Sunday was the 67th Annual Tony Awards and what a show it was. There were Broadway stars, amazing performances, and all the Neil Patrick Harris you could ask for! There was plenty to talk about this year, so let’s hope I can cover it all in one blog post! I’m going to move through the night chronologically– try to keep up!
The opening was the best I’ve seen in years with Neil Patrick Harris and about every show on Broadway. Even Mike Tyson was there, facing jokes from NPH (which continued throughout the rest of the night; love.)! There was even time for a Tom Hooper close up in a Les Miserables gag.
Newsies presented the performance by Best Musical nominee Matilda the Musical, which wowed with a medley of songs including “When I Grow Up” and “Revolting Children.” Speaking of musical presenters, the Chicago girls may have missed their teleprompter cue, but they sure looked good doing it! Neil Patrick Harris returned to introduce his musical/play mashups, my favorites “Children of a Lesser Godspell” and “Bring It On Golden Pond.” Judith Light won Best Leading Actress in a Play for The Assembled Parties and Gabriel Ebert took away the award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his role in Matilda. Cinderella performed with an amazing dress transformation, perhaps giving proof to Victoria Clark’s line “You would be surprised how many dresses have crazy women in them.” 😉
Diane Paulus and Pam Mackinnon brought girl power to the Directing category, by winning for Pippin and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Speaking of females, Cyndi Lauper won for Best Score for Kinky Boots, becoming the first woman to win a solo Score Tony, and Cicely Tyson won an award for her role in A Trip to Bountiful, her first win at 79 years old. Motown the Musical had the Tony’s “Dancing in the Streets,” or at least the in aisle during their performance. Annie was up next with new Miss Hannigan, star Jane Lynch, who surprised us with her vocal chops in “Little Girls.”
Andrew Rannells, Laura Benanti, and Megan Hilty joined NPH for a hilarious song called “Television Sucks” after their shows The New Normal, Go On , and Smash got cancelled. The Rascals performed with a montage tribute of the past year of shows behind them. The nervous Jessie Eisenberg sped through a Best Play nominees montage before giving the win to Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Then the lovely Andrea Martin won for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Pippin.
Neil Patrick Harris and Sandy shared a slobbery introduction before A Christmas Story performed. This show once again proves that children ran Broadway this year with a very talented young tap dancer. Then the anticipated performance of Pippin wowed the Tony crowd and showed they had “Magic to Do” at this year’s ceremony. Virginia Woolf followed this performance with a Best Revival of a Play win.
The legendary Hal Prince introduced the amazing 25th anniversary performance of Phantom, solidifying their reign as the longest-running Broadway show. More wins, with Tracy Letts and Billy Porter, winning Best Actor in a Play for Virginia Woolf and Best Actor in a Musical for Kinky Boots, respectively. Patina Miller then won the tight race for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as the lead player Pippin (trivia time: this is now the first role to ever have garnered a Tony Award for a best actor and a best actress– Ben Vereen won for his portrayal in the original production). Cyndi Lauper gave a touching tribute in the Tony Memoriam with “True Colors”. The montage showed greats like Andy Griffith, Nora Ephron, and Marvin Hamlisch.
Kinky Boots performed and had “Everybody Say[ing] Yeah” to its winning streak. Then Pippin won for Best Revival of a Musical and had the crowd cheering. Bernadette Peters came out to announce Best Musical, which went to the popular show Kinky Boots. The producers praised it’s great message of love and tolerance, which everyone can relate to. Then Neil Partrick Harris closed out the show with a Tony “Empire State of Mind” remix with Lin Manuel Miranda at piano and Audra McDonald dropping the beat, and mic.
With a night of fantastic performances from the nominated shows, deserving wins, and record breakers for women and children, I would call this a very successful Broadway season. I can’t wait for September when we can start it all again! For the only thing we know about next year is, if there is a Tony Awards, Neil Patrick Harris is sure to be there.