Monday, June 11, 2012

A Fab Tony Sunday...

Nick LOVES The Actors Fund: Nick Verreos, The Actors Fund 16th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party, Skirball Cultural Center

The 66th Annual Tony Awards happened this past Sunday in NYC of course. Here in LA, Sunday was also LA Pride day in West Hollywood. Well, what better way to celebrate LA Pride, my love of Musicals, the Theater--and not to mention Judy Garland's Birthday (I KNOW!!)-- than to attend a FABULOUS Tony Awards Viewing Party here on the West Coast.

But not just any Viewing Party at someone's house--no kiddies, THE one and only The Actors Fund 16th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party at the beautiful Skirball Cultural Center. The gala featured the ONLY approved live feed of the Tony Awards, since the actual awards were happening in New York. As it has been tradition, I brought my NIKOLAKI design partner-for-life David Paul with me.

Designing Twosome: Nick Verreos and David Paul, The Actors Fund 16th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party, Skirball Cultural Center

He also loves Musicals and the Theatre (with a Capital "T"!) and always tries to make sure we book at least one Broadways show to see every time we are in NYC. There's always room for Broadway in there somewhere!

Jackets Required: (Left to right) Nick Verreos and The Actors Fund National Director of Special Events, Louie Anchondo, The Actors Fund 16th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party, Skirball Cultural Center

My best friend--and "Brother from Another Mother", Louie Anchondo--whom I've known longer than Lady Gaga has been alive (!), is the National Director of Special Events for The Actors Fund and I've been happy to attend, support him, and support such a wonderful organization and naturally, enjoy some Broadway Fun--right here in LA!

The Actors Fund, in case you didn't know, is a nationwide human services organization that helps all professionals in performing arts and entertainment. The Fund is a safety net, providing programs and services for those who are in need, crisis or transition. For the last sixteen years, the Actors Fund has held a Tony Awards Viewing Party and they are always a BLAST. The party begins with a Silent Auction of Broadway Memorabilia during "Cocktail Hour" (the more Dirty Martinis...the more money you spend!)...

 16th Annual Actors Fund Tony Awards Party Mugs

For the first time ever, the Silent Auction was done via iPad's--where there were several "Auction Volunteers" stationed with iPads and if you wanted to bid on something, you would just let them know, and they would put it in and update the auction--it was VERY 2012! I succumbed to bidding at that Silent Auction darlings--third year in a row--and I won something!! (see end of post for what I won).

Following the Silent Auction Preview/Cocktail Hour, there was a delicious three-course dinner (butter lettuce salad, chicken and a YUMMY dessert this year, as seen from above pic!) while viewing the LIVE FEED of the Awards Show. Did I mention it was THE ONLY APPROVED LIVE FEED of the awards show? I think I did. But it bears repeating.

Neil Patrick Harris, during the 66th Annual Tony Awards CBS Telecast

In between--during the commercials--it was all about actor Scott Bakula hosting, getting the Viewing Party crowd excited, telling jokes, fun stories and introducing all the Who's Who's Broadway and Beyond, that were in attendance.
Julie Harris Award honoree. actor Jason Alexander (center) flanked by actress and Award Presenter Annie Potts and host, actor Scott Bakula, The Actors Fund 16th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party, Skirball Cultural Center/photo by Scott Appel

The bash honored actor Jason Alexander with the prestigious Julie Harris Award, which was presented to him by actress Annie Potts of "Designing Women" fame. Now, speaking of "Who's Who", many Broadway and  Hollywood Glitterati attended including Anne Jeffreys, Loni Anderson (I know!), Charlotte Rae, Bruce Vilanch, Frances Fisher, Holland Taylor, and many more. Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland and Syd Luft, was even there. She made a short speech and began a "Happy Birthday" song to her dear mother! I thought I had died and gone to GAY Heaven!

Left to Right: Actor Theo Bikel, Charlotte Rae (of "Facts of Life" fame), and Bruce Vilanch, The Actors Fund 16th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party, Skirball Cultural Center

Left to Right: "WKRP in Cincinnati" actress Loni Anderson, Julie Harris Honoree Jason Alexander, Ruta Lee (How FABULOUS is SHE!!???), and Host Scott Bakula--The Actors Fund 16th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party Skirball Cultural Center

David and I had a wonderful time--as always--and oh yes, before I forget, as I mentioned previously on the top of this post, we bid on several items during the Silent Auction--and well, we lost on one (I'm not telling what it was), but...we did win one: a signed poster of the current Broadway Revival Production of "Evita" (starring Ricky Martin, Elena Roger and Michael Cerveris) and here it is:

 Ricky Martin is somewhere in there: "Evita" cast signed poster

We still have to find a place in our home where it will go--I'm sure it will go next to the item we bid and won at last year's The Actors Fund Tony Awards Viewing Party Silent Auction...

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