The Jockey Club doesn't "see that many 6-foot-6 white tap dancers," as the line in the musical goes, otherwise it'd have a taller door. Tommy Tune could have used a drawbridge for his entrance, snapping his fingers, tapping his toes -- and bending his knees and bowing his head to get in the door.
Tune's height is a running joke in "My One and Only," which opened Tuesday night at the Kennedy Center Opera House followed by the cast party at the Jockey Club. Tune, star and co-choreographer of the musical, doesn't always find leading roles in his stratosphere, but many at the party acted as though they'd come see him in anything -- even as one of the Seven Dwarfs. "I'm really worried about our upcoming Japanese tour," said Tune, trying to lower his expectations.
Tune and leading lady Sandy Duncan came in together. "They're the same height when he's kneeling," said Tony Walton, the scene designer.
Roger Stevens ("I was 6 feet when they measured me in school") shared the evening's honors. He turned 75 Tuesday. "He celebrated all day," said Thomas Kendrick, Kennedy Center operations director.
Glitter was the dress of the evening. Duncan wore a Zandra Rhodes design dripping with small gold baubles. "This is one of her more classic designs. I can wear it until I'm 80," she said. Tune had on a small piece of jewelry -- parsley dipped in gold -- given "by the girl who plays the vamp in the movie sequence." Tiger Haynes (the Right Rev. J.D. Montgomery in the musical) wiggled his little finger so the light would catch his diamond. "My third wife gave it to me, but she'd only put $300 down on it when I put her out. I had to finish paying for it. I thought to myself it was just the sort of thing the Rev. Montgomery would wear."
Tune, receiving congratulations on having one of the genuine southern accents on the stage, said, "I just use my natural Texas accent. You know Sandy's from Texas, too." Don Amendolia (Prince Nicolai) admitted to working to make his "Russian" accent as phony as possible. As for his King-and-I haircut, "I started out shaving it every third day, but now it takes every day."
Duncan said her husband, Don Correia, couldn't make opening night festivities because of his own rehearsals for "Singin' in the Rain" in New York. "He comes on the weekend. But he misses seeing the children every day." Jeffrey, 2 1/2, Amendolia said, "is going to be a director. He watches everything."
Mark George Gershwin, one of the trustees of the Gershwin estate, a New York stockbroker and the son of the third Gershwin brother, Arthur, said the current revival of Gershwin music keeps him busy. Ronald Blanc, the Gershwin lawyer from Los Angeles, said the "Gershwin family jealously guards the work, but they're happy with this one, even though it's made up of Gershwin songs with a new book. Ira Gershwin who died at 87 after the musical was a success had his doubts at first."
Late in the evening, 73-year-old Charles (Honi) Coles, a legendary tap dancer (Mr. Magix), entered to loud applause. In the second act, Coles and Tune stopped the show and had to do an encore. "It's happened that way several times. But it's a setup," Coles said modestly. "In the first act, I'm sitting down. People know I'm a tap dancer and they wonder, 'Did he break a leg.' So when I dance, then they pay attention." Coles, who's tapped and rapped his way to Broadway and back, said "My One and Only" is "the best gig I ever had -- and the easiest job."