Photo by Jenny Anderson
On May 13, Anything Goes star Stephanie J. Block had her fingers crossed to win the award for Best Replacement at the 2012 Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards. When the honor ultimately went to Darren Criss, Block was a gracious runner-up. But her night at the awards was just beginning! When Wicked won the award for Favorite Tour, the former Elphaba waited a few seconds and then headed to the stage, laying claim to her right to accept the award. “I took tap dancing lessons,” the actress declared, playfully arguing that her Anything Goes loss was unfair. After Block’s witty speech, a video speech by Mamie Parris, who currently plays Elphaba on tour with Wicked, played in the Allen Room, sending Block and the audience into hysterics.
Had the actress planned to storm the stage? “I spontaneously went,” Block told Broadway.com after the ceremony. “There were too many seconds passing by. I looked at Sebastian [Arcelus, her husband and awards show date] and he was like, ‘If I know my wife, she’s going up there!’ And I went. My relationship with Wicked has been so long and it’s been so dear to me, I thought, what the heck?”
Block admits that she was inspired to let loose at the ceremony because of the anything goes (pun intended!) attitude in the Allen Room. “This is such an irreverent awards ceremony to begin with, so after not winning for replacement, this was my moment to accept for Wicked,” she said with a laugh. “So that was it—off the cuff!”
The Anything Goes star also exposed her silly side with Susan Blackwell in the video feature that kicked off the awards ceremony. “I’m not usually a cusser, and Susan said, ‘We want this to be salty, we want it to be prickly, I’m going to bring out the saucy in you,’" said Block. "Once I knew Kelli O’Hara and others were going to be included in that saucy mix, I was in.” Click here to see Block’s sassy interview, and stay tuned for video of her completely impromptu acceptance speech!