Montreal's Just for Laughs Theatricals celebrates 6 Tony Award wins | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Montreal's Just for Laughs Theatricals celebrates 6 Tony Award wins

Montreal-raised theatre producer Adam Blanshay is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
June 08, 2015 - 5:25 PM

TORONTO - Montreal-raised theatre producer Adam Blanshay is celebrating six Tony Award wins after a wild night in which he met one of his favourite stage stars and had to make a frantic rush to the stage to collect a trophy.

"It was incredible," he said in a telephone interview on Monday afternoon, admitting he'd only arrived home that morning after a night of after-parties.

Blanshay's Just for Laughs Theatricals co-produced "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time," which won five Tonys including best play, and "Wolf Hall," which got a trophy for best costumes.

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" was the leading winner of the night alongside the musical "Fun Home," which also won five awards.

Blanshay was at the show with producing partner Gilbert Rozon, who decided to go to the bathroom just before the winner was announced for best play, a category in which both "Curious Incident..." and "Wolf Hall" were nominated.

Those who left the ceremony weren't allowed back in and Blanshay was getting "very stressed."

"All of a sudden we're about to go back to live and I could tell that it was best play coming up and I'm texting him like, 'Where are you, where are you?'" said Blanshay, CEO of JFL Theatricals.

"I couldn't find him and I'm texting and I'm texting him and finally we win and I see him standing behind a security blockade. I run to the back, grab him and pull him all the way down the aisle to get him on the stage."

This is another triumph for JFL Theatricals at the Tonys. The company also co-produced "Kinky Boots," which won six Tonys in 2013, including best musical.

JFL Theatricals' other successful productions include "Sunny Afternoon," which won four Olivier Awards, as well as "Twelfth Night," "Richard III," "Rocky the Musical" and "Bullets Over Broadway."

Blanshay came to co-produce "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time," about a boy with Asperger’s syndrome, after seeing it in London four times. He was struck by the show's staging and its message that "anyone can achieve anything."

"I almost had to campaign a little bit because other people were seeing how brilliant it was and were also trying to get involved," he recalled. "I was very, I guess, pushy and got my way."

Other Tony wins for "Curious Incident" include best actor for Alex Sharp, who only graduated from the Juilliard School last summer and beat stars Bradley Cooper and Bill Nighy for the trophy.

Blanshay said besides winning, one of the highlights of his evening was meeting musical theatre star Elaine Paige.

"I have pictures with Elaine Paige at our after-party and I chatted with her for a very long time. 'Evita' is my all-time favourite show."

He hopes the Tony wins will not only put a spotlight on his company but also "attract more artists to come to Montreal, more professionals to seek talent in Montreal, more writers to write for Montreal," he added.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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