Tony Awards 2011 Live Blog

Recap/Final Thoughts: This year’s Tony Awards was really fantastic. So entertaining and fun! Great numbers with particularly fabulous music, fantastic and heartfelt speeches, and overall a great night. Neil Patrick Harris should nab another Emmy for this. Thanks for following along with the Nine Ways of Knowing!

11:04- “Theatre thrives because we live to give it.” Wonderful. Nice job, Neil.

11:04- Was this improv??? I just love him.

11:03- And Neil is rapping and it’s awesome. Andddd…Presidential campaign joke? Check.

11:02- Harry Potter joke. 🙂

11:02- Nice job thanking Joseph Smith…

11:01- The Book of Mormon wins Best Musical! That’s 9/14 awards, great job, Mormon!

11:00- Hooker jokes? How does that work, Chris Rock? We all know The Book of Mormon is going to win this one…

10:59- Chris Rock is here to announce the Tony Award for Best Musical of the 2010-2011 season. This is a little weird…DO WE NEED MORE REMINDERS ABOUT THE BASKETBALL GAME?

10:55- Wonderful speech, Norbert…you can see the gratefulness oozing out of his body.

10:54- Norbert Leo Butz wins Best Leading Actor in a Musical for Catch Me If You Can!

10:52- Love this speech…nice mustache on him too.

10:51- Mark Rylance wins Best Leading Actor in a Play for Jerusalem.

10:50- Catherine Zeta-Jones…please leave…P.S. I kinda want Brian Bedford to win this one.

10:45- LOVE the dancing crowds and Neil Patrick Harris amidst the boas.

10:44- La Cage Aux Folles closed in May- we NEEDED another drag queen musical.

10:43- I see where that Best Costume Design Tony Award came from- really amazing. If the musical’s as high-energy and full of soul as this performance, I’d kinda like to see it…Paul Shaffer cracks me up.

10:42- Time for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert!

10:41- Oh hey Paul Shaffer!

10:40- Congratulations to Sutton Foster! This is her second Tony Award, after winning for Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002. And amazing dress, by the way!

10:38- Only four nominees this year for Leading Actress in a Musical…prediction: Sutton Foster. She hasn’t won in 9 years and wants it so badly!

10:37- Frances, you are so sincere and amazingly dressed. Way to go wearing a jean jacket to the Tonys! This is probably the best speech I’ve heard all night.

10:37- The Lighting Design Tony Awards were announced earlier- Brian MacDevitt won for The Book of Mormon and Paule Constable won War Horse.

10:36- Frances McDormand gets the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play!

10:35- Daniel Radcliffe, you’re an awesome sport…I think Redgrave is gonna take it!

10:29- R.I.P. Lanford Wilson

10:29- R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor

10:28- R.I.P. Jill Clayburgh…

10:27- R.I.P. Arthur Laurents. So talented.

10:27- I would LOVE to see Tyne Daly onstage…

10:25- Anything Goes takes the Best Revival of a Musical Tony! (A/N: CALLED IT!)

10:24- Hey Kelsey Grammer, I think you’re great…come back to Broadway soon, please?

10:23- WONDERFUL! Can’t wait to see it in theaters!

10:22- Glad to see Patti didn’t throw a diva-fit and leave the theatre after losing her award…

10:21- Neil Patrick Harris you are getting your due this year!

10:20- Christie Brinkley is dressed like Vanna White…but I can’t wait to see this Company performance!

10:18- This is a great montage…

10:18- Vanessa Redgrave speaks quite slowly…

10:18- The Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre went to Athol Fugard and Philip J. Smith. The Regional Tony Award went to the Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago, IL. The Isabelle Stevenson Award went to Eve Ensler. The Special Tony Award went to Handspring Puppet Company.

10:15- The Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Musical goes to Book of Mormon’s Scott Pask. That brings Book of Mormon’s wins up to 7 out of 14…not too shabby!

10:11- Well that’s not tiring, is it?

10:08- It’s so clear how Sutton’s had 5 nominations in 9 years…

10:07- I see remnants of Patti’s Reno in Sutton but she’s embodying the character to make it her own.

10:06- So excited to see what number they do! Of course it has to showcase Sutton Foster…

10:05- Joel Grey is wonderful, just wonderful…no, that’s not a Wicked pun.

10:05- Have I mentioned I love British accents?

10:03- The Tony Award for Best Play goes to War Horse! Not sure everyone saw that coming with a play that’s more visual-based than plot-based.

10:02- I’m excited for the Martin Luther King, Jr. show.

10:02- THERE WE GO. Religious show joke? Check.

10:00- Also, Rae Smith won the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Play for War Horse.

