’Tis Tony time once again
Broadway’s Antoinette Perry Awards began April 1947. No statuettes. Winner Ingrid Bergman got a compact. Director Elia Kazan a cigarette lighter. Tickets to the Waldorf ballroom were $7.
The shows were Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Jessica Tandy, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden. Road companies were Uta Hagen, Anthony Quinn, Judith Evelyn, Ralph Meeker. “All My Sons” won the Drama Critics and taking deep bows — Basil Rathbone in “The Heiress.”
Judith Anderson starred in “Medea.” John Gielgud, “Crime and Punishment” with Lillian Gish. Maurice Evans and Katharine Cornell knocked off another “Antony and Cleopatra” revival. Top ticket: $5.80, or about the same as today’s price for the concessionaire’s candy bar.
Comedy? Tom Ewell and Nina Foch in “John Loves Mary.” Hot was Dorothy Gish in “The Story of Mary Surratt.” Falling on their assets were movie stars James Mason in “Bathsheba” and Tallulah Bankhead in “The Eagle Has Two Heads.” Nobody resuscitated those again anywhere — not even in downtown Louisiana on a Monday in hurricane season.
B.C. — Before COVID — spenders paid $1,150 to see “Hamilton.” For the regular $190 seat you might sit in New Jersey. 1947, first year of the Tonys, “Phantom of the Opera” was $29.
The Music Hall’s doing a red carpet with NY1’s Frank DiLella. And — despite scientists having constructed a clock that might lose only one second per 20 years — trust me, the Tony Awards show will still run 40 minutes overtime.
Facts stranger than fiction
A hundred years ago the Lincoln Memorial was unveiled. About 50,000 attended . . . Last month, 118 recorded shootings — same month last year was 172. NYPD Commissioner Sewell: “We’ve seen seven straight weeks of shootings going down.” . . . Be it known Kamala Harris, who speaks nothing to nobody, speaks constantly to her sister Maya. Checks her for every idea. Maya — lawyer, Hillary adviser, promoter of people of color — was her sister’s campaign chairperson. Kamala makes no move without consulting her and should ask her how to work Joe Barfden’s mouth. Or her own . . . Al Franken is back on the road doing stand-up. Even re-screening his 2006 doc “Al Franken: God Spoke.” The thing’s 90 minutes — longer than he was in the Senate . . . PLAYING a man in “Shakespeare in Love” Gwyneth Paltrow: “The beanbag codpiece made sitting and walking difficult. But guys in the cast told me dirty jokes. Dressed as a lady they became more precious and scurried away.” . . . Michael Caine: “Infidelity is because people don’t know what’s out there. I was single, famous and rich for years so I know what’s available and I have no curiosity left.”
Bloomingdale’s doing a book to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Donna Karan, Katie Couric, Baz Luhrmann, Calvin Klein, Michael Bloomberg contributed quotes. What they love about the store, favorite item they bought, what’s Bloomingdale’s mean to NY? To you personally?
Banker: “You can’t take it with you. Being divorced I know I can’t take it with me. Why? Because my wife took it with her.”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.