Costume Pieces Falling Off On Stage, Lea Michele's Tears of Joy: Go Behind the Scenes at the Tony Awards | Playbill

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& Juliet
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Tony Awards Costume Pieces Falling Off On Stage, Lea Michele's Tears of Joy: Go Behind the Scenes at the Tony Awards

Playbill gave disposable cameras to 9 cast members from nominated plays and musicals to capture all the magic of the 2023 Tony Awards.

Tony the Tiger, Max Chernin, Holly Gould, Jordan E. Cooper, Crystal Lucas-Perry

At the 76th Annual Tony Awards, Playbill entrusted disposable cameras to cast members from & Juliet, Leopoldstadt, Camelot, Fat Ham, Some Like It Hot, Parade, Ain't No Mo', Sweeney Todd, and Kimberly Akimbo. Each of them captured a photo album full of Broadway magic, and plenty of moments that you wouldn’t find on the broadcast.

Check out each of their photo galleries below, plus reflections on the awards from Jordan E. Cooper, Calvin Leon Smith, Maria Bilbao, and more.

& Juliet (Photos by Matt Raffy)

The cast of & Juliet getting ready to go the Tony Awards. Matt Raffy

If you had to describe your Tony day in 5 words, what would they be?
Matt Raffy: 
Exhilarating, grateful, speechless, emotional (very very emotional), proud. 

What was your favorite memory from the day?
It was minutes before the curtain went up. We were on stage doing a quick warm up, shaking the nerves off. Lorna [Courtney] got us all into a circle, holding each other’s hands. I’ll never forget that moment, looking at everyone in the eyes and knowing that we had each other's back. We worked so hard, we were so ready. It was so special and calmed me down right away. And then: 3,2,1, ROAR! 

Any surprising star-sightings?
I ran into Lupita Nyong'o in the wings, backstage. She’s even more beautiful in real life! 

Did you have any near catastrophes?
Nope! We rehearsed the hell out of that number for weeks. We were so ready to kill it out there!

What would you name this photo album?
“Hey Tony Awards! You’re gonna hear us ROAR!” Or “Hey now, hey now! This is what dreaaaams are made of!”

See Disposable Camera Shots from & Juliet at the Tony Awards


Leopoldstadt (Photos by Anthony Rosenthal)

Brandon Uranowitz celebrating with his Tony Award Anthony Rosenthal

If you had to describe your Tony day in 5 words, what would they be?
Anthony Rosenthal:
 I’m still processing it all!

What was your favorite memory from the day?
The whole day was a waking dream, but if I had to isolate one moment, it would probably be when it was all over and we were letting it all out on the dance floor. When our Brandon [Uranowitz] came in with his Tony Award, the band started playing “Shout.” It was a moment I’ll never forget.

Any surprising star-sightings ?
Nothing completely out of left field, but when all our winners came in afterwards it was more exciting than anyone who could possibly have been there. Also, I’m human, so I still get starstruck by [writer Tom Stoppard] and even [director Patrick Marber], but don’t tell him I said that.

Did you have any near catastrophes?
I may have messed up some of our winning moments on the disposable. If I didn’t, it was a near-catastrophe, and if I did…well...

What would you name this photo album?
The original title for the show: “A Family Album.”

See Disposable Shots from Leopoldstadt at The Tony Awards


Camelot (Photos by Holly Gould)

Post Tonys performance. Well that went well... Holly Gould

If you had to describe your Tony day in 5 words, what would they be?
Holly Gould:
 It’s suuuper cheesy but: Dreams Really Do Come True.

What was your favorite memory from the day?
Tough q!! I’ll go with my gut which is the first time we all saw Ariana DeBose do that leap from the stairs during the dress rehearsal in the morning—you should’ve heard the screams of joy and delight from us all backstage. That’s when I knew we were really at the Tonys.

Any surprising star-sightings ?
Hugging the INIMITABLE Bonnie Milligan right after she won her Tony!!!! & also the entire cast of & Juliet. They’re all such cool humans, like WOW.

Did you have any near catastrophes?
During the broadcast, my amazing dance partner Matías [De La Flor] lost one of his gauntlets mid-number and we both had this moment of “do we go for it, do we leave it??” Luckily, another cast member swooped in & saved the day (thanks Britney!!)

What would you name this photo album?
It’s gotta be “Fam-a-lot”, hands down. I love this cast and crew, very grateful to be a member of this kingdom.

See Disposable Shots from Camelot at The Tony Awards


Fat Ham (Photos by Calvin Leon Smith)

The cast of Fat Ham getting ready to do the pre-Tonys matinee performance Calvin Leon Smith

If you had to describe your Tony day in 5 words, what would they be?
Calvin Leon Smith: 
Hectic, exhilarating, fun, joyful and chic.

What was your favorite memory from the day?
I didn’t have time to eat between our Fat Ham matinee performance that day and the Tonys. So, during a break I ran out, grabbed a burger and fries, snuck it into the theatre, and shared my food with my cast mates Adrianna Mitchell and Chris Herbie Holland. We were so hungry! It was either that, or pass out! 

Any surprising star-sightings?
Are you kidding?? Yes!! To name a few: Shannon Matesky, Stevie Walker Webb, Jessica Hecht and Kara Young. All phenomenal creatives that I have the privilege to know and have admired for years. 

