Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Tony Awards After the Show: Willard Scott, Andrew Garfield, and the After Party That Went on Til 4 AM


Just now recovering from Sunday night after the Tony Awards…

Walking up Sixth avenue from Radio City to the Plaza Hotel and the official after party we run into a couple– the woman is pushing a wheelchair containing an older man in a tuxedo. Does she need help? Yes. The streets are not smooth and neither are the corners where the chair must be turned around. I leap in before discovering I am pushing a legend, Willard Scott, of the Today show.

His wife, Paris Scott, tells me: “We invested in ‘Carousel.'” Didn’t anyone send a car? “Scott Rudin spend money on a car?” she says. Willard, we find out, had a small stroke three years ago. His mind is as good as ever, however. Off we go up Sixth Avenue. Has he heard from anyone at NBC since retiring? “Only Brokaw,” he says. We are assisted by very helpful folks at the Plaza Hotel, who get us to a wheel chair lift. “Do you know who this is?” I say to them. They do!

The Plaza post-party is interesting. Some of the shows now have their own post-events. “The Band’s Visit” has one 17 blocks south of here at the Bryant Park Grill, so the Tony winners are not at the official party. But Josh Groban is and so are plenty of others. Ari Stachel, Best Supporting Actor in “Band’s Visit,” is there, and everyone’s going crazy. Legendary Carmen deLavellade, inducted in the Kennedy Center in December, holds court in the Palm Court.

In the Plaza’s third floor ballroom, there’s a huge cabaret going on with Broadway people. In the basement Food Court, all the actors are sampling the amazing food. We find Christine Baranski having ice cream. She looks like a million bucks. “My daughter [Lily Cowles] is in the new Roswell series!” she says proudly.

In the Palm Court, Nikki James and Andrew Rannels from “The Book of Mormon” have a reunion. Lindsay Mendez, Best Supporting Actress from “Carousel,” is stopping to pose for selfies with fans. Zachary Quinto buzzes by. We see Brandon Victor Dixon, who will get an Emmy this fall for “Jesus Christ Superstar,” in his powder blue tux. It’s 1am. Is he going home? “I’ve got a list of parties,” he says.

It IS 1am! We must get a cab for the Carlyle, where PR whiz Rick Miramontez is hosting his 10th anniversary after party, very swell.  And this is where we meet Sara Bareilles with her boyfriend and parents, taking over a banquette in the dining room. They are delightful. Sara tells me her next project is making a regular old record album, with hits, like “Brave,” her number 1 song. She says she bridled at the idea of making so many costume changes as the Tony co-host. “But then I thought, why not? So I did!” She looked great in all of those gowns.

Everyone goes to Rick’s! So Andrew Garfield has his Tony in hand. His grueling run in “Angels in America” from London to New York ends triumphantly. The show closes July 15th. “You don’t have to go back, you won your Tony!” I joke with him. He says, “No, I’ve got to do it. I can do it. We know what we’re doing. I won’t miss a show!” And then what, I ask? “A vacation, I hope!”

In the Bemelman’s Bar we find “Jersey Boys” star Erich Bergen (he’s also on “Madame Secretary”) and Billy Stritch belting out Broadway hits and playing piano, the whole room is singing along. It’s 2am. Someone says, “Can you believe this?” Everyone is wearing gowns and tuxes, holding martini glasses, it’s very swell, like a Cole Porter movie. There are two suites upstairs filled with party goers. No one is going home. “Harry Potter” cast members seem to be everywhere.

Someone says, around 3am, “You’re going home? I heard Bruce Springsteen was going to perform.”

Trust me, I tell them, Bruce has been in bed for hours. 

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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