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Backstage: Flight of the Bumblebees

Local actors fly high at the Tony celebration.

We're still buzzing with excitement from Sunday night's Tony Awards. Hometown stars Nikki M. James and Stephen Oremus made Livingston proud. At the awards ceremony, James likened herself to the bumblebee, which flies through “sheer will and determination … I come from a long line of bumblebees."

In this special View Finder, Laurence Agron, a professional photojournalist from Livingston, provides photos from the backstage celebration and Maplewood's Norbert Leo Butz literally jumping for joy.

Butz won best leading actor in a musical for his role as Carl Hanratty – “the greatest role I've ever been offered in my life” – in Catch Me If You Can. James and Oremus won for their work in The Book of Mormon, the evening's runaway winner.

Oremus and Larry Hochman won for best orchestrations for The Book of Mormon. James won for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical.

On stage, James said, “There’s a story about bumblebees. Physicists couldn’t figure out how they did it, how they flew. And we all know that they do. We’ve seen them do it. They did it because nobody told them that they couldn’t because of sheer will and determination. I come from a long line of bumblebees … I am so grateful that nobody ever told me I couldn’t do it, that I couldn’t fly."

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