December 21, 2014
Tony night features humour, music and a hopping host
AP Film Writer (*)
WAS HE A BUNNY OR A KANGAROO? He never really said. But Jackman’s entrance, bouncing like an indefatigable doll into the theatre, down the aisles, up to the stage and off to various other places, epitomized the spirit of this winning host, who was in good shape and game for anything. When, at the end, he asked all the Tony winners to come onstage and bounce with him, not all had the energy. We can’t all be Hugh Jackman.
MORE LOVE FOR NPH: Well, maybe only Neil Patrick Harris can be Hugh Jackman. The frequent Tony host wasn’t performing those duties this year, but he still gave the show one of its most memorable moments, performing Sugar Daddy from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. As Hedwig, a transgender East German singer, Harris sauntered around the stage in his giant blonde wig, then ventured into the crowd, giving a lap dance to Sting and licking Jackson’s glasses. Later NPH was awarded the Tony for best actor in a musical.
AND MORE GLORY FOR AUDRA: Her win for playing Billie Holliday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill gave Audra McDonald six Tonys, a record; she’s now won in all four acting categories. She got the biggest ovation of the night — the entire theatre was on its feet — with a tearful speech in which she thanked her parents for ignoring doctors’ orders to medicate her as a hyperactive child, and instead encouraging her to try the theatre.
WHAT’S THE SCORE? Though this was a theatre crowd, Jackman made sure to update the audience during several commercial breaks on the score of the NBA Finals game between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. Of course, Jackman noted that virtually everyone in the theatre had a mobile device, and that he probably wasn’t telling anyone anything they didn’t know. In fact, he asked people to raise their hands if they HADN’T been using a mobile device during the show; only a scattered few replied in the affirmative.
ROSIE’S WISDOM: Rosie O’Donnell came on early in the show to accept an award for her philanthropy. She made a touching speech about how, growing up on Long Island, she became fascinated with theatre. “Hollywood was vague and an illusion, but Broadway was real and tangible,” she said, speaking of how she would wait outside stage doors, holding her “waxy programme.” In remarks that doubtless warmed the hearts of many theatregoers, she added: “To this day for me, sitting in a velvet seat and watching the orchestra warm up is better than Prozac.”