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The 2006 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall

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2006 TONY Awards
At Radio City Music Hall
50th Street, Btw. 5th and 6th Avenues
NY, NY on CBS, 8:00 - 11:00 PM
(2006 Tony Awards Website)
(See 2006 Tony Awards Nominations)
(See 2006 Tony Window Card Exhibit)
Broadcast on CBS
Press for Celebrity Gifting: On 3 Productions

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 11, 2006
Originally Published on ExploreDance.com


The 2006 Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards, co-produced by The League of American Theatres and Producers and The American Theatre Wing, at Radio City Music Hall, was an amazing event to attend from the inside, amongst the black tie audience, in my aisle seat. Radio City has an aura all its own, and one is immediately taken with the extraordinary amount of gold, mixed with red, on the walls, ceiling, d├ęcor. This is an art deco palace for entertainment, with the original, giant pipe organ. More than 700 films premiered at Radio City, and the Rockettes, those extra-leggy dancers, who dance in synchronized rhythm, used to perform as the film's live showcase, but now perform in conjunction with special holiday events and backstage tours. Tonight, there was a Broadway theme, with special doorway displays of music/dance/drama posters and thousands of theatrical lights.

CBS was broadcasting live, and the audience was told when to be seated, when the show would resume, and when to applaud. We were also treated to a preview show, prior to the televised program, in order to get the Hall prepared for television. During the television intermissions, we also watched film clips from the Tonys archives. The Hall was sold out, and hundreds of actors, producers, choreographers, directors, stage technicians, musicians, and more were in attendance rooting their respective shows. The air was thick with energy.

Earlier in the day, I was invited to a private backstage event, to meet the corporate representatives of the "Goody Bags" for the Hollywood-based and Broadway Tony presenters. Each "Bag", actually a large, shoulder duffle or rolling full-sized suitcase, went home with each presenter, and, at this event, they hand-chose the items by size, color, product. On hand were photographers to mark the connection of celebrities and gifts. Gifts include Solstice designer sunglasses, Jabra JX10 state-of-the-art Bluetooth headset, Salt Works denim collection, Chantelle Lingerie T-shirt, Bra, and Tanga, embellished with Swarovski Crystals, Essenza Automatic Espresso Machine and two month supply of coffee, UGG Australia's Women's Classic MINI and Men's Classic Ascot Driving Shoe, Invicta Watches newest Anatomic Collection, Tahitian Noni Bath and Body Set, Stunning Details Handcrafted Semi-Precious Gemstone Jewelry, and Kumi Kookoon Silk Pillow, Pillow Case, and Travel Slippers.

In addition, presenters received a certificate for LASIK surgery from Laser Eye Center of Silicon Valley, new permanently white smile from Lumineers, a one-year Passport Membership to Crunch Fitness nationwide, a private 2-day, 4-wheel drive training adventure, with Bill Burke's 4-Wheeling America, "Love on Broadway", by Eric Waughan, an 18" x 24" Broadway-themed Limited Edition print on canvas, and much more, including a one-year Associate Patron membership to NYC Opera.

The celebrities, who freely filled their "Goody Bags", include Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Glenn Close, Hank Azaria, Bernadette Peters, Rita Wilson, Kyra Sedgwick, Mark Ruffalo, Ralph Fiennes, Cynthia Nixon, Martin Short, Alfre Woodard, Anna Paquin, James Naughton, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Harvey Fierstein, Tom Skerritt, Ana Gasteyer, Audra McDonald, Bebe Neuwirth, Bill Irwin, Chita Rivera, Christine Ebersole, David Hyde Pierce, and Hal Holbrook.

Other presenters include Harry Belafonte, Harry Connick, Jr., Harry Smith, James Earl Jones, Janis Paige, Jim Dale, Joanna Gleason, Joe Pesci, John Tartaglia, Jonathan Pryce, Josh Lucas, Julianna Margulies, Julie Andrews, Kristen Bell, Lauren Ambrose, Marcia Gay Harden, Mary Louise Parker, Michael McKean, Neil Patrick Harris, Norbert Leo Butz, Oliver Platt, Patricia Neal, Paul Rudd, Paul Shaffer, Rosie Perez, S. Epatha Merkerson, Sara Ramirez, Stanley Tucci, T.R. Knight, and Victoria Clark. The publicist for the "Goody Bag" celebrity gifting is On 3 Productions.

Each of the nominated shows for Best Musical, Color Purple, Drowsy Chaperone, Jersey Boys, and The Wedding Singer, was presented in excerpted format, and each was received with wild enthusiasm. These musicals were also nominated for additional awards in choreography, acting, directing, score, book, scenery, lighting, and orchestrations. Jersey Boys, the story of The Four Seasons, won Best Musical, and Frankie Valli was onstage with members of the original group. The History Boys won Best Play, and Pajama Game won Best Musical Revival (and was performed live in excepted form, along with the two other nominees in this category, Sweeney Todd, and The Threepenny Opera).

The winner of Best Play was The History Boys, and the winner of Best Play Revival was Awake and Sing. Special Tony awards went to Sarah Jones for her one-woman show, Bridge & Tunnel (See upcoming review), to Harold Prince, for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, and to the Intiman Theatre in Seattle, WA, for the Regional Theatre Tony Award. For a complete listing of winners click here: (Winners of 2006 Tony Awards). Most of the acceptance speeches were on the mark, but one rambled on forever, and one became overwhelmed by emotional tributes. These awards are watershed moments for actors, producers, and ultimately their audiences, because the non-winning shows usually quickly close, while the big winners get an extra lease on the theatre. And then, some shows had already closed, prior to the awards, such as Edward Albee's Seascape and The Constant Wife.

Kudos to the 60th Anniversary Tony Awards Committee, to all of the talented Tony winners and nominees, to On 3 Productions, to the multitude of presenters (in lieu of a program host), to the grand Radio City Music Hall, and kudos to Broadway, without which New York would not be New York.

Bernadette Peters and Julie Andrews, Backstage at the Tony Awards

Photo courtesy of WireImage


Jamie-Lynn Siegler, Backstage at the Tony Awards

Photo courtesy of WireImage


Kristen Bell, Backstage at the Tony Awards

Photo courtesy of WireImage


Post-Awards, in the Radio City Lobby

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Guests Stream Down the Radio City Stairway

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Post-Awards, in the Radio City Lobby

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Post-Awards, in the Radio City Lobby

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Post-Awards, in the Radio City Lobby

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Post-Awards, in the Radio City Lobby

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Marianne Stegeland (ABT Stage Door Fan) Is Here with Guests

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Victoria Clark in the Radio City Lobby

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


History Boys, Winners, in the Radio City Lobby

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Frankie Valli, in the Radio City Lobby

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Frankie Valli, Original Four Seasons Leader

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Bob Martin, The Drowsy Chaperone, in the Radio City Lobby

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Kelli O'Hara, The Pajama Game, in the Radio City Lobby

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower


Don McKellar, The Drowsy Chaperone, in the Radio City Lobby

Photo courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower

 

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net