an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me

NPH Gonna Let the Tonys Finish, But…

Though I almost always miss watching the Tony Awards on television, it’s hardly painful when Neil Patrick Harris so neatly sums the results up for you and they are posted online in time for Monday morning catch up. The 2010 presentation was awesome, but this year’s recap didn’t drop a beat.


  1. Actually, he does drop a beat between 1:45 and 1:50. He mistakenly starts to say “because theater is what we like…” and quickly changes to the correct word “because theater is what we *live*” How’s that for nit-picking an amazing performance? The way he so professionally handles the flaw only makes his work more amazing.

    What interests me is how rap has elevated the standing of doggerel (crudely constructed, grammatically contrived, irregular verse.) Even for a kind of political, folk art it can sometimes sound hokey, overly self-conscious, and too full of artifice – to say nothing of all that talk about bitches and hos.

    Classical music has a history of rap-like music that is equally contrived, but still a lot of fun. I wonder why more contemporary classical composers haven’t explored modern-day equivalents to patter songs like Bartolo’s “La vendetta” in Act 1 of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, or the “Tutti mi chiedono” section in Figaro’s Largo al factotum from Act 1 of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville , or the “Sia qualunque delle figlie” in Act 2 of La Cenerentola.

    And on the lighter side, Gilbert and Sullivan had so many patter songs like the famous “I am the very model of a modern Major-General” in Act 1 of The Pirates of Penzance. Speaking of stupid rap, Sullivan also wrote “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Maybe G&S made patter an embarrassment for classical music.

    And for all those cool, suburban white-guys minding the doggerel gap in classical music there’s even Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up” or R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It.” (As you can see, I’ve been thinking about this stuff to point of become a bore.)

  2. I had a (late) gay relative in theatre, but I always was in denial about the dominance of homosexuality there. Neil Patrick Harris’s intro finally made me see the gay character of Broadway when he denied it in song. Wake up call, I guess.

  3. As a gay man and a secular Jew, am I the only person in the country offended by the opening number? If we’re going to play with unfounded stereotypes, they left out the blue-haired ladies on bus trips from New Jersey.

an ArtsJournal blog