Go Neil Go!

What’s the point in watching the Tony Awards? I asked myself that question last night. My only exposure to any of these Broadway shows will likely be during the telecast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. If I see a live performance of any of these shows, it would probably be at the touring-company level or even at the high-school level.

It became clear from the posts on Facebook and elsewhere that I had made a mistake. The Tony Award telecast was spectacular. Within minutes, posts that claimed it was the best opening number in the history of awards shows. Fortunately, the whole show is viewable online.

Because the Tonys haven’t been as highly rated as other award shows, they could take the risk of failure and swing for the fences. Their gamble paid off in the form of a great show. The Oscars and Emmys should be so bold. The good news is that Neil Patrick Harris will host the Emmys. Even if he only does half as well as he did on the Tonys last night, it will be an enjoyable night.

I watched the opening of the Tonys online, with a touch of doubt about its ability to live up to the hype. I was won over when Harris jumped through a paper hoop held by the “Pippin” cast. I also loved the expression on Debra Messing’s face when she was wowed by the scope of it all.

The most moving part of the opening was when Harris sang about the kid in the middle of nowhere who is hanging on every word and note of the Tony telecast. “So we might reassure that kid and do something to spur that kid; ’cause I promise you all of us up here tonight, we were that kid!”

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