Here are some of my favorite moments from inside the 63rd Annual Tony Awards!
Biggest Collective Wince: Imagine the energy and excitement in the audience when that first, huge, bonanza of an opening number kicked off. There were flying children, Sharks, Jets, Dolly Parton…and everyone was loving it! So imagine the audible “eek” from the audience when Bret Michaels relished in the applause a tad too long only to be head butted by a piece of scenery at the end of his number. Ouch.
Biggest Collective Red-Faced Moment: So, I was as guilty as anyone of using my phone during the show (evidence A). I, however, (like most phone junkies) have finely tuned my public texting etiquette and know how to use my phone when I'm not supposed to without getting caught. The gentleman in row J wasn’t so lucky. During a break, Neil Patrick Harris mentioned Obama’s visit to Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and how wonderful it must have been for the performers to have the POTUS in the audience. He quickly followed up with, “…and if Obama can sit through two hours of a show without using his phone, I’m pretty sure the guy in row J can too. Yup, I’m looking at you buddy.” 6,000 pairs of eyes darted around the room, each thinking they were sitting in row J. Thankfully, I was not, and resumed my texting from inside my purse.
Audible “Aws” : Anything involving the “three little Billys” as director Stephen Daldry called them elicited a rumbling of audible “awws” from the audience. After the three cutie patooties came back to their seats after performing in the opening number, people actually clapped! Clapped just for walking back to their seats! Live it up now boys. That kind of adoration only lasts so long.
Best of the Non-Televised Awards: Kudos to Laura Benanti who served as the hilarious pre-Tonys co-host. While giving everyone the obligatory “open all noisy candies and turn off your cell phones” speech, she also warned of what can happen to you should you try and take a picture with your cell phone.
Biggest “Who cares…it’s Liza!” Moment: Oh, Liza Minnelli. You are a legend…a brilliant show woman…a force of nature! You are also one funny lady. Who else can forget the name of almost everyone you worked with and get away with it?! No one but Liza! There were a lot of “Who cares…it’s Liza!” moments, but this was the best.
Biggest Holding of the Breath Moment: Also involving Liza…. Were they going to cut off Liza when she went over time in her acceptance speech? Could they? Would they? It’s Liza for Tony sake! All waited with baited breath to realize she finished just in the nick of time….whew.
Fastest Standing Ovation: Everyone knew it was coming, but as soon as James Gandolfini said the “Ang” in Angela Lansbury, the entire house jumped to its collective feet.
Quietest Moment: After the wonderful tribute to all those huge Broadway legends who passed this year, the house was quiet for nearly the entire commercial break. A testament to the enormous impact of those individuals.
Loudest Moment: I again, have to go back to the Bret Michael smack down moment. Sorry, but imagine your reaction watching from home times 6,000+ people.
Best Reason to Have Stayed Up Past 11 PM: Neil Patrick Harris' finale. He did a superb, wonderful, fantastic job and he made me proud to be in this industry. Bravo NPH!