The Six-Word Memoir Blog

“Begged, Auditioned, Waited, Worried …. I’m here!” Six Words & The Tony Awards

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

By Larry Smith


One of the most wonderful things about the Six-Word Memoir project is how it can be used to encapsulate a feeling that’s often hard to express. For the last three years at a fancy lunch to honor the Tony Award nominees, some of the world’s most famous folks in the theater world have been doing just that. As the likes of Jon Robin Baitz, David Alan Grier and Kelli O’Hara take their spot at the table they’re greeted with a card with this prompt: “Congrats! What’s your Tony nomination story?” Some of the many storied responses are below and in this photo gallery.


Sometimes some impromptu dialogue even emerges in this very special setting. When James Earl Jones sat down and was asked to offer six words on what he was feeling in this amazing Tony moment he wrote, “Nina makes old me very happy!” The “Nina” in question, Nina Arianda, perhaps theater’s fastest rising star after her role in Venus in Fur, responded, six-ily, “I made James Earl Jones smile!” (And Christopher Jahnke of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess offered, “Luncheoned next to Darth Mutherfuckin Vader!!!!”).

Special thanks to Broadway League Communication Director Elisa Shevitz, a storied Six-Word scribe herself, for making Six at The Tonys happen again—she makes SMITH Magazine smile, too.

“Reading extinct seed catalogue - empathizing with seeds.” - Jon Robin Baitz, Other Desert Cities
“Shock - tears - elation - tears - honored - tears.” - Laura Osnes, Bonnie & Clyde
“Peter Pan is this year’s Mormon.” - Rick Elice, Peter and the Starcatcher
“Bronx bred blessed beyond belief forever.” - ESosa, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
“Fall down stairs one thousand times.” - Tom Edden, One Man, Two Guvnors
“Dared to dream, strum, and sing!” - Steve Kazee, Once
“Skiffle!? On Broadway!? I know! … Right?” - Grant Olding, One Man, Two Guvnors
“Stratford Shakespeare Festival got me here.” - Josh Young, Jesus Christ Superstar
“Fourth Tony nom, never gets old.” Douglas Carter Beane, Lysistrata Jones
“Oh my God! What to wear?” - Kelli O’Hara, Nice Work If You Can Get It
“I really hope they serve pizza.” - Jeremy Jordan, Newsies
“‘ONCE’ upon a time … dream fulfilled.” - Elizabeth A. Davis, Once
“‘ONCE’ in a lifetime … at least …” - Clive Goodwin, Once
“The ‘69 Mets—ya gotta believe!!” - Frank Wildhorn, Bonnie & Clyde
“Luncheoned next to Darth Mutherfuckin Vader!!!!” - Christopher Jahnke, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
“I made James Earl Jones smile!” - Nina Arianda, Venus in Fur
“Nina makes old me very happy!” - James Earl Jones, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
“George + Ira + Matthew + Kelli = Pure Heaven” - Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
“Begged, Auditioned, Waited, Worried, …. I’m here!” - David Alan Grier, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
“The congratulations have drained my battery.” - Wayne Barker, Peter and the Starcatcher
“Woke up, nominated, back to bed.” - Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
“Worried about being onstage vs. backstage.” - Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher
“Tear In Eye, Rewound DVR Lots!” - Norm Lewis, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
“Porgy and Bess changed American history…” - Diane Paulus, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
“I guess you just never know!” - Jessie Mueller, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever

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2 responses

  1. canadafreeze says:

    What goes around eventually comes around.

  2. Kostrzewa says:

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