July 14, 2024

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Jay-Z’s Big Tonys duet with Alicia Keys was previously recorded

Jay-Z’s Big Tonys duet with Alicia Keys was previously recorded

She generated one of the biggest buzz of the night at the Tony Awards: Alicia Keys was performing a medley of her Broadway musical “Hell’s Kitchen” on Sunday when she exited the auditorium and appeared to join Jay-Z on a marble staircase for “Empire State of Mind,” Their 2009 love song to New York City.

“I had to do something crazy – it’s my hometown!” Keys said as cameras followed her out of the auditorium at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. A video screen cut to an on-stage video of Jay-Z, the Brooklyn-born rapper and mogul, performing from the curved marble staircase just outside the auditorium. The keys were seen joining him.

There was a reason Jay-Z only appeared on the Tonys stage in video form. In a clever production trick, the encounter between two of music’s biggest stars was pre-recorded and carefully edited to make it look seamlessly part of a live performance on the Tonys show Sunday night, according to two people familiar with the television preparations who were unaware of the broadcast preparations. They have the right to speak out about them. (New York Magazine mentioned The clip was previously recorded.)

Live or recorded, the duet became one of the biggest moments of the night. The Broadway crowd went wild when Jay-Z concluded with “Brooklyn, New York City at the Tonys tonight!”

Some in the audience – who had gathered for an artistic celebration where eight live performances each week are the norm – seemed to think the performance was taking place live just outside the hall.

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But those outside the hall quickly realized what was happening. Guy Phillippe, who won the Excellence in Theater Education Award at the ceremony, was watching the show on a screen in the lobby, not far from the marble staircase where Keys and Jay-Z were paraded in front of a statue of Yasuhide Kobashi. .

“I was probably saying for a moment: ‘Oh, is Jay-Z here?’” she said, before I realized it was a stage trick. When she returned to her seat, her mother exclaimed: “That was amazing!”

“I was like, ‘Well, I’m glad my mom enjoyed it,'” Philip said.

Another audience member, Wendall K., said: Harrington, a Broadway show designer who received a special Tony Award for her work, said while some people around her seemed confused about whether the show was live, she wasn’t.

“I wasn’t fooled,” she explained. “I’m a projectionist.”