For a Broadway scion, Eric Nederlander seems a little in the dark these days about what's going on backstage. At last night's New York City Ballet "Dance with the Dancers" benefit, he confessed to — egads! — skipping the Tonys this year. "I like to go when I'm nominated," he said, "but we didn't have any nominated shows this year. And I want to know why they scheduled the Tonys [at the same time as] the finale of The Sopranos and the NBA Finals. Not good for ratings!" He's also waiting for Hugh Jackman to host again ("he's a real star"). That said, he's a Spring Awakening fan ("it was obviously everyone's choice") and mourned Raúl Esparza's loss like everyone else (wife Lindsay on his performance: "Uch … 'Being Alive'? He just takes your breath away!").
Any good gossip about the awards? "Lots of fights! Bernadette Peters showed up and started hitting everybody! No, I actually don't know about any backstage intrigue." Okay, but what's coming up for his family's theaters this year? "Hmm, you know … I have to think about it. It's that time of year when everything's booked. I need to review that." He did manage to remember that Grease opens soon; so did he watch You're the One That I Want? "You know, I wasn't involved at all," he said. "It was fun to watch, but it was hard — there was Grease, 24, The Sopranos … there's too much television these days!"
So was Tony Soprano's swan song the reason he didn't make it to the Tonys? Alas, dinner was about to start. —Rebecca Milzoff