In honor of our episode on Awards Season, we asked Broadway actors to share their favorite memories of the fast and furious time between when theatre award nominations are announced and the Tony Awards telecast. First up is friend of the podcast Max Chernin (Bright Star, Sunday in the Park with George).
"Bright Star was fortunate to have a nice “bouquet” of nominations. The time surrounding it all was wild… Carmen Cusack was whisked off every morning to some function, we filmed a commercial, did The Today Show and Jimmy Fallon, dropped an album, and tried to squeeze in understudy rehearsals.. From a marketing perspective obviously it gave the show some street cred, but the Best Musical nomination was a win for all of us. It felt like the integrity and artistry of our show was recognized."
"There were a lot of new shows last season (this season too), so it was a gift that they decided to nominate five…especially with all of us standing next to Hamilton. I learned that the only way to get the fifth nominee is for there to be a small enough margin in the votes between the fourth and fifth musical…crazy to me that the whole nominating process is so cut and dry."
"As we got closer to the telecast we learned that we were all going to be on it, which I think was integral to representing the show in three minutes…and really awesome for all of us who had never done the Tonys before. If you caught Bright Star, you may have noticed the giant house the ensemble spun around the stage. Naturally, they decided to construct a piece for the telecast, and it had to be tested out before the big day. The ensemble boys took a field trip up to Hudson Scenic with Walter Bobbie and our PSM, Michael Passaro. It was cool to peek inside there and see all that magic. We played around with this mini-facade unit of the house to prep for being on stage at the Beacon. Then some of us had a beer up at a local brewery. Fun day. :)"
"The day of the Tonys was wild. We had our matinee, then hopped on a bus, hopped off, did our number, got back on the bus, got out of costume at the theatre, then off to a little party. Regardless of the outcome for Bright Star that night, it was an amazing time for all of us."
"The final moment of our performance that night had this 360 shot around Carmen where you got to see her see all of us, and I think, or at least I hope that in that moment the audience felt a part of our community. We were a proud bunch."