At any awards show, a few special moments from hosts, presenters and winners stand out—and the 2011 Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards were no exception. Here are five special moments we won’t forget from the May 15 ceremony, held at the Allen Room in the Time-Warner Center. (For a complete list of winners, click here; for an overview of the ceremony, click here.)
Vanessa Williams Gets Sassy: Show host Vanessa Williams was a perfect blend of class and sass, giving a dry spin to quips about matinee ladies and the glut of springtime awards shows. She introduced guest Jackie Hoffman by saying, “As a special drinking game, everyone do shots every time Jackie mentions the Holocaust or her act at Joe’s Pub.” Bidding the starry guests farewell, Williams cheerily declared, “Just remember: When your pilot doesn't get picked up, you will always have a home on Broadway.”
Bobby Lopez Salutes the Son of God: Accepting the Favorite Song Award for “I Believe,” Book of Mormon author Robert Lopez said, “There’s only one person I want to thank, and that’s Jesus, for being such a good sport about all this.” Lopez cheekily added that Jesus “could have stopped us whenever he wanted” and saluted God's son for bringing him together with co-writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone. (No mention of the role Mormon founder Joseph Smith might have played in the show’s success from the great beyond!)
Jackie Hoffman Skewers Lin-Manuel Miranda: Jackie Hoffman showed off her expert comic form when she took the stage late in the ceremony alongside Vanessa Williams. “L’Chaim!” she exclaimed to Lin-Manuel Miranda, congratulating the Audience Choice Awards presenter and In the Heights composer for “ripping off Fiddler on the Roof.” Hoffman praised Miranda's Tony-winning musical as “a fable about people in Washington Heights who obey the law.” But she saved the best line for last: “Oh, look at the time! Three more intelligent plays just closed and The Addams Family made a million more dollars." Ouch, Grandma!
Sutton Foster Parries with Gavin Creel: If Sutton Foster and Gavin Creel are joking about getting old, how old does that make us? Co-presenters of the Audience Choice Award for Favorite Onstage Pair, the Thoroughly Modern Millie co-stars laughingly claimed, “Many of the people who voted for tonight’s awards were not even born” when they won the same prize in 2002. Creel gave two of our favorite ad-libs of the evening. After Vanessa Williams introduced him and Foster by saying, “While they’ve remained great friends, they’ve definitely not had sex with each other,” Creel retorted, “How do you know?” Later, when A Life in the Theatre star Patrick Stewart was listed as a nominee for Favorite Diva Performance, Creel drawled, “That’s awesome.”
“Miserable S.O.B.” John Larroquette Gets Happy: The 6'5" How to Succeed star was a double winner, paying tribute first to fellow Favorite Onstage Pair winner Daniel Radcliffe (who joked, “I did think about bringing a box,” to measure up to his 6’5” co-star) and borrowing a favorite New Orleans term, "lagniappe" to dub the award "a little something extra" in his Broadway debut. Larroquette became even more eloquent when accepting the prize for Favorite Funny Performance, saying, “I’m a miserable S.O.B. most of the time” and quoting Samuel Beckett on not having “much talent for happiness” before warmly thanking fans for their support.