Tonys Look Blue for Milestone Anniversary

The gala following Broadway's big awards took on a blue hue for its 60th anniversary.

June 14, 2006, 12:00 AM EDT

Lighting designer Bentley Meeker projected a "60" logo onto the ceilings of tents flanking the Rink Bar at Rockefeller Center to commemorate the 60th annual Tony awards.

League of American Theatres and Producers and the American Theatre Wing's Tony awards ceremony and gala Radio City Music Hall (ceremony), Rockefeller Center (gala) Sunday, 06.11.06, 8 PM to 11 PM (ceremony), 11 PM onward (gala)
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Even with big wins for Jersey Boys, The History Boys, and The Drowsy Chaperone, the biggest win on Tony night may have been for the show's broadcast on CBS. With big-name presenters Julia Roberts and Oprah Winfrey lending extra star power to the proceedings, the show saw a 20 percent ratings boost since 2005: an increase of 1.39 million viewers, according to PMK/HBH, the awards' PR firm.

The League of American Theatres and Producers and the American Theatre Wing presented the 60th annual awards live from Radio City Music Hall. Liz McCann and Joey Parnes of Tony Award Productions served as managing producer and coordinating producer, respectively, of the 2006 festivities, while Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment served as executive producers for this year's ceremony.

After the award presentation, 2,000 guests (a record in recent history) strolled over to Rockefeller Center for the annual gala. Suzanne Tobak and Michael Lawrence of Tobak-Lawrence Productions and Susan Edgar of Flowers, Sticks and Stones: Designs by Susan Edgar looked to the Tony's milestone anniversary when planning the party. Edgar designed a “60” logo and printed it on custom-made shades (which housed votive candles on tables and topped light fixtures throughout the venue). Lighting designer Bentley Meeker projected the logo onto the ceilings of the tents that flanked the Rink Bar.

The event featured a blue palette that transitioned from lighter shades of powder blue and turquoise to deeper royal blues and violets as guests navigated through the space. Low-lying, fabric-covered ottomans provided ample seating for the large crowd, while tables configured in S-shapes mimicked the curves of the numbers six and zero. Edgar decorated the sleek space with blue-lit light boxes showing the Tony logo, short bouquets of blue hydrangea, cerulean glass goblets, and more votive candles.

As they arrived at the party, attendees were quick to line up at Catering by Restaurant Associates' five buffet stations, also arranged in curved lines and stationed throughout the venue for faster service. With multiple bars spread throughout the event space, a boat-shaped bar, topped with glowing blue LED lights and tucked away just behind the Sea Grill, proved particularly popular. Music from the Peter Duchin Orchestra, which performed on a stage just below the Prometheus statue, drew others onto the open-air dance floor during the clear but breezy evening.

When guests filed out at 2 AM, they left with turquoise gift totes stuffed with items that included M.A.C. Cosmetics, Anna Sui Secret Wish perfume, Dean's Beans organic coffee, and Julie Andrews' latest children's book, The Great American Mousical.

Sara Neuffer

Posted 06.14.06

Photo: Courtesy of MB Productions (awards stage)

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