The Tony Awards are always really gay. And I don’t just mean that gay men are out in force — though, of course, they are (the 2007 Best Direction of a Musical category was the gayest thing ever). Nor do I just mean there are some out (and awesome) stars like Cynthia Nixon, Cherry Jones and Sarah Paulson (the former was in attendance last night, but the latter two were not). The theater also seems to attract intoxicating lesbian-ish types like Tyne Daly, Swoosie Kurtz and Vanessa Redgrave. Strong, ridiculously talented women creating magic on the stage? Yes, please!
Here are some of my favorite moments of last night’s awards:
1. Julie White wins for playing gay.
White (also known as Nadine on Grace Under Fire) took home the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for the The Little Dog Laughed. I’m still kicking myself for missing that show, in which White played a lesbian Hollywood agent (AfterElton reviewed it early on). But her acceptance speech was proof enough that she deserved the award. She’s got that thing, whatever it is — that inherently funny thing that makes you giggle when she does something dorky like mock-scold the playwright who almost didn’t give her the part. Also? She’s gorgeous.
Here are some choice quotes from White’s acceptance speech:
Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh my goodness, you Tony voters, what a bunch of wacky, crazy kids! I thank you so much! Just to be nominated with those extraordinary list of women. I never imagined I would even be on a list like this, unless it was for dinner reservations at Angus. I mean, and then to get the tchochke! Oh, my God! I can’t feel my hands — is that a bad thing?
Oh, my God, our genius producers. I played a hideous agent and my agents have never been hideous — to my face.
When they announced the nominees, and then again when White won, the camera showed her being very affectionate with the blonde to her left. Of course, I was like, “Whaaaat?!” But alas, that was her daughter, not her lover. Oops.
2. Christine Ebersole’s performance of “The Revolutionary Costume for Today.”
I haven’t seen Grey Gardens yet because the movie scared the bejeezus out of me, but Ebersole was mesmerizing on the awards. She’s amusing, disturbing and clearly channelling something; obviously she deserved the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical. I’m buying tickets today.
3. Everything about Angela Lansbury.
I’m not surprised Lansbury didn’t win for her performance in Deuce (that’s the play’s fault, not hers), but I’m so glad she was there to class up the joint. I love the fact that her voice is still so clear and strong — she is still so clear and strong — at 81. Wow.
4. Cynthia Nixon and partner Christine Marinoni in the crowd.
To paraphrase Julie White, oh, you wacky, crazy kids!
5. Audra McDonald’s arms.
She has that voice and those arms? No fair.