It seemed like an extra special Tony year because 3 performers I've worked with recently have all made their Broadway debuts in Tony nominated (and award-winning) shows. Janet Dacal (left pic) who performed in last night's piece from In the Heights took VP Boyle's Musical Theatre Forum with me. Kristine Zbornik, who played my Mother Superior in The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun, is sharing the laughs and the love in A Catered Affair. And Alicia Sable, who rocked out with me (pictured right) in Hell's Belles this winter, is playing one of the Hollywood Blondes in Gypsy. I am so thrilled for all of these talented ladies! Congratulations!
Also, I felt a special connection to In The Heights because I had seen the composer/performer/writer (and now Tony Award Winner) Lin-Manuel Miranda perform a song from the show at NYMF Awards Gala 2 years ago. I was at the gala to receive a NYMF Award for The Singing Nun, and in the midst of the ceremony (just like the Tonys) there were performances from other shows in-the-works. Lin-Maunel Miranda's performance brought the house down! I don't think I'd ever seen anything so innovation and ground-breaking in musical theatre. It was so cool!
I still look back on that Gala with a sense of awe. I mean, there I was right next to Chris Fitzgerald (now playing Igor in Young Frankenstein) and Christian Campbell, getting recognized for my work too! Being surrounded by so many incredible artists, writers, directors, producers. It was thrilling!
And I am greatly encouraged by last night's Tonys, seeing people recognized for years of hard work. Even Patti Lupone winning her 2nd Tony 28 years after winning for Evita! That's still hard work and dedication and putting yourself out there, growing as an artist.
I especially loved Deanna Dunagan, who won for the pill-popping matriarch in the play August Oasage County. When she won the Tony last night, she brought such grace to the stage with her honesty and gratitude, saying, "After 34 years in regional theatre, I never even... dreamed we'd be here... Ever since I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was to get people together and put on plays and now I get to do it on Broadway. Thank you so much."
There was so much joy last night and I am so happy for all of the artists who received accolades last night. Bravo!