Did you have any near catastrophes?
Near? I spilled champagne on Moses Sumney. 

What would you name this photo album?
“And That’s on What? Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

See Disposable Shots from Fat Ham at The Tony Awards


Some Like It Hot (Photos by Gabi Campo)

Watching the Tony Awards while en route to the Tony Awards! Gabi Campo

If you had to describe your Tony day in 5 words, what would they be?
Gabi Campo: 
Exhilarating, joyful, inspiring, tense, euphoric.

What was your favorite memory from the day?
When Casey Nicholaw won the Tony for Best Choreography! We didn't know which way it was going to go, but obviously hoped it was going to Casey. When they called his name, we were jumping up and down, hysterically screaming and crying. Truly a core moment.

Any surprising star-sightings?
I stood next to Matthew Broderick in the buffet line at the after-party. *swoon* 

Did you have any near catastrophes?
I don't, but Kayla Pecchioni (a swing in our cast) used the restroom before the dress rehearsal and her zipper busted. She had to get sewn into her costume moments before we went onstage!

What would you name this photo album?
bway memzzzz 2023 <3 :]

See Disposable Shots from Some Like It Hot at The Tony Awards


Parade (Photos by Max Chernin)

At the Parade Tonys after-party, even Micaela Diamond wants to touch a Tony Award Max Chernin

If you had to describe your Tony day in 5 words, what would they be?
Max Chernin: 
Thrilling, fancy, sweaty, proud, faggot

What was your favorite memory from the day?
I was really moved at how our community showed up and used the Tonys as a platform to speak to our nation at such a deeply polarizing time. Truly beautiful. Seeing Brandon [Uranowitz], Bonnie [Milligan], Ale [Newell] and J. [Harrison Ghee] win was particularly sentimental to me as well—I admire and adore them all so much. 

Any surprising star-sightings?
Tony the Tiger was certainly a surprise! Keeping the CerealxBroadway collab strong??

Did you have any near catastrophes?
Thankfully no, but I did take extra precaution in stepping over the light box they built for our number. Watch the performance...it's a valiant gallop. 

What would you name this photo album?
TONY DREAMZ.

See Disposable Shots from Parade at The Tony Awards


Ain't No Mo'  (Photos by Jordan E. Cooper)

Tony nominee Crystal Lucas-Perry! Jordan E. Cooper

If you had to describe your Tony day in 5 words, what would they be?
Jordan E. Cooper: 
The most special day ever.

What was your favorite memory from the day?
Sitting next to my mom as we sat across from Joel Grey.

Any surprising star-sightings?
They were everywhere I looked. So even if Ethel Merman or Lena Horne showed up, I wouldn’t have been surprised. Concerned but not surprised.

Did you have any near catastrophes?
Thankfully all went well! But the heat in that theatre almost took me out, especially wearing leather. I think I dropped a pound by the end of the show.

What would you name this photo album?
Everything’s coming up roses.

See Disposable Shots from Ain't No Mo' at The Tony Awards


Sweeney Todd (Photos by Maria Bilbao)

Gaten Matarazzo needs to clean himself up before the Tony Awards Maria Bilbao

If you had to describe your Tony day in 5 words, what would they be?
Maria Bilbao: Incredible. Amazing. Spectacular. Magical. Heavenly. 

What was your favorite memory from the day?
Riding the bus to the United Palace for our Tony performance. Everyone had their phones streaming the live award ceremony, and were cheering for all the shows! We were all living our theatre kid dreams. 

Any surprising star-sightings?
Does the meat grinder count?

Did you have any near catastrophes?
I almost fell asleep inside the trunk during our matinee performance before the Tonys! It was an early morning and listening to Josh Groban and Jamie Jackson sing the reprise of "Pretty Women" was like a magical little lullaby. 

What would you name this photo album?
Devils, WERK!

See Disposable Shots from Sweeney Todd at The Tony Awards


Kimberly Akimbo (Photos by Nina White)

Backstage at the Booth Theatre, cheering as Bonnie Milligan wins a Tony Award! Nina White

If you had to describe your Tony day in 5 words, what would they be?
Nina White: 
Surreal, thrilling, joyous, strange, magical

What was your favorite memory from the day?
The whole day is emblazoned in my memory, but I will never forget getting ready at the Booth when Bonnie [Milligan] won the award for Best Featured Actress. Fernell Hogan, Michael Iskander, Olivia Elease Hardy, and I were huddled around Fernell’s iPhone in a tiny dressing room, running to grab our costumes and throwing them on whenever they cut the broadcast cut to a commercial break. The four of us were clutching each other’s hands when they announced her name, and Olivia cried her makeup off so she had just reapplied. Everything was right in the world at that moment.

Any surprising star sightings?
We were waiting in the basement green room when Lea Michele came off after singing “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” She was completely overcome with emotion and tears and she said, “I can’t believe I just performed that song at the TONY Awards!” She’s just like us.

Did you have any near catastrophes?
...I did leave my Playbill disposable camera in an Uber at 4 AM on my way home on Sunday night. But thanks to the world’s kindest Uber driver and some good luck, it was swiftly recovered!

What would you name this photo album?
West Orange Can Suck It

See Disposable Shots from Kimberly Akimbo at The Tony Awards

 
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