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Geoffrey Rush: Tonys After-Party King

On Sunday, Geoffrey Rush won a Tony for playing a 400-year-old dying monarch in Exit the King. But as Sunday turned to Monday, Rush proved himself worthy of another crown: Tonys After-Party King. When we ran into Rush immediately following his victory for Lead Actor in a Play, he declared intentions of hitting up at least three bashes: the official Tony Awards Gala, the Shubert organization's shindig, and the giant West Side StoryGod of Carnage[title of show]ShrekThe Norman Conquests joint party at Hudson Terrace. And he made good on his word. We spotted Rush again at 1:30 a.m. at the joint party, where he greeted us joyously, but seemed to be talking to some imaginary person in the plant behind our head. (His Tony, he assured us, had been given to his driver for safekeeping.) An hour later, he headed for the door — but did he go home? Nope!

Rush headed straight for the Hair party at Tavern on the Green, where he wasn't on the list, but, you know, who cares? At that point, event organizers had already extended the end time twice because no one wanted to leave, and the entire cast was dancing outside in the rain. At some point, we’re told, Anne Hathaway took off her four-inch stilettos and spent the rest of the evening literally "barefoot in the park." Rush, of course, joined in. Then at around 3 a.m., when the party really did have to end, he filed out onto the sidewalk and began asking revelers where they were headed next. The consensus was publicity company O&M’s owner Rick Miramontez's suite at the Carlyle — the Royal Suite (Princess Diana's favorite room), no less — and Rush jumped into a cab with his new friends before remembering that he had a car and driver.

At the Carlyle, with Rush, Tovah Feldshuh, Jackie Hoffman, Jim Rado, Moisés Kaufman, and the entire cast of Hair packed into one hotel suite, things turned wild quickly. Feldshuh was reunited with Hoffman, her castmate from 2001 lesbian-dating comedy Kissing Jessica Stein. Said Hoffman to Feldshuh, "Thank God you're here. All we need are a couple of lesbians and a camera and we could shoot a sequel."

Soon thereafter, Feldshuh started drinking expensive Champagne straight from the bottle, while the crowd goaded Hoffman into doing an impromptu cabaret act at the piano, with improvised songs about the night’s winners and losers. A "very laid-back" Rush held court at the dining room table, alternating between affably conversing and nodding off.

The Hair Tony was passed around so guests could pose with it, and omelettes magically appeared, to absorb the booze in various stomachs. In fact, so much alcohol was consumed that the hotel ran out of ice. It took a staffer an hour to find and purchase more, from a deli. At 7 a.m., as the sun rose, the party began to wind down. The view of the city from the suite apparently was so beautiful, an intoxicated Hair cast member started crying. By that time, Rush had apparently slipped out, though it did cross the mind of one guest that he might still be in the room, taking a nap somewhere. "He was half-asleep the entire night," the witness explains.

Photo: FilmMagic