What It Was Like Inside the Tony Awards After Parties

Special Features   What It Was Like Inside the Tony Awards After Parties
Only a select few scored a ticket to two of the hottest post-show Tony Awards parties. Playbill was there to capture the vibe of the evening, from the food tour at the Plaza to the booze-filled bathtub at the Baccarat.
Tony Plaza 2016 HR02.jpg
Sergio Trujillo, Lena Hall and Jack Noseworthy Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Minutes before the clock struck 1 AM, Leslie Odom, Jr., his wife Nicolette Robinson and his new Tony Award were strolling into the Plaza, the swankiest of settings in New York City and the annual location for the official Tony Awards after party.

Tickets were being taken at the door, and security was at an all-time high following the national tragedy that occurred less than 24 hours before in Orlando, FL. Despite the celebratory occasion, the mood was somber all around—artists shied away from press, feeling out of place for Tonys talk when 50 had died (and even more were injured) hours earlier in the biggest mass shooting in American history. However, the show went on, dedicating the evening to those affected by the tragedy.

At 1 AM, Odom, Jr. was one of the only Hamilton cast members at the Plaza—the rest were at Tavern on the Green, where their official show party was held. However, Tony winners, attendees, producers and press roamed throughout the Plaza as drinks flowed and partygoers continued to filter into the New York City hotel. A live band played by the dance floor, and downstairs a food tour was set up where bites and snacks were made to order at separate stations. Doughnuts were fried, sushi was rolled, and lobster rolls were handed out by the dozen.

In a corner was host James Corden, who looked deep in conversation, while winners such as playwright Stephen Karam were being whisked into the center of the action.

Meanwhile, a few blocks down at the Baccarat Hotel on 53rd Street, the party was only beginning. The Baccarat was the place to be, as the party was hosted by press company DKC/O+M. (Prior to merging with DKC, O+M hosted the annual Tonys party at the famed Carlyle, where things oftentimes got bigger than anticipated, prompting the switch to an “undisclosed” location that was given out only days before the awards show.)

Some walked from 59th Street to 53rd Street, like Tony nominee Michael Arden and his fiancé Andy Mientus, who were snapping pictures in the street before getting on line to head into the party. Others tried to crash, but security was tight, and regardless of who you were (even if you were a previous nominee or winner!), access was denied if your name wasn’t on the list.

Wristbands were given out upon entrance, granting partygoers access to the hotel and the bar. Cast members from Bright Star roamed the floor as well as Laura Osnes and her husband Nathan Johnson (following a malicious Twitter hack that, after a back and forth with the social media company, was finally remedied), Lena Hall and Diane Lane, among others.

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber was chatting it up, and a disco party in a separate room was thrown in his honor. Two other Andrews—AndrewAndrew, the journalist-slash-DJ duo who most famously guested as themselves in a club scene on Girls—were spinning the beats. The words “Disco Lloyd Webber” actually appeared in lights on the ceiling, and ruling the room were Bright Star co-stars Emily Padgett and Jeff Blumenkrantz.

As the hours went on, partygoers trickled upstairs to the 12th floor, a secret (but not really that secret) room that housed a bathroom full of booze. On one side of the floor was a bathtub filled with ice and over a dozen bottles of Bollinger champagne, and on the other was a king-size bed for lounging.

Once partygoers took the elevator down, however, they could not get back up. Between 4-5 AM, a very boozy Broadway began to hail cabs home—Tony Awards in tow—as the sun started to rise and look towards a new season.

Michael Gioia is the Features Manager at Playbill.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PlaybillMichael.

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