The OBIEs: Live!


The OBIEs! Um… wait…

The OBIEs! Okay…hang on…

Photos? Who needs ’em? Am here at NYU Skirball Center preparing to “liveblog,” as the kids say, the 52nd annual OBIE awards.

New entries are now going at the top:

10:31 Transport Group has won an OBIE grant. Last award of the evening!

10:29 Synapse have won an OBIE. And its heads are married. Sweet.

10:27 The Play Company has won an OBIE grant. My battery is so low. Two grants to go.

10:24 T.R. flubs. Super cute. Peculiar Works have won an OBIE grant. On their way to the stage, they say to tell the blogging audience “hi.” So, hi.

10:21 Young Jean lee has one herself an OBIE. Members of her company accept on her behalf. In her remarks, she thanks people in the “order in which they helped me.”

10:20 Cynthia Nixon announces “We’re in the home stretch.”

10:17 The ensemble of Tales of Two Cities have won OBIEs. Yay, Michael Ray Escamilla is here. I was totally crushed out on him, after that show. “It was about baseball and it was certainly a team effort.”

10:15 James Saito has won himself an OBIE. Chay Yew accepts.

10:12 We surprised OBIE judge Ain Gordon with an OBIE (he had to leave the room so we could vote it). Onstage, he says, “You bastards!”

10:09 Eirik Stubo has won an OBIE, he cannot attend, the deputy counsel general of Norway is accepting on his behalf.

10:08 Rae Smith has won an OBIE. She cannot attend.

10:04 Adam Bock has won an OBIE. He gives a shout out to his pink belt. Of his play, “It had 8 characters, which you’re not allowed to do.”

10:02 Anika Noni Rose has a shiny, shiny dress. Michael Cerveris has a shiny head. She gives a shout out to “In the Heights.”

10:00 Beowulf Boritt has won himself an OBIE. Best name ever. Another one who’s younger than expected.

9:58 I wish I could get a better look at Cynthia Nixon’s shoes. I think I want them.

9:57 Robert Kaplowitz has won himself an OBIE.

9:54 Michael Friedman has won an OBIE. He’ ssurprised. He thanks Gordon Cox for telling him not to leave.

9:54 T.R. Knight makes an announcement, asking people to condense their speeches.

9:46 Lin-Manuel Miranda has won himself an OBIE. He’s jumped onto the stage and flashed a victory sign. Taking the OBIE: “It’s already framed, that’s like $25 right there!”

9:44 Tim Crouch has won himself an OBIE, but cannot attend. A representative is reading a list of the 82 actors who starred with Tim.

9:42 Matthew Maguire has won himself an OBIE.

9:35 Nilaja Sun has won herself an OBIE. She’s hiding behind the podium: “I’m so short, can you even see me?” A shout out to Barrow St. for opening up Wednesday matinees to inner city students.

9:33 Edward Hall and Propeller just won themselves an OBIE.

9:32 William Ivey Long just insulted the Drama Desk!

9:29 Roslyn Ruff has won herself an OBIE. Fab white dress. She’s in tears. “I feel so naked, standing up here without my castmates.”

9:24 Michael Stuhlbarg has won an OBIE. Terence McNally wrote the citation himself.

9:20 Bill T. Jones has won himself an OBIE, but cannot attend.

9:17 Camryn Manheim and William Ivey Long take the stage, They threaten to sing a duet from Wicked.

9:18 Harris Yulin has won himself an OBIE.

8:59 Ooh, sustained excellence awards. Ron Cephas Jones! Betsy Aidem! Andre De Shields! Ron Cephas Jones has great glasses. He gives a shout-out to the Voice for featuring him 15 years ago. Betsy Aidem, “The last reward I received was from Camelback High School. I was voted senior most confused.” De Shields, ”
“The miracle of the OBIE is that you receive it when you least expect it.” He’s very smooth. He says Michael gave him his first critical notice and called him “stocky.” Michael! DeShields just sang from The WIz.

8:54: Feingold reads necrology. I hear a mutter to my right, “Don’t mention me.”

