Oh, the Drama: Break­ing Down the 2018 Tony Awards

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Broad­way’s big­gest night drew ev­ery­one from Bruce Spring­steen to a goat named Sparky.


The most un­ex­pected guest mak­ing an ap­pear­ance on the Tonys red car­pet?

You guessed right, it was Sparky. The goat — @goat­son­thi­sis­land — was out sup­port­ing his "Once on This Is­land" cast­mates who were nom­i­nated along with the likes of Den­zel Wash­ing­ton, Bruce Spring­steen, Amy Schumer, Glenda Jack­son, An­drew Garfield and more, who gath­ered at Ra­dio City Mu­sic Hall for the 72nd an­nual Tony Awards.

Pro­ducer Jor­dan Roth had plenty to cheer for this year. There with nom­i­nated shows “An­gels in Amer­ica," "Frozen," "Mean Girls" and "Spring­steen," he was also cel­e­brat­ing his 15th an­niver­sary with hus­band Richie Jack­son.

“This is our an­niver­sary party, wel­come!” said Roth said, stand­ing next to Jack­son.

“No, no, no, no, no,” Jack­son said. “Yes, yes, yes, yes!” Roth said. “So the dis­crep­ancy is the fol­low­ing…”

“It's lit­er­ally the only thing we dis­agree on," Jack­son added.

“The date of the Tony Awards we met was June 8, 2003,” Roth said. “He cel­e­brates June 8 as our an­niver­sary, and I cel­e­brate Tony Sun­day. I'm right clearly.”

“Ei­ther way we get to cel­e­brate twice,” Jack­son said.

Ari'el Stachel, who later picked up the Tony for Best Fea­tured Ac­tor in a Mu­si­cal for “The Band's Visit,” made a last-minute out­fit change to sneak­ers for his big night.

“I was very ner­vous about it — this was a big thing to­day. It felt risky…and I lit­er­ally chose the shoes to­day at, like 1 p.m.,” he said, stand­ing next to his mother. “I was go­ing to wear dress shoes and I was like, ‘I gotta do some­thing dif­fer­ent.'”

An­drew Ran­nells was get­ting into for­ma­tion with his "Boys in the Band" cast­mates for a photo op; they were all dressed in com­ple­men­tary color tuxe­dos in shades of green, blue and bur­gundy.

"Taste the rain­bow," ex­claimed Ran­nells. "Ev­ery­one's wear­ing Paul Smith."

Any nerves the sched­uled per­form­ers might be hav­ing were spared from Cynthia Erivo, the big win­ner for “The Color Pur­ple” two years ago.

"I don't know that I get stage fright. And I like the pre-show tin­gles, be­cause I feel like it re­minds me that I care,” she said. “They sort of dis­si­pate through­out the show, and I'm OK with that. It's a re­minder that I'm alive, that I'm breath­ing, and this is real and you care.”

“I just pre­tend that I'm some­body, I'm not me,” was how Lau­ren Ridloff, a nom­i­nee for “Chil­dren of a Lesser God,” copes with stage nerves. “That's not me on the stage, so what­ever I'm do­ing on­stage, I can blame her, not me,” she said, through an in­ter­preter. “And so that's easy.”

Shortly af­ter the cer­e­mony wrapped at 11 p.m., the crowd mo­seyed — mostly via a fleet of char­tered buses — a few blocks up­town to the Plaza Ho­tel for the night's an­nual of­fi­cial af­ter party. The win­ners had their tro­phies on proud dis­play, in­clud­ing a glow­ing Lind­say Men­dez and Stachel. Lau­rie Met­calf, win­ner of best fea­tured ac­tress for "Three Tall Women," darted in cov­er­ing her face from cam­eras, not long be­fore win­ner Nathan Lane pulled a sim­i­lar cam­era-shy move upon ar­rival. Nearby, an el­derly man was us­ing his cane to hold up the drap­ing palm branches for the ladies pass­ing un­der­neath.

Win or lose, the crowd was equally cel­e­bra­tory. Down­stairs at the food court, Ridloff in­ter­cepted fel­low ac­tress nom­i­nee Ash­ley Park with a hug as she moved through the crowd.

The first-timers on the Tonys af­ter-party cir­cuit were still rather daz­zled by the whole ex­pe­ri­ence.

"I think prob­a­bly get­ting to share the stage with Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban for a minute," said "SpongeBob SquarePants" ac­tor Ethan Slater, of the night's high­light. "It was pretty spe­cial look­ing out and see­ing my fi­ancé in the au­di­ence, and then look­ing up and see­ing the rest of Ra­dio City was pretty awe­some."

The ac­tor was nom­i­nated for best lead ac­tor in a mu­si­cal but sadly went home empty-handed — though that seemed to have lit­tle ef­fect on his mood.

"It was a re­ally wild night," he con­tin­ued. "I got to be at the Tonys and cel­e­brate the awe­some Broad­way sea­son, and now we're at the fan­ci­est party I've ever been to of my whole life, so I'm try­ing to soak it all in."

Luck­ily, soak­ing it all in is what his spongey char­ac­ter does best.

Chris­tine Baran­ski Ari’el Stachel and Cynthia Erivo

Miles McMil­lan, Zachary Quinto and

An­drew Ran­nells.

Sara Bareilles

Lau­ren Ridloff

Lau­rie Met­calf

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