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First Nighter: Tom Hanks, Other Talkative Tony 2013 Nominees Spark Their Press Brunch

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Harvey Fierstein was wearing kinky running shoes by New Balance because, according to him, "I have fat feet."
Yes, but where was it that he especially needed those multi-colored, kinky New Bals. It was at the annual "Meet the Nominees Press Junket," held today in the Millennium Broadway Hotel Times Square, That's where he was a nominee for his Kinky Boots libretto.
And that's where on the seventh floor members of the theater press are assigned places at long tables to which press agents were leading this year's Tony nominees for brief and amiable chats and, of course congratulations--and for which the anointed ones remain smiling and camera-ready.
My M. O. at this affair isn't however, to wait for them to come to me. I go to them, i. e., I keep circulating to see whom I can catch on the fly and get to make a comment or two.
What follows is a handful of the fly-by-day remarks I got--pointing out immediately that I didn't speak to Tom Hanks, best actor nom for Lucky Guy and who didn't stay long but appeared to be totally Tom-Hanks affable; or Nathan Lane, best actor nom for The Nance and who was giving other interviewers that smile of his where the mouth goes up while the eyes seem to go down; or Cicely Tyson, best actress nom for Horton Foote's timeless A Trip to Bountiful and who was looking mighty fine in a tailored black outfit.
Cyndi Lauper (Kinky Boots score): Asked if this was a day when girls were having fun, she said without hesitation, "Yes!"
Laura Osnes (Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella best actress in a musical): She informed me she uses not one but four pairs of Swarovski crystal-encrusted Stuart Weitzman "glass" slippers at different times through the show--one, for instance, to dance in, one for handing the prince when she's descended the broad palace staircase, et cetera.
David Rockwell (nominated for both his Kinky Boots and Lucky Guy sets): As a designer known for his restaurants, he told me what few people know about him is that the theater is his initial love. Then he remarked that restaurants are theatrical not because of how they look but because, for one thing, they're also an "ephemeral" experience.
Richard Greenberg and Judith Light (he for his play The Assembled Parties, she for her supporting performance in it): We talked about Trenton, New Jersey from where she and I come. Not pertinent to the proceedings, I admit, but amusing to us. Light, by the way, was one nominee having a great time. She remained on hand as long as, maybe longer than, anyone else and hugged just about everyone she saw--every hug coming across as absolutely genuine.
Diane Paulus (Pippin director): She talked about a cast in which acrobats from around the world do their derring-do. Where did she find some of them? "YouTube."
Andy Blankenbuehler (Bring It On choreographer): He said he loves research. So for the cheerleaders musical he went to myriad competitions and noticed the participants were always "laughing or in tears." It was that "emotionalism" he decided he had to get into his routines.
Condola Rashad (supporting actress A Trip to Bountiful): She said she's learned plenty from working with Tyson, but particularly "just how she is physically on stage." From her mother, Phylicia Rashad, she's learned "honesty."
Andre Bishop (producer Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike): Always the reticent fellow, he said, 'These events are for the artists, not producers."
Peter DuBois (special citation for the Huntington Theatre Company, where he's artistic director): The good news from him is the emphasis he's placing on new writers. Having worked in London a good deal recently, he also said he appreciated English audiences for being "supportive of theater."
Roger Berlind: (producer Lucky Guy and Annie and who's already got 17, or is it 18 or more?, Tonys): What's next? "I'm working on a couple projects, but you never know what's going to happen." About marquee name Hanks, he said, "He's the same guy on stage,in his dressing room or on the street." And you know what a compliment he means by that.
Missing from action: Of course, there are those who weren't nominated or cited--Bette Midler, Fiona Shaw, Alan Cumming, Scarlett Johansson to mention a few of this year's shockers. Of those who were cited but were no-shows--at least according to my scoping--are the four young girls playing the title smartie in the 10-times-nominated Matilda. They're receiving the "Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre" and are Sophia Gennusa, Oona Lawrence, Bailey Ryon and Milly Shapiro. Since they're getting their nod for playing a very smart girl, they must be four very smart girls. What they might have said would certainly have been worth hearing.