9:59- Great performance, really fabulous…in other news, Sound Design awards are in- Christopher Shutt wins for War Horse and Brian Ronan for (what else?) Book of Mormon!

9:55- The actress playing Felicia is a little pitchy but this song is so full of heart, really amazing. AHHH THE KIDS ARE HERE DANCING IN THE AISLES!

9:54- I saw that video of the performance during Memphis…so moving and amazing to see kids so enthused about Broadway. I LOVE this song and this show too.

9:51- Joel Grey has been doing double-duty this season directing this play and performing in Anything Goes. Two thumbs up for Joel!

9:50- The Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play goes to The Normal Heart. It’s a big winner tonight!

9:49- I want The Importance of Being Earnest to win Best Revival of a Play! It was an amazing production…it didn’t feel revived or stale at all.

9:48- Neil Patrick Harris is on a horse! That’s gotta be another Tony first…

9:47- I love NCIS more than life but do we need CBS’ actors on Broadway’s night?

9:41- Really fantastic number by the cast of Sister Act.

9:40- So much God and religion on the Broadway stage this year.

9:40- Heard this musical’s score for the first time a few days ago and enjoyed it. I completely see how this movie could translate to the musical stage.

9:39- Whoopi Goldberg…I really don’t understand what you’re wearing. Or how you find your way onscreen at the Tony’s every single year. I’m excited to see/hear this though (Alan Menken freak here!).

9:38- I love that I hear the same “interlude” music every year…at least I’ve heard “Comedy Tonight’ every year for as long as I could remember…

9:37- Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone accept the award. That sparkly tuxedo choice is quite an interesting choice…

9:36- The Tony Award for Best Book of A Musical Goes to The Book of Mormon…I think it’s clear who’ll be taking home the final award tonight…

9:35- I thought we were done with Spiderman jokes?

9:35- Robin Williams! Dead Poets Society was on last night…one of my favorites.

9:34- Now it’s time for previews of the Best Play nominees.

9:33- Best Costume Design for a Musical goes to Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner for Priscilla Queen of the Desert!

9:27- I feel like everyone in audience had a blank look on their face at the end of that song. Not a great display of the musical, which opens on Tuesday!

9:26- This song is kind of boring but I guess it shows us the sentimental side of Spiderman? I don’t know, I’m just waiting for them to fall…

9:23- YAY MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS MENTION!

9:22- Do I sense some ad-libbing off the teleprompter? Don’t they know we like being in bed by 11 because theatre folk have places to be?

9:21- And they have DELIVERED. I love “sheh-dyou-al” for schedule.

9:21- …Bono and The Edge are presenting? *sigh* Can we have more Spiderman jokes please?

9:19- And the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical goes to John Larroquette! Great job John! His Broadway debut was really fantastic. He composed himself like a stage veteran.

9:18- And I’m rooting for John Larroquette!

9:18- Can they bring this bit back later in the show? And Brooke Shields is BLEEPED. Her gown is lovely though…

9:16- If this wasn’t so “legen…wait for it…DARY!” I would question its inclusion in the telecast.

9:15- This is my favorite showtune medley ever. EVER.

9:15- Wow, this is really great, minus the Beacon joke…I think it’s a little sad the awards aren’t at Radio City this year…

9:14- LOVE THIS SONG! LOVE THEM! And I love “How I Met Your Mother,” Hugh…

9:13- “Television…right…”

9:13- I love Hugh Jackman, can I just put that out there?

9:05- He is just CARRYING this number. This seems like a bid for him to win a Tony for Leading Actor in a Musical, but I kind of don’t care…

9:04- Love this song…I’m sure the ending won’t be as explicit as the cast recording’s…

9:02- Okay seriously…you’re great, Stephen Colbert, but like they just said, you just had your NY stage debut. Please go back to the audience…can’t wait to see the number from this musical! Just downloaded the cast recording yesterday!

9:01- Nikki M. James wins the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in A Musical. There is NO WAY she was expecting that, no wonder she’s so shocked…she beat out four amazing performers…

8:58- Laura Benanti should win but I don’t know if her role was meaty enough…

8:58- This category is so starstudded I can’t deal!

8:57- “Portable media players”…scratch that- Angela, can you just narrate my life?

8:56- Angela Lansbury, can I have your dress designer’s number?

8:55- While we’re paused, just to make things clear, this live blog is being done by someone who unfortunately only saw three shows in the new season: The Importance of Being Earnest, Women on the Verge of A Nervous Breakdown, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. If it weren’t for pesky college classes and student theatre shows, I would be majoring in Broadway Theatre-Going and making my way down to Times Square every night…

8:54- That was a fabulous performance! For those who have watched the show before, the difference between the stage space of Radio City Music Hall and tonight’s Beacon Theatre is striking…there are a lot fewer options for the numbers’ sets, so it looks like the awards as a whole are a much less technologically demanding this year. Probably great considering the 2009 Awards. :/

8:49- I’m liking this song…I’m gonna guess the show was shortlived because I can see its story and themes not appealing to very many people…seems like a shame.

