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An Insider Look at Tonys Prep (aka It’s All About the Dress)

Sue avec 2013 Tony


By now, we’d like to think the whole entire planet knows that in The Theater, the characters aren’t just on stage. They’re everywhere. Because… duh, that’s what makes theater so fucking fun. So endlessly entertaining, on and off the boards.

Here at The Craptacular, one of our favorite characters, on or off-stage, is Sue Wagner, a producer in Parnes Office. Homegirl is young and smart and beautiful. She’s also funny, and sharp, and she has great taste. In theater, and in things that are more important than theater. Like parties. And dresses.

So with the Tonys approaching hard and fast, we clearly wanted to know all about how Sue is getting ready.

The answer? She’s getting mowed down by town-cars in front of her intern, and selecting dresses galore, and being superstitious as ever. Because with A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder up for all the prizes that have ever been prized, well… you gotta do what you gotta do to help.

But you don’t need to hear that from us, so we’re going to let Sue tell you all about it in her own words.

M: Can you tell us about your harrowing recent brush with death?
Sue Wagner: Honestly, isn’t it a rite of passage that every New Yorker eventually gets hit by a town car? I was lucky that although I did go flying thought the air I didn’t hit my head or break anything so I can still wear my killer high heels this Sunday! I can honestly say that as I was being struck by the car I was thinking — I hope I don’t break anything so I can wear those amazing Stuart Weitzmans!

M: Do you have a dress yet?
SW: Absolutely.

M: Who designed it?
SW: Bibhu Mohapatra — he’s incredible but I have no earthly idea how to pronounce his last name so if anyone asks on Tony Night I’ll just pretend we’re on a first name basis.

M: How’d you pick it?
SW: I always go shopping with by BFF who is a good barometer for making sure I don’t look like a tramp on the red carpet. Truly, had she not been there I would have never even considered trying the dress on because it’s a little outside of the box.

M: Does it have thematic resonance with your show?
SW: Yes, I’m a little (a lot) superstitious about things and I always try to wear the color of the show as I’m convinced it’s good luck. The dress’ print (yes, I said print) is mainly Gentleman’s Guide orange. I’ve actually made sure to wear Gentleman’s Guide orange through the entire awards season.

M: What’s more stressful, picking a wedding dress or picking a Tonys dress?
SW: Hands down a Tony Dress. There was only one photographer at my wedding. Plus, I was a child bride so I really didn’t know anything about fashion yet.

M: What about accessories?
SW: Jewels by Verdura. Not only do they have the fanciest baubles in town, and a killer Fifth Avenue showroom with Central Park views, but they also have an amazing history with the theater community. Cole Porter helped front the money to open their first boutique exactly 75 years ago. I had to sign away my life to borrow a vintage 1920s bracelet and a pair of giant crystal earrings, so if I lose anything you may never hear from me again.

M: In one sentence, what the heck does a producer actually do every day?
SW: It’s mainly convincing every single person working on the show that everything is going to be okay — even when your’e 100% sure there is no way everything is going to be okay. That, and answering a lot of emails.

***My alternate answer is, “Ask my mother-in-law — she asks me every single year, ‘what is it you DO again?'”

M: In one sentence, what the heck does a producer do during Tony season?
SW: Practices mind reading, smiles and pops a Xanax.

M: How many dresses did you try on before you decided on the one?
SW: Half a dozen.

M: Actually, how many dresses did you need this season just in general? We know there’s lots going on that not everyone sees.
SW: Well, after consulting my lists — yes, there are so many things to go on during awards season I make a list of each event and write down what to wear to each. (Control freak anyone?!) It was a dozen dresses plus the Tony gown.

M: What’s your morning/afternoon like on Tony Day?
SW: My husband wakes up, rolls out of bed and pulls me off the ledge. Then I head to Radio City at the crack of dawn for the Tony dress rehearsal, followed by hair, nails, makeup, champagne and the dress which I will be completely unsure about most of the night.

M: Do you have any fun pics of your outfit you can share?
SW: Never before Tony Night! Also, if I send you the photo of the dress on the size negative zero runway model you’ll be disappointed when you see me in it.

M: Can we have your closet?
SW: No. That is willed to my nieces to fight over. Pity only one of them shares my shoe size.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Tom Griffin ...AKA..."Uncle Tommy" June 7, 2014, 9:42 am

    You are a pissa.
    Love ya,
    Break a leg….

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