Party Hopping: Inside the Swanky Tony Awards After-Parties You Didn't Get Invited To
Katrina Lenk danced the night away, Andrew Lloyd Webber DJ'ed, and the goat went home early.
Tony Shalhoub stepped out of his car and was greeted by a sight even more surprising than the one he had seen an hour or so before. Shalhoub, who had just unexpectedly been crowned Best Actor in a Musical for The Band's Visit, was the first Tony winner of the night to arrive at the show's after-party at the Bryant Park Grill, and the crowd was hungry. He made his way through the park, wife Brooke Adams at his side, and as soon as attendees saw him approach, everyone stopped what they were doing and broke into a wild, spontaneous standing ovation.
The Band's Visit shindig was the place to be following the 2018 Tonys telecast, and revelers were still reeling from the news that the show collected the most wins of the night, 10 out of its 11 total nominations. It was a celebratory evening for a little-show-that-could, and Shalhoub's early arrival (he skipped the swanky official Tony Awards party at the Plaza Hotel) signaled to spectators that they were in for a long, fun night.
Such an evening was also to be had at the Once on This Island after-party, where its unexpected Best Revival of a Musical award sent the atmosphere through the roof. Literally. Despite the rainy conditions, guests packed the rooftop of Vida Verde on 55th Street, where producer Ken Davenport worked the room, having exchanged Sparky, the show's goat that he escorted down the red carpet, for a Tony statuette. Across town, the family of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child celebrated their six Tonys at Second Floor, a classy event space that designed the party to resemble the onstage creations of Tony-winning scenic designer Christine Jones.
Uptown, the annual after-after-party at the Carlyle Hotel, thrown by press firm DKC/O&M, was even more star-studded than usual. The Royal Suite on the 22nd floorbecame the de facto headquarters of the Angels in America party. Newly minted Tony winner Andrew Garfield, publicists in tow, was found near the kitchen, a short distance from director Marianne Elliott. Up a flight of stars in the spacious duplex suite, Zachary Quinto, who played Louis in Signature Theatre's 2010 revival of Tony Kushner's drama, mingled with the character's current portrayer, James McArdle. A corner pianist tickled the ivories as miniature fried chicken sandwiches were passed around for nibbles.
Downstairs, Nathan Lane chatted it up with Matthew Morrison and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who even got to hold Lane's brand-new (and third overall) Tony for Angels, as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Rachel Bloom, wearing a custom-made T-shirt featuring Stephen Sondheim smoking a joint, chatted with stage favorite Christine Pedi. There was a quiet, tender moment between Featured Actress in a Play nominee Denise Gough and winner Laurie Metcalf, who shared a hug shortly before Metcalf hopped into a car to head home. Tonys host-with-the-most Sara Bareilles and boyfriend Joe Tippett held court in another corner, talking to fans and fancies alike. When asked by a guest how many outfits she had worn over the course of the night, Bareilles, without missing a beat, joked "141."
The centerpiece of the Carlyle party was Disco ALW, honoring 2018 lifetime achievement Tony winner Andrew Lloyd Webber. Just after 1am, the legendary composer put on a pair of headphones and hopped into the DJ booth, leading an impromptu singalong of a tune that, in a room filled with millennials, few seemed to know: the 1960 novelty song "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini." You had to see it to believe it.
By the wee small hours, it felt like the entire lobby was crawling with winners and nominees alike. Lindsay Mendez, holding her trophy for Carousel, arrived and immediately began receiving congratulatory messages from fellow Broadway stars like Frozen's Patti Murin and her husband, Colin Donnell. Taylor Louderman from Mean Girls brought along her friends from the show's ensemble. After dancing the night away at the Band's Visit party, Katrina Lenk arrived just before 3am with some of her fellow cast members trailing behind her.
As the sun rose, the well-lubricated crowd ended their night in the Royal Suite with a chorus of "New York, New York." An eight-show week was to follow, but for one night, Broadway didn't let itself care .