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The Suburbanite
  • On the Beat: A local tie to the Tony Awards

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    Alex Nicholis Coon, executive director of the Massillon Museum, was one of the lucky 6,000 audience members at last Sunday’s Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall.

     
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    Alex Nicholis Coon, executive director of the Massillon Museum, was one of the lucky 6,000 audience members at last Sunday’s Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall.
     
    How did she qualify for such a privilege? Connections, baby.
     
    Carrie Coon, who was nominated as best featured actress for her role as Honey in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is the sister of Alex’s husband, Josh Coon. While Carrie  — who graduated from the University of Mount Union in 2003 — did not win on Sunday, her career is on the fast track; she  just landed a leading role alongside Justin Theroux in an HBO pilot, “The Leftovers.”
     
    Wait, there’s more. Carrie’s fiancé is Tracy Letts, who won the best-actor Tony on Sunday for his performance as George in “Virginia Woolf.” Letts previously won a Tony Award (and a Pulitzer Prize) for his play “August: Osage County,” whose upcoming screen version, which he also wrote, stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor and many other notables. Additionally, Letts has a recurring acting role on season three of “Homeland.”
     
    Now back to Alex. She and Josh were seated in the first mezzanine at Radio City and could view the likes of Tom Hanks, Sigourney Weaver, Nathan Lane and Cyndi Lauper below them. When Letts, her future brother-in-law, was announced as the best-actor winner, “I fist-pumped. I was screaming,” Alex recalled.
     
    Watching the Tonys in person made Alex feel she had “experienced the tasting menu of all that Broadway has to offer. Seeing all the musical numbers was spectacular. And Jake Gyllenhaal wasn’t so bad either!”
     
    Because she and Josh arrived at Radio City at 4:45 p.m. for the Tony festivities, by the time the awards show wound up at 11, they were famished. They proceeded to the “Virginia Woolf” celebration party at The Redeye Grill restaurant, where “everyone headed straight to the incredible buffet,” Alex said. “There was zero decorum and no shame.” She lasted until 2 a.m.
     
    The crucial question: What did Alex wear for her big night? “A little black satin cocktail dress with a sweet heart neckline and lace inset front. By Guess,” she said. Sadly, her black clutch purse, which had a gold brass-knuckles handle, was confiscated by the TSA before her flight home. 
     
    ‘DANCING STARS’ ANNOUNCED
    Already I’m rooting for Repository sportswriter Todd Porter and his dancing feet. 
     
    Todd is one of the just-announced local celebrities who’ll compete in the third annual “Dancing With Canton’s Stars” show Nov. 16 at the Palace Theatre. Other celebs, who will be paired with professional ballroom dancers, are Becky Bors, administrative assistant at Stark County Medical Society; Jen Jellison, veterinarian, For Paws Animal Hospital; Marilyn Thomas Jones, director of community engagement, Stark Community Foundation; Lee Lavery, retiree, Canton City Schools; Greg Luntz, CFO, Luntz Corporation; Anthony Ly, manager, Basil Asian Bistro; Tricia Ostertag, community arts manager, ArtsinStark; Lynette Ray, occupational therapist, Stark County Developmental Disabilities; Eric Smer, director, ystark!; Phillip J. Wells, dentist, Canton South Dental. 
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    Tickets, $10 reserved and $40 VIP, go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday at the Palace box office and www.cantonpalacetheatre.org. Proceeds benefit the Palace.
     
    FAMILY THEATER
    There’s a distinct child-friendly focus to the Players Guild’s 2013-14 season. Scheduled are “Annie,” Sept. 6 through 29; “Little Shop of Horrors,” Oct. 18 through Nov. 3; “A Christmas Carol,” Dec. 6 through 22; “Sleeping Beauty,” Jan. 17 through Feb. 2; “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Feb. 21 through March 9; “Charlotte’s Web,” March 28 through April 13; “Shrek the Musical,” May 16 through June 1.
     
    SHE’S CARMEN
    Canton-based mezzo-soprano Rachel Milligan has the title role in Bizet’s classic opera “Carmen,” being presented Thursday through June 23 by the Undercroft Opera in Pittsburgh. For full details, visit www.undercroftopera.org.