Monday, May 7, 2012

And the winner is...

May 7, 2012

By Beth Huisking
Associate Director of Marketing

Film has the Academy Awards, television has the Emmy Awards and theater has the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards.  Named for actress, director, producer, and the dynamic wartime leader of the American Theatre Wing Antoinette Perry, the first Tony Awards were presented in 1947.  In that year, the ceremony was held at the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria and eleven awards were presented in just seven categories.  In comparison, the 2012 Award Ceremony will be held at the Beacon Theatre and awards will be presented in twenty-six categories plus five special awards. 

On Sunday, June 10th the Playhouse family will be paying special attention to the Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre category as our close friend, and Into the Woods Music Director, Wayne Barker is nominated for his work on Broadway’s Peter and the Starcatcher

We were lucky enough to have Wayne at the Playhouse on the day he was nominated (it was actually the morning of our first preview for Into the Woods), so we jumped at the chance to celebrate with a little cake and to get his thoughts about the nomination.

Where were you and how did you find out you were nominated?

Wayne hard at work in the Into the Woods orchestra pit.
Photo by John Mosele
The Monday before the nominations were announced was a day off for us here, and I spent the day in Manhattan and crashed at a friend's place in Noho. Tuesday morning I was rushing to catch the 9:07 train to Westport. I was pulling on my shoes and trying to ignore my chirping iPhone which was suddenly getting a lot of messages zapped to it.
Two messages were from Mark Bennett, my pal who had, in fact, recommended me for Peter and the Starcatcher back in June of 2008.

8:35a.m.:  Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then, Soooooooooooo thrilled!!!!!!!!!!

Sixty seconds later he was calling me. By which time a vague idea was coalescing in my un-caffeinated noggin. I dropped the phone and returned to my laces. Then another text from Mark: Pick up yr phone!!

What was the first thought that ran through your mind?

Something along the lines of “Well of course we were nominated -- it’s a very good score for a very good play by a very good writer with a very good musical conception.” Had I spoken it aloud it would have been in the most matter-of-fact tone I could muster. I admit it drives some friends of mine crazy that I try not to get excited.

Who was the first person you called to share the news?

Wayne cues a fellow orchestra member.
Photo by John Mosele
I sent ’round some congratulations to the other nominees from our show but the morning ramped up fast with adrenaline and the work to be done once the rehearsal day started at the Playhouse. It was the next day that I made a couple of calls to cast members -- I started laughing when remembering a rehearsal in 2009 where they joked about what 4-bar phrase of underscoring from our show would be played by the orchestra if it was ever part of an awards broadcast. And now, I think -- if I understand the procedure -- there actually will be the Tony Awards orchestra ready to play a some of our music when somebody wins. Geez, I hope somebody wins.

What was it like to find out you were nominated for one show as you are preparing for another?

It's always a relief when you have a legitimate reason to drop all this celebration nonsense and get back to WORK. Notwithstanding, the TWO inscribed cakes Bruce Miller (Playhouse Company Manager) was magically able to produce by 5:00pm! 
Do you plan to write an acceptance speech in advance or just go with the flow if and when you get on the stage?

 A-yi-yi-yi-yi-. If I win, I'll be at the podium accepting with Rick Elice, a superb, extemporary speaker. He'll make us both look good. Quick, whisk us off the stage before I blurt out something sloppy and un-cool.
Many congrats, Wayne, from your entire Into the Woods & Playhouse family!

Don’t miss Wayne’s current work as Music Director of the Playhouse’s season-opening production, Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine.  He’s in the orchestra pit for every performance!  Purchase tickets & learn more on the Playhouse website.

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