Home Nightlife Broadway Beacon Awards with guest star BROOKE SHIELDS.

Broadway Beacon Awards with guest star BROOKE SHIELDS.

Photography by Steve Sands.

Inside Broadway held their annual Broadway Beacon awards ceremony at the Players Club Thursday night. A handful of actors, actresses and magnates were on hand to be celebrated (if only for a moment).  Things were decidedly rushed.  As incredible as the night was, it felt like a half-missed opportunity to make a night for the record books.

It’s easy to grow a little jaded, especially here. Especially here. You spend all day every day, grinding away to try to make enough money so that you can… keep staying here. In that repetitive cycle, the endless rotation, it gets very easy to forget why you’d even bother.

Then, on possibly your worst day (in which you got drenched in the rain), the clouds part and down shines a reminder of what makes it all worth it. You go see a show.

This has nothing to do with the plot, or the music, or the lyrics. Those are all hopefully great. (And I really, really hope they are.) But truth be told the magic is in the performers. The best of the best have risen to the point where you can catch them, and watch them doing what they love to do. There’s a kind of joy in that. That’s what makes Broadway more than just a diagonal avenue, slicing down Manhattan.  That’s what makes Broadway magic.

Dreams come true here.  Not all of them. Hell, barely any of them. But dreams do come true here. You get your chance, if you can stick it out. And the proof can be found all over the place, when you remember to look.  The opportunities are everywhere.

What’s VITALLY important is to remember that those dreams, those hopes for something fantastic – yet – possible get planted when you’re a kid. And that’s what Inside Broadway is all about. Every year, more than 30,000 New York students throughout the five boroughs are exposed to live theatre, done right and done by Equity professionals. They get a chance to experiment, to try it out. To learn that someday, they could get to do this themselves. They could compose. Or write. Or dance. Or design a set. Or sing their hearts out.

And it is mind-blowingly easy to forget how important it is to try for that stuff. To instill in them that passion, that yearning to do something that makes you happy.

I’m not about to suggest that showbiz is the  Be All, End All. It ain’t. But millions of New Yorkers work their asses off to live in a place where things like this are even possible; where someone can grow up to live out the dream.

For the rest of us, we get to sample that joy vicariously. When it’s done right. Thursday night, it was done right. For the most part.

The Players Club is a sanctuary / museum / hobnob’s paradise for theatre types. By all accounts, it should have been packed. It has been before, and it will be again. But tonight, it was only… so-so full. Men dressed in charcoal and pin-stripes traded jokes and laughter, while a scant few women in evening wear mingled and circulated. It was a low-key event, when they could’ve torn the roof off the place.

Inside Broadway held their annual award ceremony, the Broadway Beacon Awards. The first award of the night went to,

Brooke Shields and John Larroquette