Getting Ready With Stereophonic’s Sarah Pidgeon for the Tony Awards

Getting Ready With Stereophonic's Sarah Pidgeon for the Tony Awards 7

Hosted for the third time by Ariana DeBose, the 77th annual Tony Awards did what it always does best, recognizing theatrical excellence and bringing Broadway into homes with truly memorable performances. This year’s highs included Jay-Z making a surprise cameo mid-show to duet with Alicia Keys for Hell’s Kitchen; the beautiful tribute to legendary stage actress Chita Rivera; Jonathan Groff nabbing his first Tony (it’s about time!) and delivering a heartfelt, tear-inducing acceptance speech; and Stereophonic, the spring season’s darling, winning the coveted Tony Award for Best Play. For first-time nominee Sarah Pidgeon, it was, by all accounts, a perfect evening—in Balenciaga, no less.

Left: Fred Leighton emerald jewels; Right: Stylist Chloe Hartstein puts on Sarah Pidgeon's earrings.

“What struck me the most after last night was realizing just how strong a sense of community there is in theater and just feeling so lucky that I’m a part of it now,” Pidgeon tells us over the phone. The actress, who turned heads at the Met Gala last month in a look by Christopher John Rogers, made her live-theater debut this spring with her turn as lead singer Diana in Stereophonic and has been racking up rave reviews ever since. The David Adjmi play about a Fleetwood Mac–like band on the rise in the mid-’70s received a record-breaking 13 nominations this year, including Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for Pidgeon. It’s not surprising considering the show is a repeat sellout and has a fantastic ensemble cast coupled with original songs by Arcade Fire’s Will Butler.

Sarah Pidgeon gets glam touch-ups.

Set up in a sunlit suite at the Times Square Edition, Pidgeon and her team prepped for Broadway’s biggest night with an African jazz playlist selected by makeup artist Shayna Goldberg, room service pasta and salad, and, of course, champagne. “It was just very happy and easy and not stressful,” she tells us of the afternoon. Stylist Chloe Hartstein arrived in time to help Pidgeon get into her look—an off-the-shoulder Balenciaga dress from designer Demna’s S/S 24 collection.

Stylist Chloe Hartstein helps with final touches for Sarah Pidgeon's Tony Awards look.

There were other beautiful considerations in the running, but Pidgeon tells me the puzzle pieces didn’t start fitting together until she went to Balenciaga and tried on the dress. “I’ve never shopped for a wedding dress, but it sort of felt like my wedding-dress moment where you just knew,” she recalls. “What I liked so much about it was the structure of it with the corset and the train that was sort of this inside-out dress. … It felt self-aware and tongue in cheek while also being incredibly elegant.” There is no worse feeling to Pidgeon than putting on an outfit and it not being a reflection of how she’s feeling. The Balenciaga gown was the opposite. Wearing it felt like she and the dress were meant to be together.

Hartstein helped accessorize the look with vintage Fred Leighton jewels, 19th century Colombian emerald-and-diamond pendant earrings, a 1940s emerald-and-diamond ring in gold, and Pidgeon’s favorite—a Victorian gold-and-green enamel snake bracelet. On her left hand, she wore a sentimental ring that her dad gifted her mother with just before Pidgeon was born. A pair of Manolo Blahnik heels completed the look.

Sarah Pidgeon wears black off-the-shoulder Balenciaga dress with bow detailing and emerald Fred Leighton earrings.

For glam, Pidgeon and her team passed around different ideas until they landed on an effortless, slightly retro look. “It was a night about acting, and I wanted to feel like an Old Hollywood actress,” Pidgeon says. Hairstylist David von Cannon created a romantic, wavy look that played off the structure of the dress and sat behind her shoulders in order to show off her décolletage. Pidgeon doesn’t like to wear a lot of makeup, so she opted for a fresh, super-glowy look while emphasizing her eyes—a Goldberg specialty. The difficult bit would be keeping any color on her lips. Pidgeon has a nervous habit of licking her lips, and Goldberg was on her about keeping the liner on all night. “My tongue has a mind of its own, especially on a night like that,” she says with a laugh.

Sarah Pidgeon poses in final Tony Awards look wearing a Balenciaga gown and Fred Leighton jewelry.

Reflecting on the evening, Pidgeon says it was one of the first times the cast of Stereophonic actually got to take a moment to celebrate all their success, making it all the more special. “We kept our heads down and really worked on this production for so long, so just being able to take a night off and dance and hug… I’m so proud to be a part of this production,” she says. Following the play’s big win, Pidgeon and her family made their way to a series of after-parties. The first stop was the gala, where she scarfed down every hors d’oeuvre on offer, then there was the Stereophonic party, where lots of hugs and kisses took place, and eventually her shoes came off. The night ended at the infamous Carlyle party, where she walked around in a pair of hotel slippers. “It was very fashion,” she chuckles.