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The 65th Tony Awards - Live Blog Song & Dance!


6:33 I feel like a 14 year old Michigander again, all excited for the Tony Awards to start despite not having any access to the shows. It's so masochistic, loving the theater! See, this has been my most poverty stricken year yet, so all I've seen is Catch Me If You Can, The Normal Heart, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (which didn't get the main nomination it deserved in Best Actor) and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown which was kinda terrible but still got some nominations.

6:35 Norbert Leo Butz arrives. He's nominated for Catch Me If You Can in the Tom Hanks role. Tom Hanks couldn't catch him if he tried Butz is so great in it. He says he's feeling...

joyous, celebratory, triumphant.

He also reveals that he met his wife while doing Wicked, a "showmance" that lasted and he says he filled out Fiyero's super tight pants better than his current Catch Me co-star Aaron Tveit

I couldn't find good pictures so you'll have to imagine the captain tight pants competition.

Norbert (original cast) & Aaron (one of many replacements)



6:52 My showmance with the theater, like Butz's, also lasted. Obviously due to my masochism.

6:53 They're talking to John Benjamin Hickey, who is the frontrunner for Featured Actor (i.e. "Best Supporting") for The Normal Heart. He is quite incredible in it -- easily best in show -- but he says he won't be doing much celebrating tonight because he has an early morning call on The Big C. From Tony to Linney... nice work if you can get it !

7:00 Sutton Foster and Bobby Cannavale we're just introduced as 'theater's new "It" Couple' and this was their reaction. Heh. Sutton Foster has been "it" for some time but Bobby is welcome to join.

Bobby & Sutton

The reporter is IN LOVE WITH THEM  even commenting on how "in shape" they are? Lol. (Keep it in your pants, Donna!!!) but that love is going around. It's what happens to it couples, don'cha know.

7:11 Harry Connick Jr has just announced that he is going to star in a revival of ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER. Good luck finding a Barbra Streisand level co-star, Harry!

7: 15 Victoria Clark from Sister Act says...

God is front and center this season, I'm happy to say.

Huh. I don't remember seeing him in the nominee list. Was he even eligible? 

More after the jump including VIDEO plus Vanessa Redgrave, Hugh Jackman, Neil Patrick Harris. And Frances McDormand is on the way to a triple crown, you betcha!

7:17 BREAKING: Vanessa Redgrave just sneezed on the red carpet. Gesundheit. (Hopefully God blessed her. He's front and center this season which means he's somewhere on the red carpet.) 

7:22 They were interviewing Patrick Wilson (sigh ♥) and then I lost the live-feed. Damnit! 

7:25 Patrick Pachecko made a funny. Noting that it didn't rain on the red carpet (leading up to big wins from sacriligeous musical The Book of Mormon he says...

God is obviously not a Mormon."

7:35 SO... short break. The Tony Awards start at 8:00 PM. Here's Neil Patrick Harris, HOST!, arriving with his boyfriend David Burtka. [more pics at Just Jared]

More soon... if you're reading say something in the comments. Share in my "I haven't seen these shows but I still care!" masochism.

7:41 Robert. He only speaks the truth.

It's sad because it's true...


8:06 That opening number... I can't even... brilliant. We must get the lyrics to that song. Joel Grey mouthed the word "wow" at the end of the number and we concur.

Her category was all middle aged or older blondes but for Elizabeth Rodriguez. Very excited to win an acting prize. She called "The Normal Heart" a molotov cocktail" which is a good description. I just worry that those cocktails are going off in the entire cast's larynxes.

8:15 Daniel Radcliffe is so tiny and cute in this "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" number. Emphasis on the tiny. But damn he's working hard. Good on him.

"The Boy Who Lived... To Dance"

 8:24 John Leguizamo is talking. Here's who has won so far offscreen.

Best Sound Design, Score, & Orchestrations to BOOK OF MORMON. 3 prizes so far.
Best Choreography Anything Goes -Tap Dancing is a good luck charm in this category ;)
Best Costume Design The Importance of Being Earnest

who thanks The Lovely Laura Linney, his partner and various others ending with Larry Kramer. As expected this night belong to The Book of Mormon and The Normal Heart.

