Stars in the Alley: A Smorgasbord of Broadway

Stars in the alleyRunning up to the Tony Awards, a special lunchtime event celebrated Broadway last week: Stars in the Alley, that's Schubert Alley fitted with a special stage and eats by Junior's. Moderated by Sean Hayes and Mo Rocca, two comedians of the first order who kept things funny and zipping along, this show comprised of bits from most shows is a yearly treat. Sean Hayes is now appearing in Act of God in the neighboring theater, "the only theater named after the brother of an actor who killed a president in another theater." Got it?

Presenters and performers intertwined. You might have wished for a production number from Hamilton, but Rory O'Malley, "the whitest guy in the most diverse show," as he quipped presented Hayes and Rocca with special garters, enacting the Order of the Garter coronation inducting the newest King George, a tradition begun by Brian d'Arcy James when Hamilton was still downtown and affordable at The Public Theater. Sean and Mo gamely put forward their gams.

Michael Shannon and John Gallagher, Jr., the Tyrone brothers from Long Day's Journey Into Night, Billy Porter from Shuffle Along, Katherine Erbe from The Father, among many made introductions. Two nine year olds from On Your Feet shimmied their way across the stage; their shoulders seemed detached from their bodies.

Standout performances included Danny Burstein and the cast of Fiddler on the Roof in, what else, "Tradition," Nicholas Barasch singing "Try Me" from She Loves Me, and Heather Headley playing Shug Avery and The Color Purple cast for a rousing, "Push da Button." As far as Tony's go, this category of Best Revival of a Musical will be toughest to call.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.