Sunday, April 14, 2024

Exclusive: Tony Awards Considered Canceling Red Carpet Until 2 Hours Before Show


The Tony Awards almost had no red carpet this year.

Because of the tragedy in Orlando, there was a discussion to yank the red carpet completely on Sunday just hours before celebrities were due to pull up at 5pm.

I confirmed this with William Ivey Long, Tony award winning costume designer and outgoing chief of the American Theater Wing, which puts on the Tonys.

A discussion went on for some time before Long came up with a solution: thinking on his feet (and in his tuxedo) he quickly sketched out a shiny, glowing silver ribbon to be given to everyone who set foot on the carpet. Long dispatched assistants to find the right ribbon, then hand cut 1,000 of them. Assistants stuck in pins and viola! the Tonys were observant that the tragedy had occurred.

That, plus James Corden’s opening, put the Tonys in a good spot for the rest of the evening. And far from some of the crazy awards show we see from the west coast that are just product or network plugs, the Tonys came off classy and elegant, as well as exciting.

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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