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Tonight's Tony Awards will feature 13 performances - a song from every musical.

Earlier this week, in my review for Hale Centre Theatre's production of "The Curious Savage," I mentioned the audience was one of the worst I had experienced. I got quite a few e-mails from folks wondering what happened and why I wasn't more specific.

That's the difficult thing about newspaper — limited space.

I went to Monday night's show and sat on the south side, Curtain 4, Row 6, seat A/B (just in case you were there and are worried). Constant chatter filled the house from the second the show began: "Look at that couch," "Why is he holding his face?" "I can still taste my dinner," giggle, giggle. And it continued.

I gave the requisite "look," even shushed a time or two, to no avail. Then the cellophane candy wrappers came out (which should just be outlawed), and one lady rummaged through her purse (I never did figure out what was so important), all while a wonderful show was unfolding on stage.

The chatter continued as I heard some answering the questions being asked by the actors. Just a side note: The actors aren't talking to you, they don't want your response, and you shouldn't be giving it. Then, after intermission, some folks thought it appropriate to eat the ice out of their plastic drink cups — stirring around with their straw to get the perfect cube in their mouths.

I was stunned. How could you not think that would be bothersome to others?

It leaves me wondering: Are they not bright enough to realize they're being distracting, or are they too rude to care.

Which is it — dumb or rude?

Father's Day: Time to transition ... It's time to honor Dad. In thinking about my dad and theater, it reminded me of something he'd say to get me riled up: "That's nothing but singing and dancing." To which I'd respond, "Daaaaaaad!"

But that certainly never stopped him from coming out to every show — by every show I mean choir concerts, fashion shows, dance-club performances, musicals and, once, a three-plus hour high school version of "Camelot." Which frankly, I'm still hearing about from my siblings (something about it being the most boring night of their lives ... or something like that). Couple that with paying for years of piano and voice lessons, while money was tight, and I'm starting to feel like a bit of a burden.

I think I took my parents' support for granted until I'd hear from many friends how lucky I am. They're right. Happy Father's Day, Dad, I love you.

Tony talk: OK gang, tonight's the night! Unplug phones, turn off cell phones and get the little ones in bed — the Tonys are here.

There's a big difference this year. Normally, only shows nominated for Best Musical get to perform. But this year, in order to share more of Broadway with the country, there will be a staggering 13 performances: a song from every musical this season!

Hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, the awards will have appearances by Alec Baldwin, Kristin Chenoweth, Glenn Close, Harry Connick Jr., Taye Diggs, Idina Menzel, Liza Minnelli, Mandy Patinkin, David Hyde Pierce and others.

This will be such a great chance to get a peek at what's happening on Broadway.

Watch tonight and, of course, we'll dish about who won, who lost, who looked great and who might have been annoying. You can go to www.tonyawards.com to print out a ballot.

The show airs tonight, 7 p.m., Ch. 2 — I can't wait!


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