8:46 Judith Malina and the Brig have won themselves OBIEs. God I hope it’s still playing when I return form Bavaria. My sweetheart says, “At a glance, I like this theater company on a fight over any theater company on New York.” Judith Malina, “The world is in a lousy situation and we—everyone in this room—is here to change it, make it better. We think there’s a power that can stop the abuses, can change the horrors, the people who can change it are the artists, singers, poets musicians, the theater.” Her colleague talks for a very long time.

8:43 Lou Bellamy has won, direction for Two Trains Running. “It was the first time I had been invited to direct in New York. I’m really glad I did.”

8:41 Liev flubs. I think he’s blushing. Daniel Beaty has won an OBIE. He can’t be here.

8:39 Chay Yew wins an OBIE! He’s younger than I expected.

8:36 Now Liev Schreiber is reading my prose. Nina Hellman has won herself an OBIE. She;s very pregnant and glowing. “I really am shocked. I thought you get a warning about these things.”

8:34 Wow, Stephanie March looks good in glasses. And she’s reading my prose. This is awesome. Her co-presenter Liev Schreiber is wearing dazzling white sneakers. Anne Kauffman has won for The Thugs.

8:31 T.R. mutters, “someday I’m gonna work with Angela Lansbury.” Cynthia announces she has. She played “a sleepwalking incest survivor. T.R.: “Way to bring down the room.”

8:26 82-year-old Alvin Epstein wins Lifetime Achievement. Receiving a standing O. “I can’t act surprised, because I was warned.” He thanks the committee, “for your wonderful vote for me.” “if you want to know what a lifetime in the theater is, meet me in the lobby afterward. When you spend a lifetime in the theater, you really feel that you have won the lifetime underachievement award. So when they take away the under it’s pretty terrific.”

8:24 Lansbury flubs. And it’s adorable.

8:21 Terence presents, poignantly, the Ross Wetzsteon award to Rattlestick Playwrights.

8:19 Nancy Opel has won. “It’s my first prize ever! I am so glad some people saw this play. Thanks her family for being so patient with mommy at Medea at home.”

8:16 Terence McNally admits that “Some guy Goethe” wrote one of the plays David Greenspan is winning for. I love that Goethe guy.

4:40 Pretty quiet here. Some futzing with lights and sound. A large crane is onstage. I don’t believe it will be presenting. We have it on good authority that our hosts, Cynthia Nixon and T. R. Knight are eating sushi. (Mmmm, sushi. Must see how one gets to become an OBIE host.) Only 80 minutes until cocktails begin!

5:40 The crane is off the stage. T.R. Knight has arrived! He looks dapper. He’s holding a take-out container. 20 minutes to drinkies.

6:40 Hurray for Sauvignon Blanc! Also, Angela Lansbury is graciousl And Michael Stuhlbarg, quite cute. Hobnobbing on the 10th floor. Lovely views of NYC.

7:15 Have had requisite two drinks. Want more! Also, Liev Schreiber, equally gorgeous close up. Rumors of Camryn Manheim. Must investigate.

7:55 Downstairs in auditorium, ceremony about to start. Am told that when the drinks station closed. Liev Schreiber played bartender. Laura Heisler, voicing all of our sentiments uttered in the Ladies’ Room, “I’m already hung over.” Also, playwright Adam Bock–fabulous pink belt!

8:00 Our editor Tony Ortega’s up. He just made a vodka joke. I love that in a man.

8:01 Michael Feingold’s up. Just made a joke about keeping his job. A man after my own heart. He’s “panicked.” But he seems pretty cool. “You all lived through the season. You know it. That’s why we’re here.” Now he just made a joke about raises. Again, a man after my own heart. And he just thanked Brian Parks. Yay! And now he’s thanking me and the other judges. Yay, again!

8:08 Cynthia Nixon looks really, really good in pink. And she just made a joke about critics. Yay! She says T.R. Knight lost his cufflinks, laptop, and belt on the way here. That sounds like a story. Apparently he’s holding his shirt together with safety pins. T.R. Knight, “I’ve heard of the OBIES.” Again, with yay!

8:10 Omigod, they’re introducing Angela Lansbury!

8:11 She’s fierce.

8:12 Donna Lynn Champlin is evening’s first winner.

8:13 She doesn’t know how to get up onstage. Okay, she’s made it.

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