8:47- John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Scottsboro Boys didn’t last very long on the Broadway stage but garnered 12 nominations. Can’t wait to see the number!

8:46- Oh that’s cute, thanking each other’s spouses.

8:46- Morris is looking spiffy in a bowtie and Elliott beautiful in a nice pink gown…P.S. I love British accents a lot.

8:45- The Tony for Best Direction of a Play go to War Horse’s Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris. It’s supposed to be fantastic. If you can get a ticket…please go…and take me with you?

8:44- A “thank you” to South Park fans…that must be a new one for the Tonys.

8:43- And Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker take it for Book of Mormon! The Mormon onslaught continues…

8:42- Rooting for Rob Ashford…H2$ was very well directed…

8:42- I want to know how much of that was written beforehand. And David Hyde Pierce is here! That’s too much comedic talent on one stage.

8:41- YES! Neil Patrick Harris I love you…I love that they’re making fun of Spiderman this way, though.

8:34- Frank Abagnale, Jr. was invited…that was nice of them, since a huge profit has been made on his life story.

8:34- Haven’t seen the show yet, but I just don’t like this particular song, though the performance is top-notch. Still, I hope I get a chance to catch it before it closes!

8:32- Norbert Leo Butz is completely unrecognizable but giving a fantastic performance. Wouldn’t be surprised if he went home with a statue tonight.

8:31- Aaron Tveit of Next to Normal fame leads the Catch Me If You Can number! Huh, a synopsis by the actor…interesting. Is this a device used in the show?

8:29- Joe Mantello must be feeling nervous and excited right now…both Hickey and Barkin won their categories.

8:28- The Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play goes to John Benjamin Hickey for The Normal Heart. And can I just say, NICE mustache Arian Moayed!

8:27- Viola Davis’ dress is like a Christmas ornament.

8:26- I’m kind of over this guy. Is there an off switch? I don’t understand. “My Broadway Moment” is this a thing?

8:24- John Leguizamo is…promoting his show? Little bit confused.

8:22- The Tony Award for Best Score went to Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone for The Book of Mormon (no surprises)… aha, Equus joke!

8:17- The Tony Award for Best Orchestrations went to Larry Hoehman and Stephen Oremus for The Book of Mormon, which has a whopping 14 nominations and is rumored to be the big winner tonight, which includes the Best Musical Tony.

8:13- This also has some of the best choreography of the show…speaking of which, earlier in the night, Kathleen Marshall won a Tony for Best Choreography for the revival of Anything Goes, though I’m willing to bet Rob Ashford was second in line. Unfortunately the Creative Tonys are not telecast, so we’ll try to bring you up to speed on those!

8:12- Alright…I saw this show last month and will say that I was pleasantly surprised by Radcliffe. Not surprised he wasn’t nominated, though I think he gives a good performance in this number. This is a great Tony Awards number too!

8:11- Robert Morse and Matthew Broderick are both great. Are they perhaps introducing the H2$ revival performance?

8:10- …”like Atlas”? This is just getting poetically weird…this was completely written out…

8:08- Ellen Barkin from The Normal Heart wins Best Performance of a Featured Actress in a Play! And her dress is so elegant…

8:08- Best Performance of a Featured Actress in a Play nominees are ALL first-time nominees. Woo-hoo! Crossing my fingers for Judith Light in Lombardi…

8:06- Oh hey, Alec Baldwin…

8:05- Spiderman Joke #1!

8:04- Okay this is a little much, the “audience participation.” Let’s get back to Neil? Yes.

8:03- Why do we need Brooke Shields singing? Answer: we don’t.

8:02- …why is Stephen Colbert there? Cuz of the Company stuff?

8:01- ❤ The GLEE jokes! Loving this opening number. Last time he hosted he got totally shafted in terms of entertaining the audience.

8:00- AND IT’S STARTING! “Teen heartthrob” Neil Patrick Harris is here!

7:46- Hey everyone! So even though school is out for the summer, our wonderful home city of New York is continuing to dazzle people around the world. Tonight, thousands around the country will tune in to watch the Tony Awards, the annual awards show for Broadway productions, on CBS at 8/7C. Nine Ways will be live blogging the show starting at 8. Keep an eye out for winner predictions from Alexandra Ley, Co-Arts Section Editor, and stay tuned!

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