Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tony Night!

More stage door.
Not only is today’s matinee my last performance during this amazing trip, but it is also Tony Awards night! I have a friend coming to Newsies with his mother today, so I will be meeting up with them for the show and then I planned to head back to my hotel and watch the Tonys in bed with some yummies – seemed like a solid plan when I made it. Now, I don’t usually wait in the line to get into the theater (it’s assigned seats, and if you walk right in past the line security doesn’t care), but since my friend and his mom were already in line I thought I would go stand with them. On my way around the block to find them, I was stopped by someone who shall not be named (but who is AMAZING) who essentially told me I had just “won a contest” and could attend the official Disney party tonight if I was interested. My response? “Umm, yes!”  I think that might have been the best “contest I ever won.”

While that amazing development sunk in, I chatted with my friend and his mom about the show. He had seen it before, but his mom was new, so I was excited for her response come intermission. She loved it!

This being my 8th show of the week, I was actually really excited to get my playbill and see that Laurie Veldheer would be going on as Katherine! Kara Lindsay had been sick, and since she had to do the Tonys that evening, I guess Laurie went on to give Kara some time to rest. Laurie usually plays Hanna, so it is great to see her in the spotlight. What a great performance from Laurie! It’s funny, because even thought they are both great as Katherine – they play her so differently. Kara has a lot of quirky things she does with the character and get a lot of laughs; but Laurie plays her very strong and stubborn. It was really great to see it done in a new way. Great job Laurie! Especially since she let slip at the stage door afterwards that she hadn’t performed it for an audience in over a month! When she saw me, she immediately asked “How did I do?” I guess when you see the show all week the cast starts to value your opinion on things! Of course I told her she did a fantastic job, and that I was really glad I got to see her go on. Even some of the Newsies asked me throughout the week which shows were better… I just can’t say that sort of stuff surrounded by other fans who saw it for the first time. It wouldn’t be fair for me to spoil their thoughts on the show they saw.

Because I had to chat with my friend and his mom after the show, I was actually late getting to the stage door, which meant I was all the way in the back of the crowd. Thankfully, the security guys have gotten to know me throughout the week and made sure I got the rest of my trading cards signed. They are awesome over at the Nederlander. Not a single person who works there ever seems to be in a bad mood. I don’t know if that’s the Disney gun to their heads or what, but it is really refreshing.

So I finally head back to my hotel, after some thankful goodbyes to the folks who work the doors and barricades at the theater. When I was packing my bags in FL before the trip, I thought I should pack a cocktail dress just in case… well I am glad I did! My contingency dress absolutely came in handy! I did have to go on a quick hunt for a clutch to wear for the evening, but that didn’t take too long so I had about an hour and a half to get ready and out the door.

I think it is one of the prettiest marquees in the theater district. 
Even though the party was at the Hard Rock in Midtown, and I was a few blocks away… I really didn’t want to exhaust myself in heels, so I took a cab. $5 later, I was safely in front of HRC.  Walking in I felt relieved because someone at the door immediately pointed me to the Disney party. So far so good with the fitting in! Gave them “my name” and I was in. I didn’t know a soul there, so I immediately went to the bar for a drink. Thanks Disney for the free wine and beer (even though actual Disney folks were a bit disappointed in the lack of booze). I stood awkwardly for about 10 mins with my glass of chardonnay when one of the wonderful guys from the online marketing department noticed me and gave me a big smile/hug. Thanks to those awesome guys I had some people to spend the evening with. I felt absolutely comfortable at the nerd table all night – with the guys who spent the entire evening on Twitter, Facebook and their phones. Thanks Kyle, Greg, Peter (and your beautiful dates) for being super awesome and making me feel like I belonged!

I am sad to say, I did not take any pics  at the Disney party. I didn’t take pics with the actors I talked to... it was open bar, and I forgot. I did however talk to Garret and Ryan Steele – who I am sure I gushed to for entirely too long. But their hugs were my favorite thing all night long. I swear I could watch those boys smile for hours. I talked to Thayne as well, and Evan K. I think I said a few quick words to Ryan Breslin, and Laurie (who I might have called Caitlyn by accident – I was a little tipsy, and Caitlyn is actually Laurie’s swing as Hanna. Sorry Laurie, if I did!) I did see Jeremy when he arrived to the party, but there was quite a crowd around him, and I lost track of him after that. I didn’t really want to impose, so I mostly just chatted with people I bumped into naturally. Of course I talked to a lot of the crew and behind the scenes people who make everything happen. Everyone (mostly) was really nice. I did get a few strange looks from people who didn’t really think I belonged, but “I won a contest” seemed to appease them.  

I essentially spent the night "nobbin' with all the muckety-mucks" and beautiful gay men (in fabulous clothes) brought me drinks all night. It was pretty fantastic. 

All I can really say is that it was a great time. Being in the room with all the people who worked SO hard to make sure Disney went home with so many wonderful awards was… magical. I am honored and so incredibly thankful to have been able to be a part of that once in a lifetime sort of event. 

While the after-after party was in my reach, I had a flight to catch the next day so it was time to say goodnight. I passed out pretty promptly once I got back to my hotel. I had really great dreams though, so I would say the night was an overall success. :)