I grew up just outside NYC and going to Manhattan around the holidays to see a Broadway show with the family was about as normal as opening presents on X-Mas morning. To this day, my first show, the classic Phantom of the Opera remains my favorite, though there have been quite a few top contenders. The thing I’ve always loved about theater is that being multi-talented is a necessity for the actors- they can sing, dance, perform, and most of all they have stage presence. The host of the 2011 Tony awards, Neil Patrick Harris could easily be described the exact same way… add charming.
The 65th Tony Awards took place this past Sunday at the Beacon Theatre and Harris hosted for the second time, opening the show with a comedic number “Broadway: It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore” penned by The Daily Show scribe and producer David Javerbaum. Other highlights of the night included a medley of classic songs including “Annie Get Your Gun”, “Singin’ in the Rain” , and “Gypsy” and a ‘host-off’ against three-time former Tony Awards Host and winner, Hugh Jackman.
As for the results, The Book of Mormon, brought to the stage by the creators of South Park (Trey Parker and Matt Stone), took home the Tony Award for best musical along with eight others. While it fell short of beating the 12-trophy record set by The Producers in 2001, it was certainly the night’s bigger winner proving that there is still a home for religious satire on Broadway. The play tells the story of Mormon missionaries who travel to Africa and like it’s television counter-part is equally offensive and utterly enjoyable. War Horse took home the Tony Award for best play along with four others. This quirky World War I epic from the National Theatre of Great Britain blends human actors with life-size puppets to tell the tear-jerker story of a boy and his horse. This play is set to be turned into a film directed by Steven Spielberg and scheduled to release in December.
And of course the evening would not have been complete without a few jabs at the plagued, Spider-Man:Turn of the Dark which was ineligible for consideration due to its delayed opening. In case you missed out, here’s the full list of winners. For me, the only thing left to figure out, is how I can convince my family to see all these plays this holiday season! Let’s hope some of them make it out to The Pantages in Hollywood on their next tour.