Ellen Barkin and John Benjamin Hickey representin' for THE NORMAL HEARTThe awards enthusiasm for The Normal Heart is kind of like the awards enthusiasm for any safely-in-the-past social issue pictures that win Oscars. It feels like the audience is kind of patting themselves on the back for being on the right side of an issue but of course they are! It'd be so much more thrilling if people got this riled up about fights happening RIGHT NOW you know. Not that the AIDS crisis is over but I hope you know what I'm saying.

8:31 I can't express to you how great this Norbert Leo Butz CATCH ME IF YOU CAN number is in the context of the show. But Tony performances are always like weird excerpts. Often the lead up to a musical number informs how one feels about it and that number is J-O-Y when it happens.

8:40 Spider-Man jokes as many as NPH can fit in. Hilarious. NPH is the best host ever. He's such a natural at it. I feel a sudden poll coming on... SPIDER-MEN


I feel like JA hasn't done a "do, dump or marry" for Spider-Men yet so I dedicate this to him even though he will probably never read it given his weirdass hatred of musicals and thus Broadway. So have at it, people. "do, dump or marry"...

Wait there's only 3 categories with 4 actors. improvise in the comments! Go.

8:42 BOOK OF MORMON wins something. BEST DIRECTOR. I'm sure this is the first time that "South Park fans" have been thanked at the Tony Awards. Trey Parker has borrowed Liza Minnelli's sparkly black blouse to wear under his tuxedo jacket.

8:46 WAR HORSE wins "best direction of a play

8:47 SCOTTSBORO BOYS performance. I need to watch this. [Watches it] Now, I am sad that I missed the show.

9:00 BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL Nikki M James in "The Book of Mormon".

"Tony, come home with me!"

She's so so excited. She says her fellow nominees "are all ladies and women". Uh. Yes, that's why the category has "actress" in the title. If Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown had been a good show, Laura Benanti probably could've put up a fight for that award. But I hear Nikki is wonderful in it. Well done.

9:04 A performance from The Book of Mormon. A pastiche number based off of  "I Have Confidence" from Sound of Music eh?

I am a Mormon and dangit, a Mormon just believes."

It's funny because it's true.

9:14 Hugh Jackman vs. Neil Patrick Harris. LOVE.

Making funny about the Oscars, Emmys, and Tonys. But somehow Hugh Jackman and Neil Pattrick Harris ending their "Anything you can host, i can host better" medley with Cole Porter's "baby if I'm the bottom you're the top." somehow contradicts NPH's opening song: 'Broadways' not just for the gays anymore.'

I'm going to mp3 the shit out of that.

9:26 Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is performing. Shouldn't this be against the rules. They haven't even "opened". It's like free commercials. It was an odd minor romantic ballad.

9:33 Best Book of a Musical goes to THE BOOK OF MORMON.

9:43 I've run out of live-blog steam... my apologies. I blame that tepid Sister Act performance. They were going for exuberant but musicals that so clearly exist only to find more ways to take your money based on pre-existing love of something else annoy me. 

9:45 WHERE IS MY SUTTON FOSTER? I must have some Sutton. 

9:50 BEST REVIVAL goes to THE NORMAL HEART. The problem with sweepy awards shows like this year's Tonys is that the end is so anti-climactic. 

10:00 I am disappointed to inform you that Lizzy Gardiner did not wear a credit card dress to win Costume Design for PRISCILLA on Broadway. But she did repeat that Oscar win. 

10:03 WAR HORSE wins Best Play and then wins Best Picture at the Oscars. What? It could happen. It's not the same production, mind but still... awards meme.



10: 12 I'm still trying to recover from Sutton Foster's ANYTHING GOES performance. She's the best. This is what's known as a triple threat. There's no weak areas: singing, dancing, acting. The best! [/Sutton Fanboyisms] 

Oh no... I closed that thought too quickly. One more fanboyism:

Fact: Sutton Foster is not a human being but joy bottled in human form. (Other examples of this phenomenon: The Muppets, Ewan McGregor) 

10:18 Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones are introducing a segment. They both have such melodious STENTORIAN voices... do you think they actually talk that way at home? 

