Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Though the Tony Awards honor Broadway’s best, they’re also a chance for some of the industry’s biggest television and movie stars to come together with stage legends for a night of singing, dancing, and (if they’re lucky) possible EGOT-winning.

In between handing out the coveted statues, this year’s telecast provided us with a healthy combination of nominated performances and witty, musical banter, thanks to hosts Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming. But what happened before Neil Patrick Harris took the fall for his bad Oscar joke—and after Kelli O’Hara “worm”-ed herself off stage? Well, everything from Michael Cerveris arriving fashionably late in the press room to Dame Helen Mirren elegantly sipping on a vodka gimlet (stars—they’re just like us!).

EW was on the scene at Radio City Music Hall for Broadway’s big night. Check below for the best of what we heard on the red carpet and behind the scenes—from emotional moments to exciting ones.

Dame Helen Mirren (The Audience)

“I really want a Grammy…it’s terrible, isn’t it? I’ll have to do an audiobook of some sort.”

John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch)

[On what advice he would give to future Hedwigs] “What advice? I can give them a lot of advice because I worked with them all. But the biggest thing I can remind them is that the character is there by accident, because of tragedy, and to keep the undercurrent of emotion grounded.”

Kelli O’Hara (The King and I)

[In the Tony’s press room] “I’ve never been to one of these before…what do I do?”

Joshua Bergasse (On The Town)

“I have a guilty pleasure, and it’s the opening number of the Tonys every year. It always blows me away.”

James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin)

“I’m such a big Broadway fan, and I’m looking forward to all the performers. Because I’m working eight nights a week, and I don’t get to see as many shows as I want to. So this is the one night where I get to watch everybody’s performance and see what my friends are doing.”

Hilary Mantel (author of Wolf Hall)

“The moment I walked into the Winter Garden theater, I will never forget …it was that whole glorious auditorium unfolding before me.”

Corey Stoll (House of Cards)

“I just love how un-cynical this group of people is, theater people. Everybody is a little wide-eyed here, which is kind of great.”

Nigel Lythgoe (On The Town)

“I started off as a dancer on the West End stage, and so to be here as a nominated producer tonight is fantastic. It feels like a television sandwich—a television career in the middle, and two slices of bread with stage. It feels like it’s come full circle.”

Richard McCabe (The Audience)

“What am I looking forward to the most? Probably having some food afterwards. Because I hear it’s a very long night!”

Annaleigh Ashford (You Can’t Take It With You)

[After hearing about Christin Borle’s win for Best Featured Actor in a Musical] “It’s a Legally Blonde sweep!”

Nathaniel Parker (Wolf Hall Parts One & Two)

“Moments ago, I was wearing a fat suit and shoulders four foot wide—I’m not joking—and a red beard. I still have some red in there!”

Anna Chlumsky (Veep)

“I already saw it in rehearsal a little bit, but Brad Oscar and Bryan D’Arcy James doing Something Rotten is going to be terrific. Because I haven’t seen that yet, so that’s one that’s next on my list. And honestly, I’m probably going to be a mess, but I know what song they’re singing for Fun Home and it’s a song that I’ve been obsessed with since seeing it.”

Max von Esson (An American in Paris)

“No nerves yet, because it’s just all too fun…plus I’m too tired from rehearsal this morning, two shows yesterday, a matinee. So I’m not even thinking about what it’s going to be like in there!”

Michael Cerveris (Fun Home)

“I would tell my teenage self that the things you’re so worried about right now, you don’t have to worry about later. And the things that you love right now, you’re going to love the rest of your life.”

Christian Borle (Something Rotten)

“Wow, people are really somber… All right, have a great night!”

Ruthie Ann Miles (The King & I)

“Growing up, it was just me and my mom. And when you have no one else in the family to really go to, your mom becomes your worst enemy. But at the same time, she was all I had. In hindsight, my mom is my everything. She’s a single mom, she worked three jobs. She didn’t always have time for me. She wanted me to be more than she was, and she pushed me hard, and it was hard to deal with, but now I see that she sacrificed. Those weren’t just three jobs, she was sacrificing her life so that I could go to college.”

Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron (Fun Home)

“When artistic directors look at young artists, and this goes for men and women, I think they look at men based on their potential and they take chances on women based on their accomplishments. And you can’t learn theater without doing theater. And so hopefully, if this accomplished anything, it’s that people will look at young women and see potential in them and give them the opportunities to learn their craft.”

The Tony Awards
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