Broadway icons Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth ham it up as co-hosts.
Although both have big personalities, I think Chenoweth really felt compelled to ham it up a notch for Cumming. She really showed that she was game and willing to do anything for a laugh when she crawled out of Cumming’s The King and I dress nutcracker style as the King of Siam. Another moment of absurdity was when Chenoweth came onstage dressed up as E.T. following Fun Home’s emotionally charged musical number. It was really hard to tell they were going with this until Cumming corrected her, “It’s Fun Home not phone home!” The dynamic duo played off each other very well and kept the awards show going at an enjoyable, upbeat tempo.
Kelli O’Hara finally won her first Tony Award after six nominations.
After having been a nominee six times, Kelli O’Hara graciously accepted her first Tony Award for Best Performance By A Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Anna in The King and I. Unless you paid close attention to her track record in the awards department, you were probably shocked to find out that it was only the Broadway legend’s first Tony. Though O’Hara seemed surprised at first, she got used to the idea of winning very quickly and proudly said, “I don’t need this, but now that I have it, I’ve got some things to say!” By the end of her touching speech, in which she especially thanked her teachers, she celebrated by breaking out into the worm and happily danced her way off-stage like any Broadway performer should.
Eleven-year old Fun Home actress and Tony nominee Sydney Lucas singing “Ring of Keys”.
Lucas displayed mature performing techniques well beyond her years in this compelling number. As the child version of Alison Bechdel, the author of the memoir upon which Fun Home is based, she flawlessly portrayed many mixed emotions surrounding her character’s sexual orientation, singing each line with different nuances. A lot of people on Twitter and Facebook posted that they thought she was robbed of the Tony for Best Performance By an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical.
Lisa Howard belting “Jenny Blues” from It Shoulda Been You.
If a modern Mama Rose morphed with a black woman singer, then it would slightly resemble Lisa Howard’s hilarious performance of “Jenny Blues”. Tyne Daly, as her mother, got a ton of laughs when making the keen observation, “Why is she talking like a big black woman?” as Howard, the very ignored sister of the bride, finally decided to get her due. I’ll be surprised if this show-stopping performance doesn’t make It Shoulda Been You exponentially more popular at the box office.
Larry David shows everyone that he’s not really a loser.
I may be biased here as a huge Larry David fan, but the best was when Larry David called himself a big man, rather than a loser as Jason Alexander nicely put it, for showing up to present a Tony Award even though his new original play Fish In The Dark did not receive any nominations. Only he could jokingly blame this on anti-Semitism and justify it with the fact that Harvey Weinstein (Finding Neverland) wasn’t nominated either. Their spiel was definitely a turn from the light-hearted Vaudevillian antics of Cumming and Chenoweth.
There were several other noteworthy performances from The King and I, On The Town, Gigi (Vanessa Hudgens really showed her chops as a Broadway performer), Finding Neverland, and An American In Paris. The first performance from Something Rotten! was also perfection. With all of this said, if you really want to know what show to buy tickets for, I don’t know what to tell you!