10:22 Christie Brinkley, who apparently went to Spokesperson 101 or Game Show Host School introduced a performance from COMPANY (not currently playing) with an all star cast. I love Company so much but Brinkley threw me off so I lost the thread of what was happening. 

10:29 That in memoriam section reminds us that there's always been crossover between the movies and legit theater. Oscar winners and nominees kept popping up.

Frances McDormand on her way to the Triple Crown.

10:42 SORRY I DISAPPEARED BEST ACTRESS PLAY FRANCES MCDORMAND in "Good People" and BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL SUTTON FOSTER in "Anything Goes"  both gave amazing speeches.

Frances McDormand announced that she's played both Stella and Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire "AND ALL THREE OF CHEKHOV's SISTER." and she believes this her current role will one day be played by future actresses just like those roles. High praise. Frances McDormand is awesome.  Sutton freaked out about her dresser who is retiring from dressing.  

Mark Rylance in JERUSALEM10:57 BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY goes to MARK RYLANCE in "Jerusalem" and BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL goes to NORBERT LEO BUTZ (yay!) in "Catch Me If You Can". I love both of these men and though I am actress-oriented I easily make an exception for these two.

Well done, Antoinette Perry.

Incidentally Mark Rylance's insane acceptance speech, a guide to walking through brick walls (?) was from this blog. [Thanks to Wesley Morris for that info!]

I wish Mark Rylance would make more movies. Do you remember him in Intimacy with Kerry Fox? They tore that up.

11:05 BOOK OF MORMON won Best Musical and Neil Patrick Harris wrapped things up with insane rap recapping the entire evening so that none of the fans have to do any "best of" clips or recaps for YouTube. He OWNED this show. All other awards show hosts are officially on notice. Jane Lynch is next with the Emmys. Good luck Sue Sylvester!

KISS KISS GOODNIGHT. We'll let the "It Couple" do that honor.

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Reader Comments (49)

I'm watching with friends so won't really be able to comment...but I wanted you to know i'm reading and enjoying your commentary, as always! :-)

Donna Murphy and Tony sheldon ftw ;-)

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeehee

Hi, Leehee! i figured you'd be watching. Usually i throw a little party but my most theater obsessed friends are out of town :( so i'm goin' it mostly alone tonight.

June 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Just wanted to share my "I haven't seen these shows, but I still care" issues lol I have been listening to Book of Mormon and Sister Act's cast albums so much the past two days so I'm looking forward to the Tony numbers from those shows...Scottsboro Boys as well

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerence

Sutton was shacking! I'm still surprised by how many performers really get nervous at events like this.

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Terence -- WELCOME to the masochism club! I tried to get into BOOK OF MORMON the other day but failed. ah well. i have only myself to blame that i haven't yet attempted ANYTHING GOES considering my devotion to Sutton who i miss terribly since i refused to see her big blockbuster shows that obviously didn't have legit theater on their mind (Shrek/Young Frankenstein)

June 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Peggy Sue -- shacking? Freudian slip since Bobby Canavale is so hot, right?

June 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Joining in on the masochism of the evening! For me, it's practically the same as watching the Emmy Awards, where I only watch a few of the nominated shows regularly. But with the Tony Awards I've never seen any of the nominated material and just recognize the A-listers, which was especially rewarding last year ;)

For whatever reason, though, I still care about what goes down at this ceremony. I'm kind of hoping that The Book of Mormon sweeps, which is expected to happen I think (?). What I've heard of the cast recording is hysterical. Also crossing fingers for The Normal Heart; I've heard/read nothing but raves.

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulian Stark

@nathaniel I hope anything goes performs that tap number, I've seen clips from their morning show performances and it looks fantastic

I like book of mormon well enough, but I hope kander &ebb take home the tony for best score. Mormon is funny and witty but scottsboro has the better score

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerence

welp I just saw that book of mormon got orchestrations and score...guess it's going for the sweep

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerence

i only saw two new musicals this year, how to succeed and bloody bloody andrew jackson, and the other wasn't nominated for anything. and i've only seen one play, arcadia.

but i am still watching.

