One of the major perks of growing up in New York City is that I had access to a rich and subversive theater community. Whether I spontaneously decided to catch a Broadway matinee or huddled together with diverse strangers at a divey off-off Broadway theater watching actors pursue their dreams. As an immigrant, I always found it difficult to relate to many of my peers, always straddling American customs and foreign traditions. I was weirds and quirky. I was the girl that brought a Thermos of borscht and enviously eyed my peers’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
All of these feelings of disconnect would fade away when I was at the theater. I would get lost in the musical numbers or dramatic monologues. I would feel joy, sadness, empathy, anger, and above all I would feel like I belonged.
This is something that theater accomplishes - it brings you closer to genuine stories with palpable emotions that bring you into a community. I have spoken to so many people who echo this sentiment - theater helped them find themselves and, as a result, find their tribes. There’s also the fact that plays and musicals has been representative of the diverse populations of the world and their interactions, long before mainstream films have been.
We saw this reflected in the work that was spotlighted at this year’s Tony Awards. In musical comedy The Prom, a same sex couple is barred from attending their prom together until they receive the help from former actors past their prime. In Hadestown, a couple travels through hell together with their only goal being to get out together. To Kill A Mockingbird, adapted from the seminal novel from Harper Lee, reminds us that legal racial inequality is not too far in the past and probes us to consider ideologies around racial inequality in modern times. Beetlejuice may elicit laughs (they casts musical number did at the award ceremony) but reminds us, quite frankly, that it’s “a show about death”.
Inclusivity and acceptance has always been the vibe of theater and that is something we definitely see reflected at the Tony Awards year in and year out.
The red carpet boasted impressive backgrounds that included the venue (Radio City Music Hall) and a rainbow flag floral assortment in honor of World Pride. James Corden hosted the live telecast, staying true to the format of theater - if you mess up, keep going, it’s live.
Hey mainstream media - TAKE NOTES.
Scroll down for our favorite looks of the night. Links with an asterisk (*) are actual products used. Comment below or hit me up on social with your faves!
The Makeup: Terrell Mullin
The Hair: Coree Moreno
The Ensemble: Chris Gelinas
Try: Grab a strip lash from Kiss* - like Triple Push-Up Brassiere ($6.99) for instant drama. I recommend practicing with fake lashes as those with more hairs or thicker strips can be too stiff for a newbie to finagle.
Sophia Anne Caruso
The Makeup: Kristen Bacino
The Hair: Deena Moe Caruso (her mom!)
The Dress: Pamella Roland
Try: Anastasia Beverly Hills does it again - this time turning her famous eyebrow gel into a tube formula. The new Dipbrow Gel ($18) will help you keep your brows in shape for the red carpet through the after-party.