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Our Regards to Broadway

Backstage at the beleaguered, but still quite fabulous, Tonys.


Oh, our poor, beloved ragamuffin Tonys. Every year New York trots out before America to show off our jazz hands and kick-step-turns, and every year America sends us back with the TV equivalent of a wedgie. (Ratings were down 17 percent from 2006, making this the least-watched Tonys ever. A certain local mobster didn’t help matters any.) Yet this season, ironically enough, had more than the usual number of reasons to celebrate Broadway. We got the thrill of seeing a new form of rock musical being born before our eyes, along with a fresh crop of stars. We delighted in sitting through eight hours of Stoppardian Russian philosophy. We had Julie White and Billy Crudup and Christine Ebersole. So, to salute an event that Liev Schreiber, for one, thinks is better than the Academy Awards, we sent photographer Harry Benson backstage to document those moments of anticipation, reflection, and elation that, like good theater, won’t be repeated. Well, not until next year.


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