61st annual Tony Awards
The Tony Awards might as well have been called the "Sean and Kristin" show as Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth, now starring on Broadway in Promises, Promises, had the funniest bits in television's classiest awards show.
Hayes, best known for his role as Jack in Will & Grace, hosted the show and Chenoweth kept showing up in funny bits that poked fun at the brouhaha over his sexual orientation and her omission as a nominee. (Hayes triumphed as host, expertly playing the piano, coming up with well-timed zingers and appearing as the lead character from Annie, a dancer with a big package from Billy Elliott, and Spiderman.)
Here are our five favorite moments from the Tonys (and a couple we wish we had missed):
1. Poking fun at the controversy that erupted last month when a Newsweek columnist wrote that Hayes, who is gay, wasn't convincing playing straight roles, the actor convincingly French-kissed Chenoweth for a prolonged period. "I know what you're thinking...she's too short for me," Hayes deadpanned afterward.
2. Chenoweth, who was overlooked for her role in Promises, Promises, appeared later to thank her parents and a long list of friends for her award when Hayes informed her that she wasn't even nominated. Chenoweth prompted fainted. She recovered in time to present the best featured actor in a musical to Levi Kreis in Million Dollar Quartet.
3. Green Day turned Radio City Music Hall into a rock palace with a wicked rendition of "Do You Know The Enemy?" and the cast of Green Day's American Idiot continued the high-energy session by later performing the title song from the musical (although censors bleeped the F-word). Too bad it didn't win best musical. (The honor went to Memphis.)
4. We're not sure why Leah Michelle and Matthew Morrison from Glee were performing at the Tonys, although both are Broadway veterans. Singing an overheated rendition of "Don't Rain on My Parade" from Funny Girl, Michelle proved she's no Streisand. But she did a passable job and showed moxie by milling through the audience while she sang, stopping in front of Will Smith and Beyoncé and Jay Z. Beyoncé seemed to get a kick out of seeing another singer in the spotlight while Jay Z waved at Michelle.
5. Best line of the night: "If you want to see a Democrat kissing a Republican, come to the Longacre (theater)," said Douglas Hodge, winner of best actor in a musical for his role as a female impersonator in La Cage aux Folles. He was referring to Kelsey Grammer, a prominent Republican supporter in real life who plays Hodge's husband in the musical farce.
What we could have done without:
1. Incessant ads for Plavix, Toviaz, Cymbalta, Orencia and Pristiq. We know the show aims for an older audience, but do they have to remind us of what the future holds?
2. Catherine Zeta-Jones, who sang an off-key rendition of "Send in the Clowns" earlier on the show, looking shocked that she had won best actress in a musical for A Little Night Music (movie stars usually win Tony's; Scarlett Johansson and Denzel Washington also took home awards Sunday night). In accepting the award, Zeta-Jones prattled on before ending with a reference to husband Michael Douglas, saying "that man there is a movie star and I get to sleep with him every night."
See the kiss between Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth: