An awesome evening punctuated by clever original songs sung by Neil Patrick Harris, mostly solid live performances from the shows, and some surprising wins for the young actors that usually have to defer to their more experienced (read: older) counterparts. Personally, I was thrilled that Christian Borle, Steve Kazee, and James Corden received nods for their impeccable work this season.
After the ceremony though, I couldn’t help but to feel like some additional accolades were necessary to crown the most heartwarming, awkward, and ridiculous moments in the telecast. And the award goes to…
Speech most likely to make you cry: Steve Kazee
Best reaction to not winning in his category: James Earl Jones
Watching James Earl Jones’ face slowly turn from a calm smile into the masterpiece above was definitely award-worthy. This face was the result of Mr. Jones realizing that the “James” named Best Leading Male in a Play was James Corden ( One Man, Two Guvnors), not him.
Best random cameo: Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Neil Patrick Harris’ understudy
The Tony Awards opening number was a tongue-and-cheek and star-packed tribute that pondered the question “what if life was more like theatre?” As soon as NPH sang a lyric about calling your understudy on those days you’re feeling under the weather, JTFerg joined him in a matching outfit ready to take over as Tony host. Perfect, hilarious casting.
The “Why, God, Why” Award: A cruiseship company’s 10 minute long endorsement of their new theatre-on-the-sea ships
Harvey Fierstein tried his hardest, but you could see in his eyes that this was a tough sell. This trainwreck of a moment brought the show to a standstill and featured a cruise ship theatre with a bevy of empty seats. Great example of captivating those seafaring audiences, guys.
Most surprisingly un-diva-esque behavior from a Broadway Diva: Patti LuPone
Never thought we’d see the day that Patti would be okay at laughing at herself a little and playing along with others. In addition to strutting around with a lawnmower in the opening number, she gracefully duetted with Mandy Patinkin (without orchestral accompaniment!), singing a few lines before announcing an award. Bravo Patti.