8:08: LIZA!!!! I tear up a little bit. The reaction shot of Anne Hathaway rocking out and screaming is priceless. Other thoughts of the opening: HORRIBLE ACOUSTICS. Why is Bret Michaels at the Tonys? Everyone loves Dolly Parton. Stockard Channing, who I love, looks tired. I was sort of bored by Elton John opening the Tonys, though it was wise to feature those three boys early on–people adore them. I really really really want to see Hair. Sutton Foster is one of the best things about Broadway today. OMFG LIZA AND ELTON JOHN ARE DANCING WITH THE CAST MEMBERS OF HAIR. Also, the female soloist in “Let the Sun Shine In” is amazing. I also love that all the Broadway people are singing along as well. I must see Hair. The Tonys are so close to me this year! Aw, and Bebe Neurith got a flower!
8:12: Neal Patrick Harris is a great choice as host. Everyone loves him. And very few people know that he has a career in Broadway. Also, he is having a golden moment. And everyone loves him. His suit is so shiny. Wow, most expensive number in the history of the Tony Awards? What recession?
8:14: Constantine Mouralis (spelling?) seems like a nice person. I am glad that people can escape American Idol with their souls intact. Why are the acoustics still not fixed?
8:15: Jane Fonda puts on her reading glasses. I giggle. I can’t tell if i like her dress or not, but I sort of like the giant broach/belt buckle thing. She presents featured actor in a play. The only one of these plays I have seen is The Norman Conquests, and I’ve only seen one of those. Roger Robinson from Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, an August Wilson play, wins. He is an older man, and it is his first Tony. He seems extremely happy, and grateful.
8:18: Bartlett Sher gets some love. So does the great, late August Wilson. So does Obama, who saw the show last weekend with Michelel on their fancy date night.
8:19: First commercial. I clean up from the dinner that I trekked to 1st avenue and 90th to collect: delicious chicken etc. from Pio Pio Peruvian chicken. I put the remainders in the microwave to keep it warm for Phil, who will be journeying uptown post-rehearsal of his show.
8:24: First performance. Shrek. Saw it in December. Again, Sutton Foster is a wonderful, charming lovely person and an incredibly talented performer. Also, I love Daniel Breaker, who plays Donkey. I saw him in Passing Strange last summer. May he continue to win great roles. Shrek was really, highly entertaining. Of course the excellent cast helps. And thank goodness, they are featuring Christian Sieber in this performance–but did his knee-pads slip on the stage? Ridiculous. He is six feet tall but spends the entire show on his knees as Lord Farqaad. It is a very clever, very suspension-of-disbelief little theatrical trick. Also, They’re lucky they have a Jen Cody in the chorus, she’s as tall as Sieber is when he’s on his knees.
8:29: Sutton Foster, Brian D’Arcy James, and Daniel Breaker are in the audience in their costumes to watch the rest of their cast perform. Adorable. Also, NPH just said “BTW.” LOVE. HIM.
8:30: James Gandolfini says that he and Shrek are of no relation. I never watched The Sopranos, but suddenly I like him. He and Jeff Daniels present bed featured actress in play. Once again, the only one of these I have seen is The Norman Conquests. Angela Lansbury, unsurprisingly, wins for Blithe Spirit. I need to see her in this show ASAP, before she leaves to continue being awesome elsewhere. The audience LOVES HER SO MUCH. The reaction shot of Heidi from [Title of Show] makes me so happy. This is Angela Lansbury’s FIFTH TONY AWARD (amazing), and she still seems very humbled and grateful.
8:34: Something about presentations by touring shows? I think? I got distracted by a MoMA twitter about a performance art piece tomorrow night. Why is Mamma Mia still on Broadway? I mean, I understand that people love Abba, I myself enjoy Abba, but still. I mean, really. The show is fun but that was like, 8 years ago.
8:42: Snippets of plays! I remember when they used to do this a long, long time ago. I appreciate Colin Hanks, I hope he is on Mad Men more often; he has large ears. They are introducing 33 Variations, a play I probably won’t see because it is about a Beethoven-obsessed scholar dealing with ALS. Sometimes things can be too depressing for me.
