Last night’s Theatre Museum Awards exceeded expectations in memorableness — moving, funny, occasionally awe-inspiring. The very oxygen seemed enhanced by some of the people who were exhaling in that room. (H’m…is that too much?)
Aside from looking silly I can’t testify to what I contributed to the evening but I was certainly surrounded by greatness. Highlights:
* Warm reminiscences by Hal Prince and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me, Fiorello!). This was the climax of the evening, but never bury your lede.
* Jim Brochu, star of Zero Hour (the one man show about Zero Mostel) singing “If I Were a Rich Man”. Even a Zero Mostel impressionist is better than Topol
* Tovah Feldshuh singing “Sunrise, Sunset”
* An extremely dirty joke told by Jim Dale
* An impressive array of other Broadway/tv talent including John Bolton (not the guy from the U.N.; the one from Gossip Girls), Gregg Edelman, Jenny Fellner, Anita Gilette, Jessica Grove, Elizabeth Ingraham, and Howard McGillin
* Bonnie Comley gave an inspiring call to action; Stewart Lane was as ever the charming and gracious host; Tony Walton the generous and resourceful director of the evening
* Other folks I had a chance to chat with included Ward Morehouse III (son of the famous critic/playwright and a critic playwright in his own right.) I also summoned the gumption to go talk to the 85 year old Charlotte Rae, best known (sadly) for her role on The Facts of Life, but best loved by me for her role on the cast album of Threepenny Opera. I went up and told her so, and she gave me a look that said, “You and your weird hat get the fuck away from me before I call a security guard.”
* Frank Cullen of the American Vaudeville Museum, whom I presented to, was his usual funny, disarming and “frank” self.
And the Countess was stunning, simply stunning in her new Yogi Bear Theme Park Mascot Costume.
Much video and photography was taken last night. As soon as I get my paws on some, I’ll share some more. Just wanted to post this while the sugar plums were still dancing in my head…