Thursday, June 13, 2024

Tony After Parties: “Color Purple” Sensation Cynthia Erivo Still Has No Record Contract


cynthia erivoIn the days when there was a record business, Cynthia Erivo would already have a contract and a hit album. I wrote back on opening night of “The Color Purple” that Erivo had not been contacted by anyone in the music business.

Last night she won the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical. And? “Still nothing,” she told me. This phenomenal singer- a sensation really– who could sing pop, blues, gospel, R&B, Broadway, maybe opera– has no record contract!

At the Plaza Hotel after party for the Tonys– the main event– Erivo was swamped by reporters, photogs, fans, other winners and nominees– insane! She’s tiny, so it’s overwhelming. But this is a young woman with such grace and poise. And so much fun. But she is also a superstar in the making.

The Plaza party was teeming with stars– all the “Hamilton” people came including winners Leslie Odom Jr. and Daveed Diggs. There was a knot in the lobby area as Jake Gyllenhaal stopped and took pictures with everyone who asked– and they all asked—while Steve Martin, Edie Brickell and Peter Asher did a lap with Martin Short, winning scenic designer David Rockwell– already a star in the design world– showed off his first ever Tony for “She Loves Me.”

Leslie Odom, by the way, does have a new album out. Steve Greenberg of S Curve Records, the guy behind Joss Stone, was smart enough to record him. Maybe the Tony will help sales. Leslie told me: “I’m in shock.” He’d been so frustrated by the business he almost left it.

Over at Rick Miramontez’s swanky party at the Baccarat Hotel, new Tony winner (for “The Humans”) Reed Birney told me that even though we think of him as a Broadway vet, he’s only been in four Broadway shows. And his biggest hit was in the 70s– “Gemini,” a great play. He’s 61 and went 35 years between shows. Where’s he been? “Off Broadway, regional theater.” He’s pretty much near tears at this point. Bravo!

Everyone came to Rick’s by the way, the best party and hardest ticket sponsored by his new company DKC/O&M: Harvey Weinstein, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, Diane Lane, Andrew Lloyd Webber, everywhere you turned in the gorgeous, sparkling room there were stars– Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sophie Okenedo, Tommy Tune, Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker, Cassie Beck, an exhausted George C. Wolfe slumped on a couch, Savion Glover (with his mini me son), Billy Porter, Joe Mantello, beautiful girls everywhere, and a disco in the back.

They were still there when I left at 3am! They may still be there!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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