Year after year, the Tony Awards give celebs a chance to act their toniest. The 52nd annual event, held June 7 at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, was no exception. John Lithgow proclaimed himself "a vision in Armani." Chicago's Bebe Neuwirth wore a crushed velvet Badgley Mischka gown that made her "feel like a princess." And Jennifer Holliday, a 1982 Tony winner for Dreamgirls, shone in $2.25 million in borrowed Harry Winston baubles. "They usually yank them off me as soon as I leave the stage," she groaned.
The show—hosted by Rosie O'Donnell
and broadcast live for one hour on PBS and two on CBS—was also a time for some stars to tone down. Natasha Richardson, who took home a statuette for her role in Cabaret, vowed to celebrate not with champagne but "a glass of Perrier." And when Alec Baldwin's wife, Kim Basinger, stayed home with their daughter, who had a cold, he invited his niece, Jessica, 20, in her place. (Her first question: "Is Leonardo DiCaprio
going to be there?" Answer: Nope.)
Afterward guests migrated to the Marriott Marquis, where they dined (on coq au vin), danced (to show tunes) and doted (on anyone involved with Best Musical winner The Lion King). Baldwin, for one, was sure he'd return next year. "I'm a Tony whore," he said. "I'd serve refreshments if they wanted me to."