8:44: Will Ferrell calls himself a Broadway veteran. The audience laughs. His tie is white. Also, he correctly pronounces Waiting for Godot in a really exaggerated manner. Aw, Hunter didn’t win for Best Book? Sadface. Will Ferrell is presenting for Best Original Score of a Musical. The award goes to Next to Normal, which I am seeing on Wednesday. Dolly Parton, in the meantime, waves at the camera from offstage.
8:47: Next to Normal winners shout out BMI Lehman, where Phil does his musical theatre stuff, then promptly get played over by the music. I hate it when award shows do that.
8:48: Lin Manuel-Miranda, of recent In the Heights fame, comes to introduce the West Side Story performance. They do the dance at the gym, a wise scene, one of my favorites from the show. One of the best parts of watching the Tonys is getting to see all the chorus people, who have probably dreamed about this moment foreve,r perform for their shows. West Side Story is, of course, filled with young chorus folk. Also, they really did completely recreate Jerome Robbins’ choreography. I mean, I guess you don’t tamper with that which is already perfect. I sort of like the idea of a long-haired Anita, it is unexpected. This show really has some of the greatest music every written for anything ever. If only the ending were a little different, right? A decent Tony performance: good combination of showcasing the dancing talents of the entire cast while still featuring the two leads.
5:57: Susan Sarandon presents Best Direction of a Play. I just saw her last week in Exit the King. I love her speaking voice. Matthew Warchus is nominated twice?! Wow, he is busy: Gods of Carnage and The Norman Conquests. He wins for Gods of Carnage. Yasmina Reza’s latest play (evidently he has directed four of her plays?!) which I really want to see–the cast includes Jeff Daniels, James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, and Hope Davis. He also acknowledges his Norman Conquests cast, which is sweet.
9:00: Susan Sarandon also presents best Direction of a Musical. The women who directed Hair and Rock of Ages look like they could be in the casts of their own shows. Stephen Daldry wins for Billy Elliot. I predict Billy Elliot will be the big winner of the evening–forgettable music, but a really fantastic production.
9:02: Rock of Ages comes on without being announced. I WANT TO SEE THIS SHOW SO MUCH. Really it looks like the most fun jukebox musical ever. Also, everyone onstage looks as though they are having a great time. Is Gavin Creel holding an English flag? Is that even Gavin Creel? Jessica? Constantine Mouralis is so likeable, wow. The little man with the mustache looks sort of like Jack Black. Heh, yay meta-theatre. OH HE IS COMING TO TALK TO LIZA. This makes me so happy. Rock of Ages colliding with Liza. Really, this is the best moment of the day. And people are holding up their phones like lighters, as “Don’t Start Believing” starts playing. I never grow tired of this song ever. I forget who plays the female lead in this show, but she’s supposed to be awesome. Again, the camera lighters, joy. Also, this show’s band is very much in on the action, nice. GYAH GLITTER SHOT BY A MAN WITH WINGS. Okay this show has gone very high on my MUST SEE NOW list. And end with a crotch shot of the little man with the mustache. WIN.
9:07: NPH is doing shots with Bret Michaels? Can I come?
9:12: Hi Edie Falco! I like the color of your dress, I’m not sure how I feel about the texture. She presents the award for Best Special Theatrical Event. Liza will probably win, although Will Ferrell has a fighting chance. Liza wins. I love Liza.
9:14: Phil calls me to tell me he’s on his way. Liza thanks the audience. Did I mention I love Liza? If you haven’t seen Arrested Development go rent it right now, if only to see Liza’s performance as Lucille Two. Also, DON’T PLAY MUSIC OVER LIZA. I will soon suspend live-blogging to restart the Tonys with Phil, but will restart once I get caught up to the Liza part. Thanks for your patience, gentle readers!!!
9:16: Marcia Gay Harden and Hope Davis emerge to present Gods of Carnage, another need-to-see. Not sure how I feel about Hope Davis’ dress, though I appreciate that it is short. Love the color of Marcia Gay Harden’s dress, but she could use a bit of lipstick and blush.
9:17: Suspension of live-blogging! Will continue providing my much-sought-after opinions shortly!