Tony Nominees of 2013 React: Including Tom Hanks, Nathan Lane, Diane Paulus, Rob McClure, Bertie Carvel, Judith Light, Keala Settle, Carolee Carmello, Andrea Martin, Pasek & Paul, Annaleigh Ashford and More

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30 Apr 2013

Justin Paul and Benj Pasek
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, A Christmas Story: JP: I didn't want to get my hopes up. I sort of was playing it cool this morning, and I just slept in, and I was like, "You know, maybe I'll watch," and then around like 8:25 AM, I just freaked out, and thought, "I have to watch! I'm going to turn on the TV!" So I sat by my wife, and I sprang out of bed, we put on our bathrobes, and we're just sitting in front of the TV screaming, freaking out, jumping up and down when it happened. We weren't together. Benj was separate, so we called each other on the phone.

BP: Yeah, I was freaking out because I was by myself, and so a friend of mine texted me last night and was like, "What are you doing?" He was in town, and I said, "I don't know, but I can't be alone right now because I don't want to wake up and be like crazy, and I need somebody to watch these things with." So I slept on my friend's couch last night, and we woke up this morning, and I had my mom on speakerphone and my entire extended family watching together, and it was magical!

BP: We were musical theatre majors. We studied this in college. This is what we did with our lives. And so the fact that we would wake up to watch the Tony nominations regardless of if we ever had a show involved... The possibility that we were included, let alone the fact that we were nominated, is mind-blowing to us! And, it's also so amazing, too, that there are people who we've known, coming up in New York, and they're reading our friends' names on the Tony nominations telecast! It's unbelievable for us that we get to be a part of it.

David Rockwell, Best Scenic Design of a Play for Lucky Guy and Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Kinky Boots: Well, when I heard I got nominated, my first reaction was, "For which show?" And, when I found out I got nominated for both… The truth is, every one of those nominees is someone whose work I admire and follow as someone who loves theatre. So it's corny to say, but being in a group with those artists—and I think theatre is so collaborative—so in the case of both of the shows I did that got nominated, the set is so integrated to lighting, and in both cases Jules [Fisher] and Peggy [Eisenhauer] and Kenny [Posner] were nominated. In direction, every molecule of those sets is in service of some idea that is collaborative with the director, and they both got nominated, too… So, it's unbelievably thrilling to be doing the work with these people, have the work up and running, and then have it be acknowledged. I guess surreal is the name—the main thing to describe it. As opposed to architecture, theatre is ephemeral. Productions come and go, and you build these amazing families together with the people you are working with, and then to take a moment out to congratulate each other when it opens or to have a party or to celebrate the acknowledgements of other people is, I think, just incredible.


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