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercici

Oh he is!... Awful dress by the way

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

LOVE that opening number

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerence

I'm here as well, and palpitating and the prospect of Aaron Tveit all bright and shiny on my screen coming up in the Catch Me number. Gotta ask about that molotov question-I couldn't get tickets to The Normal Heart-is there a good chunk of shouting in the play?

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Geez, this John Leguizamo bit is BORRRRRRRIIIIINNNNNG.

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

I am still not over the snub of Radcliffe. He was ROBBED of a nomination (and probably the WIN).

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

John T - here he is for you

June 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

It's always weird for me to watch the Tony's because I don't live in New York and haven't seen any of the shows, but I'm such a showbiz fanatic that I tune in anyway. At least I get to see some great singing and dancing, and a lot of times I find myself surprised by who's on Broadway and what they can do.

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Yeah, I wish it had been a little bit more of him, but you can't really argue with Norbert. That was by far the best number in the musical (give or take Kerry Butler belting her heart out).

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Dump Hammond (too bland)
Marry Garfield (forever and ever and ever)
Do, well I guess there's two left...what a pity. :)

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Marry: Garfield, a thousand times, yes! I find same name couples creepy, but I could change it!
Do: Reeve, clearly pre-marrying of Garfield. He looks a bit greasy, so I might regret it.

Dump: the other two, sorry tobey

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDrewB

I have never seen a Broadway show, but I love theatre and especially musicals so I always watch. It's the best of the best of all the shows and people I love. I'm dying in this drought of legitimate awards shows, so I'm so glad they are finally here. This year I did see Wicked and Camelot though, in Toronto, and loved them both. This Jackman and NPH thing is great. Annie Get Your Gun is fab.

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

can NPH and Hugh co-host the Oscars???? Their banter was amazing...this has been an amazing awards show, one of the best I've seen

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerence

I'm kind of curious how many actors will be winning the "second leg" of the Triple Crown tonight. Barkin, Larroquette-potentially McDormand and Cannavale.

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

After hosting the Emmys and winning an Emmy for hosting the Tony's (plus what looks to another great job this year) why won't they let NPH host the Oscars?! They only gave him that awful opening number when Baldwin and Martin hosted

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Terence -- agreed.

June 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

NPH, Jim Parsons, Marg Helgenberger, and Jon Cryer are all presenting. I wonder what network this is on. :)

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Haven't seen any of the shows but I care ;)
Is there any livestream thing online?

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

I would let Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones narrate my life.

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames

James -- is your life dramatic enough for those voices. Cuz, if not you'd better step it up if you hope to snag them!

June 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I saw all four leading performances but will likely not see either of the original top winners. All four actors were deserving though, so definitely a good night.

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Seeing it now. Hollywood, Hugh wants to sing. Why won't you let him?

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

NPH with Hugh Jackman = Best in show. (Runner up Anything Goes performance)

Oooooh Frances McDormand is such a serious actress. She wears a jean jacket and doesn't wash her hair.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Frances McDormand is the man I want to be when I grow up.


I'd dump both the movie Peter Parkers. Do the broadway Peter Parker and marry the TV Peter Parker just to listen to Chip Fields stories and play in his helmet hair.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfu11

So what hour exactly was the Hugh/Neil thing in? Trying to find the right YouTube segment of the ceremony.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks


June 13, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

"are all ladies and women"

what she said was "I'd like to thank our ensemble who are all wonderful leading ladies and women who I'm happy to share the stage with"...so I don't think she was referring the nominees there.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike F.

I was at a high-school graduation party last night after my own show (incidentally, I'm doing a local production of "Company") at which all of the teeanagers promptly disappeared at eight o'clock while we adults sat outside boozing. It didn't dawn on us until moments later that they all were glued to the TV watching the ceremony. Apparently, the theatre kids are more hardcore than we are.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Have you seen press shots of Nikki M. James in that dress? Mmm. Girl gonna be a big star

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSam C.

Daniel Radcliffe was probably one of the best performances last night. Ben Brantley can suck it.

