Spencer Kayden plays a wily French chef with a pinched, nasal accent, who gets progressively looped on liquor, in “Don’t Dress for Dinner.” She relates to some aspects of her role. “I think in a strange way it captures a lot of different sides of me, cause I can be very deadpan and very dry and also completely silly and ridiculous.” She’s been away from Broadway for a decade and she’s soon returning to L.A. What’s next? “I will go to Target and Trader Joe’s like I do all the time and enjoy my washing machine,” Ms. Kayden said. In other words, she has a Tony nomination but no next job.
“Journalists want to be there, where the action is,” said John Lithgow, who was nominated for best actor for “The Columnist,” playing the title character. “Look at you standing right here on the red carpet. Journalists want to be where the drama is and in a certain sense the drama is only important if they’re there reporting it.”
Mandy Pantinkin walked by that moment and we’re such big fans of “Homeland” we tried to get him to leak some plot twists, but to no avail. “I can’t tell you. If I tell you that they’ll hurt me,” he said, although we’re not she was talking about Showtime or “Homeland Security.”
We stared at the slight, curly haired man for the longest time before we realized it was Josh Groban. He told us he was going to introduce “Once.” What musical would he like to do on Broadway? “Probably ‘Sunday in the Park With George’ one day. It would be my dream,” he said. Possibly even Stephen Sondheim might be okay with that.
Cristin Milioti, leading actress in “Once,” looked spectacular in an emerald green gown, completely different from the ragmuffin she plays in the show. What was the trick to finding her character? “A forwardness,” she said. “She’s very forward, and I’m not very forward. I’m not like her at all. I don’t always jump at things.” The hardest part though was that she had to learn how to play the piano. “I didn’t really play before this. That was a tough journey.”
Mr. Corden – who went on to win the best actor prize for “One Man, Two Guvnors” - told a journalist, “I’m not going to win.” Win or lose, how will he celebrate the journalist persisted? “Lose? Celebrate? Are you mad? Who celebrates when they lose?”
At this point Ms. Chastain was on the red carpet in her amazing glittery dress, possibly practicing for next year when she’ll probably be nominated for “The Heiress.” “I’m really nervous,” she told us of her Broadway debut. “Big shoes to fill with that part. It’s a great role. Brilliant actresses have tread the boards with Catherine Sloper,” she said. “I hope I live up to what they created.”
We were surprised to see Candy Spelling, widow of Aaron and a real-life heiress, next on the red carpet. Ms. Spelling is having a great time as a producer of “Nice Work If You Can Get It” she told us. “I’ve gotten bitten by the bug.” Ms. Spelling was wearing sapphires on her ear the size of quail eggs, surrounded by hundreds of large diamonds. “My husband bought them for me,” she said. How many carats we asked? “I don’t really know. You know it’s not nice to ask how big, or whatever, a gift is. But here, I have a matching ring,” she said, showing us the ostrich-size sapphire surrounded by diamonds on her finger.
Tony nominee Stockard Channing, who is so terrific in “Other Desert Cities,” looked great but when we asked if she enjoyed these award ceremonies, she said, “Not really. You know, it’s fine. Once you’re here, you’re here.” The hardest part? “Getting ready. It’s like the dress and the this and the that. Meanwhile you’re doing eight shows a week.”
Ms. Channing’s co-star, Judith Light, looked sensational in an ivory, silken gown. Since the play closes soon we asked what she’ll be doing next? There were several possible projects in film, television and television, she said, but she can’t talk about it yet. “But I am starting a new line of jewelry on HSN,” and she showed me her ring. “It’s all taken from nature.” As for returning to Broadway? “Please! I better come back to Broadway. And maybe a musical.” Which musical? “I have no idea. My God! Let me just get through tonight!”
And then it was nearly 8 p.m., and a publicist rushed Nina Arianda, the toast of Broadway in “Venus in Fur,” past us to get her into the Beacon Theater for the start of the Tony Awards. Ms. Arianda turned around briefly and said, “I’m sorry” when we tried to ask her a question. By the end of the evening the actress won the Tony Award for best new actress, taking her place as the newest, young star on Broadway.