A morning to meet and greet the 2017 Tony award nominees
By: Patrick Christiano
The 2017 Tony Award nominees were announced in 24 categories on Tuesday May 2, 2017 and the following morning many showed up at the Sofitel New York Hotel on West 45th Street for a photo op and an informal meet and greet with the press. The casual event is a fun filled morning, a chance to chat with many of the season’s celebrated stars and producers, where everyone is thrilled to be honored with a coveted Tony Award Nomination. In the press room and on the red-carpet attendees, many who performed the previous night and had matinee and/or evening performances afterwards that same day, were laughing and having a ball.
I asked many of the nominees I spoke with “What does this mean to you?”
Rebecca Taichman nominated for Best Direction of a Play for Indecent, a show she has been working on for 20 years that she deeply cares about, which was also nominated for Best Play, said “This is tremendous! Being nominated is just an acknowledgement of passion and hard work, so it comes from the bottom of my heart when I say it’s an honor I never would have dreamed all those years ago.”
Richard Thomas, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in Featured Role in a Play for The Little Foxes, said, “This is just wonderful. The whole experience is wonderful.”
Condola Rashad, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for The Doll’s House, Part 2, said, “This fills me with gratitude. I’m just full of gratitude.”
Denee Benton, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for The Great Comet of 1812, said “Everything! I’ve been dreaming about this ever since I was a little girl.” Indeed, she was radiating like a joyous child, and she looked perfectly blissful from head to toe.
Corey Hawkins, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for Six Degrees of Separation, said “This is a celebration! It’s great to be getting back to my roots. My cast members are terrific. Allison Janney is amazing. And to be working with John Guare agian is incredible. I once had a small part in The House of Blue Leaves and I was terrified.”
Danny DeVito, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a play for The Price said “This is a great honor to be a member of a great play. What you put out in the world comes back to you.”
I asked previous Tony winner Jefferson Mays, nominated for Best Performance by an actor in a Leading Role in a Play for Oslo, “After all the accolades over the years what does this mean to you?” He joked “Does anyone ever tire of being honored? This is such an endorsement. I feel like I’m a symbol for the entire cast. This is symbolic of our momentous achievement.”
I asked Sally Field, David Hyde Pierce, and Paula Vogel the same question.
Sally Field, a two-time Oscar winner nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for The Glass Menagerie said, “I’m thrilled! If I weren’t so tired, I would be more excited.”
David Hyde Pierce, a Tony and Emmy award winner nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Hello Dolly! Said “I’m having such a fantastic time working with Bette and this company. This is the icing on an amazing cake.”
Paula Vogel, the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright nominated for Best Play for Indecent, said “To have my work seen and join all of the people, it,s great to be in the club.”
The no frills morning begins the traditional campaign period before votes are cast for Broadway’s highest honor, the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards®, which will be presented in a live ceremony hosted by Tony and Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey. The star-studded show featuring performances by many of the nominated musicals and plays will be broadcast live from the Radio City Music Hall on CBS Sunday, June 11th, from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. marking 71 years of excellence on Broadway.
Photography: Barry Gordin