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And there were so many other rising stars to catch on the way to the gift bag. The Lion King's Tsidii Le Loka told me that the second she was nominated for a Tony, she called Mom, who responded, "Who's he?" Betty Buckley--who saved Triumph of Love--said that she, Rosie O'Donnell, Patti LuPone, and Jennifer Holliday are opening the Tonys with a Four Divas spoof to the tune of Cabaret's "Two Ladies." And one of Art's three divas, Alfred Molina, told me how he approaches his show-stealing monologue, the longest sentence since John Wayne Gacey's. "I cheat," he admitted. "There are sneaky places in it where you can breathe. One of the actors in London told me he accidentally skipped the whole speech one night--so the play was an hour shorter!" Will Molina be in the movie version of Art (no doubt called Three Men and a Painting)? "I doubt it," he said. "They usually get big movie stars for those things. I'm the Kathy Bates of my generation."

Finally, the Lotte Lenya of her production, Cabaret's Mary Louise Wilson, revealed her romantic obsession with her costar--the pineapple. "I kvell over fruit," she said. "There's something maybe sexy and erotic about it. I was telling a friend there was a grapefruit I had that was better than sex. There was a long pause, then she said, 'When was the last time you had sex?' " I left Mary Louise immediately to run to the buffet table.

And even with a mouthful of bananas, let me now say that, despite everything, I love you, theater world! Only Hollywoodcan create a canvas as boring as The Horse Whisperer or think that Vanessa Redgrave could be Téa Leoni's mother. Message to Broadway: Thank you!

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