Very strange seeing all the Tony nominees crowded into the same place, a rabbit warren of narrow hallways and tiny rooms in the Paramount Hotel on West 46th St. But there they are: Helen Mirren, the presumptive winner for Best Actress in “The Audience,” and Carey Mulligan, hot in the revival of “Skylight.” Dame Helen is actually eating fruit from a paper plate as she dances along from interview to interview. She gives Nathaniel Parker, of “Wolf Hall” advice about publicists and reporters: “You must stand your ground.”
I asked Elisabeth Moss, nominated for “The Heidi Chronicles,” how “Mad Men”will end? “Everyone dies,” she says as she runs past. “Don’t tell anyone!”
For four hours leading up to Wednesday matinees everyone who’s been nominated for a Tony is all dressed up and grinning from ear to ear. Chita Rivera, eternally young, has not missed a beat. Someone is waiting to introduce her to the astonishing 11 year old girl from “Fun Home,” Sydney Lucas. “The oldest and the youngest,” I am told. Sydney’s brother is in a show uptown, as well. They’re an acting family.
Sting comes by, with a dark and bushy beard, accepting kudos for his Best Score nod from “The Last Ship.” It makes up for the show sinking too early. Brian d’Arcy James and Christian Borle from “Something Rotten” are very happy– they are also presumptive winners. Nominees Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola have outlasted their castmate Bradley Cooper from “The Elephant Man.” An interviewer asks them the secret to their success. Clarkson says: “Stay true to yourself.” Nivola jumps in: “I would say the opposite of that” because well, why not?
Alex Sharp is the 25 year old Brit who may win Best Actor for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.” I asked him if he was leaving the show in September, as I had reported a few days ago. “No no, hmmm, it hasn’t been decided,” he says politely. One thing is sure: he’s like to do another Broadway show right away. “I love being part of this community.”
I run into Geneva Carr from “Hand to God,” and the “Something Rotten” composers, and the amazing Judy Kuhn from “Fun Home.” It turned out to be a great Broadway season after all, I say to her. Kuhn shrugs. This is the irony of being on stage 8 times a week, the same time as everyone else: “I wouldn’t know. I’ll never get to see it.”