That said, we're about the same height, and I don't take too kindly to the adjective "tiny." grumblegrumblegrumble.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandro

Alejandro -- but "tiny and cute" was the phrase. It wasn't pejorative!

June 13, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel, right you are. It's Monday and my reading comprehension skills suck this morning. Got home too late from my Tony party. :)

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandro

Ugh...Intimacy was a bunch of self-indulgent caca...you would not know Mark Rylance was a brilliant comedic character actor after watching that one...eeeeww.

Marry Tobey, do Reeve and Andrew(together maybe? I'm usually not kinky like that, but I can make an exception), dump Nicholas.

NPH was on fire...even better than his Tony and Emmy hosting two years ago...so much more confident and seasoned.

Not quite sure about Frances McDormand's Method-like acceptance speech...I guess that's what her character would wear to the Tony's...god bless her for having no vanity.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSoSueMe

The show was entertaining with a few exceptions. Neil was great. Daniel Radcliffe needs to be shown the love, he's fearless in trying new things and is such a good soul. Angela Lansbury is elegance itself even reading out of a book. Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones are separately and together a class act, it would have been great to see a scene from "Daisy". I've never been a big fan of Ellen Barkin but it was a nice heartfelt speech. Poor Brooke Shields couldn't seem to get anything right but she's a good sport and a game girl so cut her some slack. Christie Brinkley on the other hand seemed like a refuge from Star Search spokesmodel tryouts and she's too old for that hairdo. Tyne Daly looked and was sensational, she's slimmed down and he dress really flattered her. Ditto Catharine Zeta-Jones. I really love Frances McDormand but what the hell was up with that outfit? The jean jacket was bad enough but the string hair? I'm all for personal style but if you're going to be on TV you should not look like you're running out to the Piggly Wiggly for a jar of mayonaisse! Finally Neil and Hugh for the Oscars absolutely.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Mark Rylance has pulled that shit TWICE now in his acceptance speeches! The schtick is getting real old at this point.

I loved the "Sister Act" number and Patina Miller! She's incredible. Whoopi's hat? Not so incredible.

The least they could do for Daniel Radcliffe was let him present 2 awards, so good going there.

Frances McDormand should be ashamed for going out of her house looking like that.

Neil Patrick Harris! He's the man. It's time to give him the big gig at the Oscars. I could deal with a co-hosting stint with the amazing Hugh Jackman, but for his first time, go solo!

Brooke Shields is a HOT. MESS. Next!

I didn't see the point of any of the extra numbers (that awful "Spider Man" song, showing "Memphis" from last year's show, or that weird "Priscilla" number). I'd rather have seen a staging of "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" to be honest.

"The Scottsboro Boys" being the most losing show ever in Broadway history really saddens me.

Off to buying that "Book of Mormon" OBC as we speak! Looks like a hoot!

Nice show this year. Neil Patrick Harris' best hosting job EVER!

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRiley

the show was so good that it turned my non-theater bf into a real Tonys fan. It was his first Tonys and he couldn't stop talking about how good they were. and he usually wants to watch football on TV instead of awards shows.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommentersethGassfan

Hmm. I'm not sure it's, "wow" Joel Gray is saying. It looks a lot more like he's saying, "crap." (Look at the way his lips meet at the end of the word.)

Combined with the fact that he loo's like he just swallowed a bug while the camera was on him...

Really hope I'm wrong as I like Joel Grey. I'd hate to think that he's a Mr. Sour Pants in real life.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Campbell

Christie Brinkley has such a weirdly enthusiastic (and out-of-place) presenter's voice. She was so bubbly that I thought she was about to announce the results of the swimsuit competition.

The obvious typecasting of the Sister Act cast, aside from Patina, was off-putting. We had our red-haired young'in, our raspy wrinkled old lady, our shrill middle-aged nun...

Larry Kramer looked like he was wearing a snuggie.

Yay for Book of Mormon, Boo about the Scottsboro Boys, and Gasp that I actually liked the Spider-Man performance.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

great show! brooke shields´ mess up was brilliant and the spider-man song was lovely!

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterthe-eraser-guy

even if it's just June, WAR HORSE could be a serious contender at the Oscar, even a front runner...

June 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermirko
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