My pal Brieahn J. DeMeo calls it Theatre Prom.
I call it the fanciest event I ever had to get dressed for.
I’m talking about the Helen Hayes awards, the annual night where the local theatre community honors the outstanding plays and musicals of the past year. It’s kind of like the Tony’s- but for stuff that happens at Kennedy Center and Arena Stage. 26 awards will be presented tonight as well as three special awards to Ford’s Theatre (Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community), Factory 449 and No Rules Theatre Company (Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company), and stage legend Tommy Tune will be honored with the he Helen Hayes Tribute.
Tonight also marks the debut of a Helen Hayes commemorative stamp issued by the United States Postal Service.
At first glance at the nominees, I will be rooting for Clybourne Park, which recently won a Pulitzer and will be returning to Woolly Mammoth this summer. Other than that I’ll be personally rooting for shaking hands with Laurence Fishburne or Phylicia Rashad who are nominated tonight. Hopefully they will make it out to little ol’ DC.
Ok well I gotta go pick up my shows and make sure my suit is in order- if it’s theatre prom does that mean I have to have a bender at my parents’ beach house tomorrow?