The Six-Word Memoir Blog

“Mormon is clearly the new black.” Six Words at the Tony Awards

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

By Larry Smith

Picture this: It’s the big luncheon to honor the Tony Award nominees at the InterContinental Times Square hotel. The place is wall to wall with some of the finest actors, directors, composers, and set designers of our time. The event is closed to the media, but we’ve got the inside track on how some of these year’s finest stage actors, producers, directions, musicians, and others who make Broadway buzz described the feeling of being told they’ve been nominated for a 2011 Tony Award—in just six words. As this storied group of Broadway talent, up-and-coming and luminary alike, sat down at their tables, they found a card with this request: “Can you describe what you are feeling, right now, in just six words?” Here are a few of their six-word reactions below, and in a wonderful video that follows.

“Mormon is clearly the new black.”
—Robert Lopez, best book and original score nominee, The Book of Mormon

“I enlisted in Larry Kramer’s war.”
—Ellen Barkin, actress nominee, The Normal Heart

“Over the moon, under the table.”
—John Gore, producer nominee for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Scottsboro Boys, Jerusalem, and The Merchant of Venice

“Love, loss, pride: The Normal Heart.
—George C. Wolfe, nominee for best director of a play, The Normal Heart

“Tap dancing sailors thoroughly thrill me.”
—Sutton Foster (above), actress nominee for Anything Goes

“Mom said we should double check.”
—Rory O’Malley, actor nominee in a musical, The Book of Mormon

Six at the Tonys is the brainchild of Broadway League Communications Director, Elisa Shevitz, a friend of SMITH Mag and fan of the Six-Word Memoir project.
One of Elisa’s many Six-Word Memoirs is lovely and dramatic like a good show: “Overly romantic soul, born wrong era.” We thank her—and everyone at The Tonys—for bringing our storytelling world to theirs. And here’s a small suggestion to keep the Big Show rolling this Sunday night at the Beacon Theatre: six-word acceptance speeches.

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