Drawing The Tonys!

Broadway celebrates art at Radio City Music Hall

Drawing awards shows is one of my favorite things to do. Watching it all and soaking it up — not only the stars, but also the audience, and the people who work at the events is fascinating to me. The Tonys are a particular favorite because they are held in my hometown, NYC. There is a theatrical enthusiasm to the Tonys and all who work for them, and it is refreshing and hopeful.

I began at 9am by drawing the dress rehearsal. At Radio City Music Hall, no less!

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Waiting for my rehearsal escort, I drew what I saw on my phone with my finger!
Opening act with Josh Grobin and Sara Bareilles!
Bruce Springsteen performs during the dress rehearsal!
Josh and Sara and, yes, a goat! The goat performed during a song from On This Island
I love seeing what actors wear when they rehearse!

After the dress rehearsal, there were a few hours to rest and then on to the Red Carpet! It had begun to rain, but I waited with other press until the covered area on sixth avenue was open to all.

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I drew this woman on my phone with my finger, holding my umbrella, while waiting to go in.

It was a beautiful red carpet with roses all along the wall, packed in more than I could show in this drawing. You can see my special spot with my name on it, where I was to stand to watch all the arrivals.

THe press’ stations! Mine is on the right with my name! It’s official!

As expected, there was security everywhere and we and our bags were scanned at every entrance. Once on the red carpet, I spotted these two from NY’s finest posted above all the action. They seemed to be enjoying themselves a bit.

New York’s finest watching from above.

Everyone wanted their picture taken in front of the TONY sign.

Some chose to avoid the red carpet. Just off to the side, behind me, I could catch some stars whisking by on the sidewalk. Like Sara Bareilles, above. ANd Bruce Springsteen below, with his wife Patty.

This cameraman never moved, had his eyes trained on the people being interviewed on the left. His camera was in plastic, he in the rain as the interviewers and interviewees were under the tent.

Other stars I caught:

Then at 7:30, we rushed to the media room to catch the show! It was held across the street from Radio City in, oddly enough, the Republican Women’s Club whose building we took over. Below are quick drawings of some of what I saw of the show from the monitor. I rarely draw from photographs, and in this case I only did once for the kids from Parkland HS. What an emotional moment when they sang the beautiful song from Rent, “Seasons of Love.”

It was so fun! The Tonys seem to be a lovely community and I am honored to draw for them and the American Theatre Wing, which I just found out was started by Sufragettes during WWI! Love it.

Opening number by Josh Grobin and Sara Bareilles, singing for all those who do not win awards.
Students from Parkland High School sing the Rent song Season of Love.

Written by

Visual journalist/writer for New Yorker, New York Times, CBS News, CNN. TED, SXSW speaker. Looking to change world w humor. lizadonnelly.com

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