It was a big bi-costal night when the Casting Society of America (CSA) held the esteemed Artios Awards at 42West in the glow of New York City’s Times Square. Now celebrating its 30th year, the CSA honors select members using the criteria of originality, creativity and contribution of casting to the overall quality of a project and are given out in 22 categories including film, television and theater. While the actual ceremony took place in New York, it was simultaneously being broadcasted across the country on the opposite coast in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton where other nominees anxiously awaited the results.
In Times Square, Ugly Betty star Michael Urie was the evening’s host, comically commenting on the various ways that casting is both frustrating yet integral to the art of show business and took to Twitter to ensure that no one was giving spoilers to the three-hour behind nominees in Hollywood. Among the Big Apple presenters were Frankie Alvarez, Nina Arianda, Jason Biggs, Edie Falco, Renee Fleming, Jonathan Groff, Billy Magnussen, Jay Pharoah, AnnaSophia Robb, Cecily Strong and Lorraine Toussaint.
The New Yorkers received a special treat when Christine Baranski came out to present Academy Award-nominee and Emmy Award-winning director Rob Marshall with the New York Apple Award for his outstanding career achievements. Unbeknownst to him, Baranaski was joined by her Into the Woods cast mates Tracy Ullman and the legendary Meryl Streep, who all joined in song about the wonders of working on films with Marshall, set to familiar melodies from the movie’s own soundtrack. He graciously accepted the award from his leading ladies after a big congratulatory hug from Meryl.
5,000 miles away in Los Angeles, the hilarious Patton Oswalt emceed the night, bringing an arsenal of jokes and quips as the awards were handed out. Jonah Hill was also on hand to present Emmy Award-winning casting director Ellen Lewis for her work in The Wolf of Wall Street with the Hoyt Bowers Award, honoring esteemed casting professionals who have elevated the casting profession by embodying the unique spirit, ideals and creativity of famed casting director, Hoyt Bowers.
Patricia Arquette presented Academy Award-nominee Richard Linklater with the Career Achievement Award, recognizing his contributions to the entertainment industry and inclusion of the casting director in the overall creative process. Boyhood co-star Ellar Coltrane was also in attendance supporting his director. Other LaLa Land presenters for the night included Chadwick Boseman, Brooklyn Decker, Marcia Gay Harden, Tony Goldwyn, Sarah Hyland, Hunter Parrish and Gina Rodriguez.
Among the night’s other notable winners were the Broadway productions of Casa Valentina, All the Way and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical as well as the Disney animated blockbuster Frozen, the Netflix original hit Orange is the New Black and the highly addicting TV Drama Breaking Bad. Thankfully, no one in New York spoiled the surprise for any of the L.A. winners, at least according to Michael Urie’s Twitter.