I've groused in previous posts about the ubiquity of Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman at awards shows, but I must admit they were sorely missed at this year's Tony Awards (on CBS, as we were annoyingly reminded before each commercial break). The silly banter between hosts Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming was cringe worthy. I wanted to swat them away like flies. Alan Cumming on his own may have been fine (although he was sometimes hard to understand); the hyper-caffeinated Chenoweth, on the other hand, was exhausting to watch (bringing to mind Anne Hathaway when she hosted the Oscars back in 2009).
- At the beginning of the On the Town number, nominee Tony Yazbeck presented Anna Wintour, sans sunglasses, with flowers. (Remind me again, what show was she in that got her seated in the VIP section?)
- Fun Home's musical number Ring of Keys was so moving, it got me all choked up. And to think this was sung by a child!
- Although Tommy Tune's lifetime achievement award wasn't part of the telecast, the 30-second clip that was shown had a great quip by him in which he said, "Every Texas father dreams for their firstborn sons to leave Texas, go to New York and dance in the chorus of a Broadway show!"
- What in the hell was Ashley (High School Musical) Tisdale wearing? It looked like someone stole the top piece from a nun's habit or a burka. And why was she presenting an award? (The same could be asked of Jennifer Lopez.)
- Matthew Morrison looked hot, and very un-Glee like, when he tore open his shirt during his number from Finding Neverland.
- The powerful performance by Lisa Howard from It Shoulda Been You (not even nominated) brought to mind Jennifer Holiday's from the 1982 Tonys when she bulldozed through And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going from Dreamgirls.
- Kelli O'Hara's acceptance speech was wonderful for its excitement and gratitude and brought to mind Audra McDonald's acceptance at last year's ceremony (although it was her fifth Tony while this was O'Hara's first).
- For the first two-thirds of the show I thought Alan Cummings was saying "George Gobel" when it turned out it he was saying "Josh Groban". Unfortunately it was painful listening to Groban struggle through You'll Never Walk Alone during the "In Memoriam" tribute. Phylicia Rashad, however, gave it a beautiful intro (much like Meryl Streep did at this year's Academy Awards).
- During the "In Memoriam" tribute the biggest one-two punch was Elaine Stritch followed immediately by Marian Seldes.
- Harry Connick, Jr. - studliest presenter of the night? Followed by Nick Jonas (standing next to Jennifer Lopez who looked relatively matronly) and Thomas Sadoski.
- Tony winner Alex Sharp looked sharp in his casual, off-white/patterned tux.
- No surprise, Broadway royalty, Bernadette Peters, looked terriffic and vied with Tony winner Helen Mirren for classiest stage presence.
- For the second year in a row nominee Andy Karl was seated in the same far forward section of the theater, was playful when on camera and did not win in his category.
Finally, I leave you with a gallery of photos: