Backstage with Christie Brinkley
The period surrounding the Tony Awards are always especially busy for me and this year has been no exception. I try to see as many Tony-nominated shows as possible so I can enjoy the awards, but also to be able to recommend shows to clients. A big part of my job is arranging house seats for agents in the WME offices and our clients. Many out-of-towners don't know what they want to see, so it's helpful for me to see everything to be able to give good suggestions. I've been so busy that my creative energy has been sapped and it's been difficult if not impossible to get creative about Skinny recipes - but I'll be back on track soon.
Chicago isn't up for Tony Awards this year - it walked away with six Tonys back in 1996 - but I caught one of Christie Brinkley's last performances in the long running musical the other week. She is as gorgeous in person as she is in pictures and a genuinely nice person to boot. Her daughter Alexa Ray Joel was in her dressing room too - she was very sweet as well. Christie was wearing a dress designed by Victoria Beckham. I never thought much of Victoria's dresses, but this one was a knockout - and Christie has the rocking body to pull it off!
Christie went to see the new musical Once at my suggestion and really loved it. In fact, she went to see it a second time shortly after she said it the first time! I'm seeing Once on this Saturday night and will post my two-cents-worth next week. My crystal ball says it's going to clean up at the Tony Awards, taking in Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical and others. It has 11 Tony nominations.
Tracie Bennett in End of the Rainbow
I saw End of the Rainbow a few weeks ago. It's not exactly a happy musical. It boils down to the Judy Garland character begging Mickey Deans (her last husband) for pills for two hours. Tom Pelphrey gives Deans a decidedly masochistic edge to his character though Tony winner Michael Cumpsty does well as the long-suffering accompanist. Bennett paints a heartbreaking portrait of a women drowning in pills and alcohol. Except in profile, she didn't really look all that much like Judy. Come to think of it, she didn't sound all that much like Garland either (I've seen drag queens do better). But I think her Tony nomination was well earned as she gives a riveting portrayal of a woman who is out of control and has lost any grip of reality. And she has the Garland moves and poses down pat. My vote for Best Actress in a play goes to Stockard Channing in Other Desert Cities. I understand Cynthia Nixon was riveting in Wit but that play is no longer running and Tony voters tend to have short memories.
Megan Hilty is a star!
On a much lighter note, I saw Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Megan Hilty of Smash fame. This was the final show in this year's Encores series at City Center. Megan is so hateful on Smash that I was prepared not to like her in this show. But she was wonderful. Also great was Rachel York as second-banana Dorothy Shaw who almost stole the show out from under Hilty. As a teenager I was an usher at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, Massachusetts. Carole Channing did a week of the nearly identical musical Lorelei during my tenure and I saw every performance. Hilty didn't channel Channing or, for that matter, Marilyn Monroe (who starred in the Blondes movie). She just played the part and made it her own.
The Tony Awards air on Sunday, June 10th on CBS at 8 PM. Postings may be spotty until then, but more Skinny Gourmet recipes to follow when things calm down - I promise!