Mic Drops! Speeches! Songs! Playbill Staff Shares Favorite Moments from 2013 Tony Awards

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
11 Jun 2013

The Broadway community gathered at Radio City Music Hall June 9 for the biggest night of the theatrical season – the Tony Awards. The star-studded, music-filled evening was full of memorable moments.

The Playbill staff shares favorite moments from the Tony Awards: from speeches to performances and more.

Click through to read our picks of the Tony Awards' best moments:

Neil Patrick Harris and Mike Tyson
Photo by CBS

MATT BLANK, Playbill.com Photo Editor

I still can't get over that opening number. I'm having trouble remembering if there's one I've enjoyed better or been more impressed by.

It was great to see the casts of Bring It On: The Musical and A Christmas Story, The Musical again after missing them for half a year.

Anytime Mike Tyson is involved in anything, I'm a happy person.

Cyndi Lauper
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

ANDREW GANS, Playbill.com Senior Editor

The sheer joy Billy Porter and Patina Miller exuded upon winning Tonys for their performances in, respectively, Kinky Boots and Pippin.

Cyndi Lauper's emotional reaction to her win for Best Original Score and, shortly after, her performance of "True Colors" during the moving "In Memorium" segment.

Bernadette Peters' delicious enunciation of the Best Musical winner, Kinky Boots.

The hilarious "On TV" segment and, especially, Andrew Rannells, whose comic antics always make me smile.

The divinely gifted Andrea Martin, who provided, perhaps, the most memorable moment of the theatre season as well as one of the most heartfelt and humorous Tony speeches.

Neil Patrick Harris and the cast of Bring It On
Photo by CBS

MICHAEL GIOIA, Playbill.com Staff Writer

When the cast of Bring It On took the stage to perform "It's All Happening," it was so exciting to see a group of Broadway newcomers—some of whom I've gotten to know and are amazing individuals—take the stage at the Tony Awards. Moments like that—when people who made their Broadway debut this season are singing the words "It's All Happening" on national television—make me believe that anything is possible.

I audibly screamed in the press room when I saw the faces of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul when they were announced in the category of Best Original Score. To see them beaming from their Tony nomination and their season of success left me so hopeful for new music and a new generation of musical theatre. Although they didn't win this year, accolades will be thrown their way in the near future—I'm sure!

And, of course, my all-time favorite moment of the 2013 Tony Awards was when Audra McDonald dropped the mic. 'Nuff said. (Follow the genius who created a Twitter account for her mic at @AudraMcDsMic… I have been cracking up since the curtain dropped.)

HARRY HAUN, Playbill Staff Writer

Gabriel Ebert
Photo by CBS

My favorite Tony moment was Billy Porter's explosion of an acceptance speech. (I think I actually saw confetti.)

And, of course, the grace and dignity of Cicely Tyson in finally—and actually!—reaching her only dreamed-of happy ending.

Also, I love surprises and the crumbling effects it had on Tracy Letts and Gabriel Ebert, the evening's biggest upsets.

Cicely Tyson
Photo by CBS

ADAM HETRICK, Playbill.com Editor in Chief

Neil Patrick Harris (with the help of lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda) spoke to the kid in me during the opening number when he rapped:

There's a kid in the middle of nowhere
sitting there, living for Tony performances singin' and flippin' along with the Pippins and Wickeds and Kinkys Matildas and Mormonses.
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 and now we're bigger.

The look on the faces of A Christmas Story writers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul when Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jane Krakowski announced the nominees for Best Score. Those guys are living their childhood dream (and the theatre kid in all of us gets to go along for the ride).

Cicely Tyson's acceptance speech, which put a lump in my throat: "I cannot help but remember all of the thumb prints that have touched this being during the course of her career. My mother and father, my sister and brother, none of whom are here with me. I am the sole surviving member of my immediate family. I've asked over and over again, 'Why?' I know know why. It's been 30 years since I stood on stage, I really didn't think it would happen again in my lifetime." After all that, she even turned the "wrap it up" cue into a golden moment.

Michael John LaChiusa's "On TV" medley featuring Laura Benanti's riffing on "Ladies Who Lunch" and lamenting two canceled TV shows with a bottle of booze.

Yes, I'm also on team Audra McDonald's mic drop. It even has its own twitter account. Follow it (@AudraMcDsMic).

Judith Light
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

JOSEPH MARZULLO, Playbill.com Photographer

My favorite Tony moment was when Judith Light won her second consecutive Tony Award. Her first words to me as she entered the press room were "Joey, did you cry?" I sure did! She is not only a great actress, but a loving and generous human being.

The Audra Mic Drop

CAREY PURCELL, Playbill.com Staff Writer-Features Editor

Stark Sands' face when they announced that both Billy Porter and Kinky Boots had won just warmed my heart. What a sweetie!

Audra McDonald deliberately dropping the microphone at the end was even more fabulous than her dress.

I want Neil Patrick Harris' workout routine! In the opening number, he leapt through a hoop, scaled the huge Tony and just hung out on it for over a minute.

Billy Porter
Photo by CBS

BLAKE ROSS, Playbill Magazine Editor

Audra McDonald's bad-ass mic drop. No explanation needed.

Billy Porter's acceptance speech: Billy has defined the phrase "paying your dues," and I think many in the theatre community were pushing for his win as evident by the standing ovation he received upon his win. His speech was particularly moving when referencing his mother and her "willingness to embrace that which you don't understand with unconditional love is a template that the world could benefit from employing."

Cyndi Lauper: She just all-around rocked the Tonys this year. From her feat as the first female songwriter to win a Tony for both music and lyrics to her sincere tears when they announced her name as a nominee to her stunning rendition of "True Colors" during the In Memoriam section—she stole the show.

Finally crowning Diane Paulus the Queen of the Revival Reinvention: After ushering three productions to a Best Revival of a Musical Tony Award, Diane Paulus finally got her recognition as Best Director of a Musical for the thrilling Pippin. It was icing on the cake to see the phenomenal Pam MacKinnon win for her direction of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? It truly was a Ladies Night!

Neil Patrick Harris and Sandy
Photo by CBS

ROBERT VIAGAS, Executive Editor of PlaybillEdu

When Neil Patrick Harris burst through the "Pippin" hoop in the opening number. Imagine all the things that would have gone off track if he had failed to execute that difficult stunt perfectly.

The end of Cicely Tyson's acceptance speech, where she turned the expression "wrap it up" into a warm tribute to Broadway, thanking the community for wrapping her up in its arms.

Alan Cumming and Scarlett Johansson sardonically announcing that this was the part of the evening where people who had not been nominated for anything "graciously" gave awards to others. All the while looking as un-gracious as they possibly could.

Neil Patrick Harris French-kisses Sandy the dog from Annie.

Highlight of the whole evening: This lyric from the opening number:

There's a kid in the middle of nowhere
sitting there, living for Tony performances singin' and flippin' along with the Pippins and Wickeds and Kinkys Matildas and Mormonses.
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 and now we're bigger.