Quartet - Attended
Nathan Lane, The Addams Family - Attended
Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music - Attended
Linda Lavin, Collected Stories - Attended

Jude Law, Hamlet
Laura Linney, Time Stands Still
Jan Maxwell, Lend Me A Tenor/The Royal Family - Attended
Marin Mazzie, Enron - Attended
*Alfred Molina, Red* WINNER - Attended
Jim Norton, Finian’s Rainbow
Rosie O’Donnell, Love, Loss and What I Wore
Karine Plantadit, Come Fly Away - Attended
Eddie Redmayne, Red - Attended
Roslyn Ruff, Things of Dry Hours - Attended
Tony Shalhoub, Lend Me A Tenor - Attended
Jeremy Shamos, Clybourne Park - Attended

Anna Deavere Smith, Let Me Down Easy
Bobby Steggert, Ragtime/Yank! - Attended
John Douglas Thompson, The Emperor Jones - Attended
Michael Urie, The Temperamentals - Hosted
Tony Vincent, American Idiot - Attended
Christopher Walken, A Behanding in Spokane - Attended
Benjamin Walker, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson - Attended
Denzel Washington, Fences - Attended

Ben Whishaw, The Pride
Vanessa Williams, Sondheim on Sondheim - Hosted
Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music - Sadly was sick

(** The producers of Aftermath and Brief Encounter may, at their discretion, designate one cast member to appear on the dais on behalf of the full acting ensemble.)

Recognized by The Drama League for their work this season (but thus not eligible to win again)

Norbert Leo Butz, Enron
Kathleen Chalfant, Family Week
Rosemary Harris, The Royal Family - Attended
Hugh Jackman, A Steady Rain - Attended

John Lithgow, Mr. and Mrs. Fitch
Bebe Neuwirth, The Addams Family
Stephen Rea, Ages of the Moon
Liev Schreiber, A View from the Bridge - Attended

Macy’s Parade and Entertainment Group

Nathan Lane

Kenny Leon

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


Esther said...

Wow, what a terrific brief encounter with Hugh Jackman! And now I love Hugh even more! No wonder you'd throw yourself into a volcano for him. So did he have to give his name when he approached the table to get his ticket(s)?

Julie said...

How exciting!! I just love Hugh Jackman. Maybe you can convince people to vote for him as Male Celebrity Role Model for the Pixel Project and bring awareness to ending violence against women.

Vote for Hugh Jackman and help bring awareness to domestic violence.


momo said...

What a great experience, and thanks for allowing us to peep over your shoulder.

Sarah B. Roberts said...

I love volunteering for the Drama League and aren't Gabriel, Roger and the rest of the staff wonderful? My fave comment: "She's motherf#$ken Angela Lansbury!" That's a mantra. Bravo.

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