The Six-Word Memoir Blog

“An Unadulterated Thrill of a Lifetime”—Six-Words & The Tony Awards

Friday, June 11th, 2010

By Larry Smith

Picture this: It’s the big luncheon to honor the Tony Award nominees at The Plaza Hotel. The place is wall to wall with some of the finest actors, directors, composers, and set designers of our time. Liev Schreiber’s here. So are Kelsey Grammer and Scarlett Johansson. There’s Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Valerie Harper, Angela Lansbury, and the incredible Marian Seldes. And, hey, isn’t that Ngujah, the lead of Bill T. Jones’ FELA!? That was an amazing show.

No press are allowed in the room today—this is a cozy moment among peers celebrating their work inside a world they love. Broadway League Communications Director, Elisa Shevitz, a friend of SMITH Mag and big fan of the Six-Word Memoir project, had a vision. As this storied group of Broadway talent, up-and-coming and luminary alike, sat down at their tables, they would find a card with this request: “Can you describe what you are feeling, right now, in just six words?” This video of their responses reveals that the answer was an emphatic, “yes.”

Elisa’s own Six-Word Memoir is as lovely as they come: “Insomniac dreamer; a thousand times goodnight.” We thank her—and everyone at The Tonys—for bringing our storytelling world to theirs. And if any the winners at this Sunday night’s Tony Awards ceremony find themselves tongue-tied up on the big stage, here’s a failsafe six-word acceptance speech from your own Valerie Harper: “An Unadulterated Thrill of a Lifetime.”

The 2010 Tony Award nominees gathered on the steps of the Plaza Hotel in NYC on May 20. Photo: Larry Busacca/

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