No matter how carefully rehearsed a televised awards show might be, there's still no way of knowing what will happen when the camera is turned on the audience. The camera operators know where the celebs are sitting, but they don't know what those celebs will be doing at the moment the camera cuts to them. Ben Affleck might be yawning. Cate Blanchett might be picking her nose. You just can't know.
As I mentioned in my exhaustive Tony telecast recap, Angela Lansbury was the first presenter to take the stage on Sunday night, and the audience greeted her with enthusiastic applause. For some reason, at that moment, the director (or whoever makes these calls) cut to a shot of audience member and fellow nominee Ethan Hawke, who was definitely not participating in said applause. Maybe his hands were tired (the clapping had been going on for some time at this point). Or maybe he just got back from the bathroom. Probably he was just distracted, thinking of something else, like how he really should have gotten a haircut before appearing on national TV. And probably it was just a coincidence that the director cut to that camera at that moment. But it looked like it could have been intentional -- like Hawke was refusing to clap on principle, and the camera wanted to cover it. Like that time Elia Kazan received a lifetime achievement Oscar, and some of the movie stars in the audience stood, and some sat and clapped politely, and some crossed their arms and scowled.
Apparently I wasn't the only one this thought occurred to; at least twice yesterday, somebody reached this page after a Google search for Hawke Lansbury. I gather, from this, that there are people out there wondering, "Are Angela Lansbury and Ethan Hawke in some kind of blood feud? Why have I not heard about it?" Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case (aside from this page, that search just turns up articles listing the various people who were at, or would be at, the Tonys). Too bad, because if such a rift actually existed, I would love to read about it. I'm almost tempted to make one up. (And I'm not the only one: it's on YouTube!)
Of course, most of Restricted View's very steady traffic this week is due to the great Colapinto Criticism Controversy of 2007. My stats have revealed at least 18 other pages that link here, or link to the Huffington Post article, and the thoughtful comments keep rolling in (incidentally, you should be proud of yourselves, commenters; I am proud to play host to such an astute and respectful bunch). And there are now plenty of other places you can join in the discussion (or start one), among them: After the MFA, Amazon.com's Bookstore Blog, Arts Journal, Cosmopoetica, Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, The Dizzies, Gawker, Infotainment Rules, MikeGerber.com, Edward Champion's Return of the Reluctant, Roth Brothers, A Tiny Revolution, Salon and Very Like a Whale. (I can see my list of blogs-to-read-regularly will be lots longer before this is over!) Let me know if I've missed any -- and don't miss John (a different John)'s poll, "Which quotation [from Colapinto's comments] is the most condescending?" (I haven't voted -- I can't decide!)
In the midst of all the excitement, I still get the occasional person looking for information about restricted-view seating at various (typically British) venues. And every day -- every single day -- I get at least one hit from someone looking for images of a certain actor in an advanced state of undress. (I won't repeat the actual phrase -- don't want to get anybody's hopes up -- but it hasn't changed.) I do not have, and never will have, and wouldn't post even if I did have, such pictures, but I'm kind of touched by this person's/these people's refusal to give up the dream.