May 18, 2011 2:45 AM GMT
At our 1st annual teen Tony awards, a great idea started by our local theatre impresario and town council where nominated members of this season's casts of area high school plays and musicals present and receive awards and perform for a packed audience of proud parents and theatre kids. This was no small time production - the beautiful theatre, which usually hosts musicals featuring many of the original Broadway performers, literally laid out a red carpet for the kids, many of whom were out, proud and totally in their element, alternately gracious, ear-splittingly raucous and uncommonly witty. While it fell short this year of projecting excerpts of nominated performances on the gorgeous scrim backdrop it seemed, from the professionally videotaped red carpet black tie arrivals to the velvet ropes and the evening's introduction by politicos to the live sidewalk simulcast, otherwise technically indistinguishable from the actual Tonys. Scheduled to be rebroadcast on local cable, the evening was a wondrous display of respect and support by this town on Long Island's north shore, which while suburban has had a longstanding gay and arts community. Consider this a shout out to my other theatre homies-exuals to help jump start similar programs in their communities!