For someone who struggles with what he described as “legendary, decades-long insomnia,” BD Wong usually makes rest a priority on the weekends. “With Sundays, in particular, there are the fewest responsibilities and the fewest things scheduled,” Mr. Wong said. “So that is really the day that I can sleep.”
But last Sunday, there wasn’t much time for snoozing, except for when Mr. Wong was in the barber’s chair, as he prepared to introduce a duet at the 74th Annual Tony Awards.
A Broadway veteran, Mr. Wong is still known for his Tony-Award-winning performance in “M. Butterfly” in 1988. Since then, he has worked in theater and in television, including shows like “Law and Order: SVU,” “Oz” and, most recently, “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens,” where he plays Nora’s father, Wally.
He also made his directorial television debut with the second season of “Awkwafina,” admitting that he was resistant to the idea at first. But, he said, “I felt ensconced as a member of this creative family.”
Mr. Wong, 60, just relocated from the Financial District in Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights with his husband, Richert Schnorr, 37, a creative director, and their cat, Lox.
CRAVING, SATISFIED We went for breakfast at this diner on Montague that we discovered: Grand Canyon Restaurant. I had the thing that I have been trying to get for days, which was a toasted sesame bagel with an egg and ham.
SO MUCH FOR THAT ERRAND I had my niece’s wedding present that I had to wrap and thought, “We need ribbons for the presents, so let’s go out for a walk along the Brooklyn Promenade.” We also stopped for ice cream and took pictures of the ice cream truck. I got a vanilla Frosty dipped in a chocolate shell, and Richert got a Chipwich, which is his favorite. I accidentally left the ribbon at the CVS.
BEAUTY SLEEP The barber is right across the street from my apartment, and it’s a place I tried once before and liked. Whenever I sit in the barber chair, I fall immediately asleep. So I actually was able to multitask and take a nap while the guy cut my hair.
SKIN CARE There’s a groomer that I always try to book when I have an event in New York. Her name is Jennifer Brent, and she knows that I like to try to relax with a face mask. So, she brings a deck of face masks, and one of them is an animal face mask that has this colorful animal face. I think it was supposed to be a shark. Everyone else thought it looked like The Joker.
FAMILY TIME Having our family Zoom — siblings, parents, cousins, in-laws, it’s for whoever is around — is definitely one of the most deeply settled routine things. We opened the Zoom while I was getting makeup on, and Richert was there to help facilitate what was happening in our house. They haven’t seen our apartment yet; they’re dying for us to give them a virtual tour, but we’re refusing to do it because we’re not ready.
TIED UP While I was getting dressed, I could not remember how to tie the knot on this particular high necktie that I wore when I was on “Gotham.” I played this character who wore these weird tie knots, and I did that really well and easily when I was on the show. But then as soon as the show ended, I forgot how to do that. I had to look up a video of how to tie this crazy knot. I finally got it about 15 minutes after we were supposed to get in the car. I put the rest of the outfit on, and we did modeling for the Zoom.
BD NOT BEBE I got a call on my iPhone from a driver asking repeatedly for “BB,” which is always irritating, letting me know he was parked outside and looking for me at least an hour before we were supposed to go. At the same time I could also hear a woman client on the line, urgently wanting to know where her car was, as if the phone connections were crossed. I realized it was actually the dispatcher, not the driver, calling me. I started to explain that it was way too early for me to get in the car, and I kept saying, “No, this is BD Wong,” as the woman customer’s voice became more insistent. All of a sudden it became super clear what was happening when I recognized the lady customer’s voice: It was Bebe Neuwirth looking for her ride to Radio City.
WARDROBE MALFUNCTION As we were walking down the street to get into the car, one button on my tux jacket popped off. We found the button, and we decided to go back inside my house to get a safety pin. We come up with these campaign badges that have pins in them. I get in the car, and as I’m pulling the pin out, it flies out of my hand and slips into a crack in the seat. The photographer went to CVS, bought a sewing kit, and I spent the whole ride to the Tonys sewing the button. I’d really never done that before. Then, the photographers on the red carpet took the pictures that are online now.
PREGAME The awards show rents out this Applebee’s to serve as a “green room.” They put out food, and all the monitors at the bar are tuned in to the broadcast. I was so wound up by this point I actually had a whiskey, which I normally wouldn’t do, and then proceeded to debate with my green room buddy Adam Pascal to see if he could get away with having a beer before he sang. He was the perfect person to spend this time waiting to go on with because he’s so friendly and even-tempered. I introduced Andrew Rannells and Tituss Burgess singing a duet together.
POST-SHOW I have a very supportive, wonderful husband, and he watched the whole awards show, so he could report back to me. When I got home, he explained the parts that were his favorites, and we had an assessment. I took a minute to decompress with my phone and looked at some pictures that were posted from the red carpet, but then I went to bed. To be quite honest, I was exhausted from the entire day.
Sunday Routine readers can follow BD Wong on Twitter and Instagram @wongbd.
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