10 of the best Tony Awards performances
Tonight the Tony Awards – the Oscars of the theatre world – will be broadcast at 8pm on CBS in the US.
Celebrating the best of Broadway theatre, the Tonys gathers together the stars of all of the last year’s hit shows for an evening of outstanding performances and, of course, to hand out the numerous awards.
Held at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, this year’s 70th Tony Awards will be hosted by none other than our own James Corden.
“Hamilton” is leading the way, and breaking records, with its 16 nominations. Seven of the show’s actors have been nominated including its creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda – nominated for his book, his music and his performance in the title role.
There’s also a sprinkling of Hollywood stars among the nominees with Lupita Nyong’o, Michelle Williams, Jessica Lange, Mark Strong and Jeff Daniels all vying for a trophy.
The night is set to be spectacular with performances from nominated musicals and a whole host of A-listers presenting the awards. If previous years are anything to go by, this is a night not to be missed.
The opening numbers a.k.a. 3 times Neil Patrick Harris nailed it (and that one quite good one Hugh Jackman did)
In his second year of hosting, Neil Patrick Harris demonstrated his epic musical theatre skills alongside his knack for comedy with a number endeavouring to argue that Broadway is “not just for gays anymore”. The witty lyrics and the incredible dancing are expertly led by NPH who even manages to save the show when Brooke Shields cocks it right up.
Neil’s back again the next year demonstrating his talents. In 2012’s opening he ponders what life would be like if it were more like theatre. Haven’t we all just wanted to burst into song?
Neil went out with a bang in 2013’s “bigger and better” opening number. As if watching the sheer joy on audience members’ faces wasn’t enough, we’re treated to a cameo from Mike Tyson. Genius.
Neil handed back over to Hugh Jackman in 2014 and the Aussie went in a slightly different direction for this opener. Paying homage to Bobby Van’s Take Me to Broadway from the 1953 musical Small Town Girl, he jumped his way to the stage.
For anyone who has seen The Lion King on the stage, you’ll know nothing compares to the goosebump-inducing experience of seeing this number live. However, this 1998 performance at the Tonys will give you a taster of the breathtaking “Circle of Life”.
Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff blew everyone away with their performances in this medley from Spring Awakening, giving us a glimpse at the stars they would come to be. The quartet of songs was only let down by boring old censorship meaning “Totally F***ed” became “Totally _____”.
From the crazy minds behind South Park came this genre-bending musical, The Book of Mormon. Its controversial subject matter pushes the humour way beyond any boundaries you’ve ever encountered on stage before and leaves you with your sides splitting. Andrew Rannells originated the part of Elder Price on Broadway and shows us why in this 2011 performance.
Two of the best hosts in recent years, Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman battle it out in this skit to prove who is the King of hosting once and for all.
Neil nails another performance in which he lords it over other lesser theatre performers due to his success on How I Met Your Mother.
Just watch it. Jennifer Hudson eat your heart out.
The 70th Tony Awards will be broadcast on CBS in the US but British audiences can hear highlights on Elaine Paige’s BBC Radio 2 show on 17th June.