Proctors hosts Tony Awards party
Local theater community gathers for fun, results
SCHENECTADY Bea Farina had to Google the four productions up for Best Musical at this year’s Tony Awards.
She was charged with inventing drinks based on each one for a Tony party and live screening at Proctors. Sunday night, as Broadway stars landed on the New York City red carpet and local theater enthusiasts settled into mismatched couches filling Proctors’ GE Theater, she went over her creations.
In honor of “Kinky Boots,” one of the favorites, was a red grenadine drink.
“Red seemed like a kinky color,” she said.
The Matilda on the other hand was blue, because the lead in “Matilda” wore a lot of blue. For the purists she offered a Tony-tini, which was just a martini.
“Don’t mess with perfection,” said her assistant bartender Taylor Davis.
She also invented a drink for “Bring it On” involving vodka and one Irish cream beverage for “A Christmas Story,” which Lois Batsios of Nassau seemed to enjoy quite a bit.
“I hated the movie,” she said. “The drink is fine.”
Awards, tastes can vary
She sat with her daughter Athena waiting for things to start and talking musicals. They go to a lot of musicals and have established tastes, which aren’t always reflected by the Tonys.
Back in 2009 “Billy Elliot” took 10 Tony awards. They saw it in Proctors on Thursday and said it wasn’t that great.
Like Farina and many of the other attendees, the Batsioses weren’t pulling for any specific play. They watch the Tonys as a sort of preview opportunity.
“They get the whole cast out there singing,” Athena said. “If we see something we like we might go to the play.”
Of the small crowd lounging around the theater, very few had actually seen any of the plays up for awards. Terry Peterson brought his kids Emily and Andrew to the party with an open mind.
“Why not?” he said. “We’d be watching this on TV at home anyway. When else do you get the chance to watch on the big screen with a bunch of theater people?”
It’s a theater sort of family, with Terry taking his daughter to a few shows a year, and the whole group involved in this summer’s Not So Common Players production of “The Music Man.” Thespianism runs in the family and so does a love of the Tony Awards.
“Neil Patrick Harris is hosting this year,” Andrew said, “and he’s funny.”
Possibly a preview
Terry said he’ll try to see the Best Musical winner at some point. Strangely, the same is true for Proctors itself.
Proctors Ad Director Peter Hughes, still dressed in a sailor outfit from promoting the upcoming production of “Anything Goes” at the Albany Pride Parade, took a moment to describe the industry.
“You want to watch the little shows,” he said. “If something like ‘A Christmas Story’ has a big win, It might get its own tour and end up here.”
“Bring It On” is already slated to run at Proctors in the near future, but the outcome of the Tonys, he said, could bring any number of shows.
It’s a widely accepted phenomenon among Proctors staff, one that suited Lois Batsios.
“We don’t really go to Broadway,” she said. “We wait for Broadway to come to us.”