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Corner Brook couple in New York for Tony Awards

The cast from the Tony-nominated play “Come From Away.” Corner Brook couple Erin and Mark Smallwood will be in the audience at Radio City Music Hall to watch the awards show on Sunday.
The cast from the Tony-nominated play “Come From Away.” Corner Brook couple Erin and Mark Smallwood will be in the audience at Radio City Music Hall to watch the awards show on Sunday.

Erin and Mark Smallwood are soaking up a bit of celebrity status as they hit the Big Apple for the Tony Awards.

The Corner Brook couple will share some of the highlights of their New York trip during the Rotary Arts Centre’s Tony Awards viewing party on Sunday night.

Reached at their hotel room in New York on Thursday afternoon, Erin said the trip was originally planned to celebrate her recent “big birthday” and to see “Come From Away.”

The Canadian play tells the story of the role Gander played in the events of Sept. 11, 2001 by welcoming thousands of stranded airline passengers to the town.

Once the trip was booked the couple realized it was for the same weekend as the Tony Awards.

“Kind of jokingly we both said, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could go to the Tony Awards.’”

The Smallwoods share a mutual love for theatre and musical theatre, and the Tonys are the awards show they would love to see, more than the Oscars or the Golden Globes.

So Mark looked into it and discovered that a number of seats are sold to the public.

“We timed our phones to remind us, got online and lo and behold he was able to get two tickets,” said Erin.

Just to get to New York without their three children is an opportunity for the couple, and to get to see “Come From Away” is an extra bonus, but getting to go to the Tony Awards is incredible, she said.

“This is the icing on the cake.”

Coincidentally, the Tony tickets went on sale the same day as the Tony nominations were announced, and the play received seven of them.

“So it was just this extra amazing, fortuitous opportunity.”

With Tony tickets secured, the couple messaged Newfoundland actress and “Come From Away” cast member Petrina Bromley to say they’d see her at the Tonys.

The couple had worked with Bromley in the past in St. John’s and Corner Brook, and she put them on the guest list for after tonight’s show to meet some of the cast and get a backstage tour.

While there, they’ll become citizen journalists and interview Bromley and fellow Newfoundlander Romano De Nillo, a member of the band, about their experiences and excitement of being on Broadway.

Those interviews and look backstage will be shown at the Rotary Arts Centre’s Tony celebration.

The Smallwoods also hope to share a bit of live video from the awards at Radio City Music Hall. Erin said if they can’t go live, they’ll send some video clips.

“Just to give people a sense of what the vibe and the whole scene is like here around Radio City Music Hall.”

One thing she was surprised to learn about the awards is that Bromley won’t get to attend. She will be there when the cast performs, but will hop on a bus back to the theatre right afterward and watch the show from there.

The Smallwoods are excited to be a part of it all and can’t wait to see the presenters, musical acts and celebrities.

Erin said they’ll have some Newfoundland flags and swag with them in hopes of getting noticed.

“We certainly will not turn down an opportunity to go to an after party or get a chance to get close to the red carpet.”

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