We love sharing our 10 lessons of every week with you here at Broadway.com, but we think the Tony Awards deserve lessons of their own! The stars were all out at the Beacon Theatre on June 10, and the evening was chock full of fun facts, from red carpet to closing ballad. Read below to learn our top 10 lessons of this year’s Tonys!
Broadway Stars Will Do Anything for the Tonys
It’s amazing what famous actors will do when the Tonys are involved. James Earl Jones slammed a door in a Mormon’s face while holding a signed Darth Vader photo. Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson returned to his Broadway roots to “play” Neil Patrick Harris’ understudy for like five seconds. Amanda Seyfried made kind of an awkward Mamma Mia! joke and Patti LuPone pushed a lawn mower, all in the opening number! Enough said.
Patti LuPone Can Steal Any Show, Any Time
JK, there's always more to say about Patti LuPone! Neil Patrick Harris took a trip to fantasyland in his Tony opening number, “What If Life Was More Like Theater?” There were tons of star cameos, but LuPone stole the show as his suburban neighbor who dropped her lawn mower to join Harris and his fantasy dancing boys in song! She brought the house down again when she and Mandy Patinkin sang a little Evita-inspired ditty before presenting the award for Best Revival of a Musical. Take note, Tony presenters of the future: That's how it's done!
Tony Winners Take Inspiration From Their Parents
A Tony win is always an overwhelming moment, but things were particularly poignant for 2012 winners Judith Light, Judy Kaye and Steve Kazee. These three Broadway stars all had emotional moments as they accepted their well-deserved trophies, and remembered recently passed parents in their teary speeches. We cheered for you with tears in our eyes.
Nina Arianda Was Crushing on Christopher Plummer
Before getting to her très classy acceptance speech (and getting played off! Come on Tony Awards!), Best Leading Actress in a Play winner Nina Arianda shared a special moment with presenter Christopher Plummer. “Sir, you were my first crush,” she said, as she stepped to the microphone. “When that whistle was blown in The Sound of Music, you made my day.” Well, now she's 28, going on 29 and he’s 82? That's totally older and wiser.
Just When You Think It’s Impossible, Hugh Jackman Gets Cuter
The fact that Hugh Jackman is charming certainly isn’t breaking news, but he—somehow!—got even cuter at the 2012 Tonys. He was one of the few attendees to get up and dance when the cast of Godspell came into the audience; then the delight was plain on his face when wife Deborra-Lee Furness surprised him by presenting him with his special Tony honor. “I know how much you hate public speaking,” he said. “This is probably the greatest thing you’ve ever done for me.” And then, of course, the smooch. Aww!
Talent Knows No Age
This year’s Tony-winning leading actors look mighty fresh-faced, and it isn’t just their post-win glow. This foursome—Steve Kazee, James Corden, Nina Arianda and Audra McDonald—is a remarkably young group. Arianda is the youngest at 28, and McDonald the oldest at 41, and now she’s on Tony number five! It’s the first award for the other three, but don’t worry guys, you’ve got years of Broadway ahead of you. No pressure.
There’s No Crying in Broadway for James Corden
When One Man, Two Guvnors star James Corden took home the trophy for Best Leading Actor in a Play, this famously funny man was momentarily at a loss for words. Just as he was starting to get choked up, he caught himself by making a joke about the temperature of the (apparently very warm) theater. But he couldn’t keep it together when he thanked girlfriend Julia Carey. “She’s my baby mama and I can’t wait to marry her,” he said. It’s OK, James. This is Broadway. We are all about the crying, especially on Tony night.
Tony Presenters Don’t Have to Have Anything to Do With Broadway
It’s a little confusing when you see someone on the Tony Awards that has nothing to do with Broadway, but the producers of the telecast don’t seem to have a problem with that. Sure, Jessica Chastain and Paul Rudd are both coming to Broadway, and Amanda Seyfried is in movie adaptations of famous musicals. But Josh Groban, James Marsden and Cote de Pablo? This is all about celebrating Broadway. Let the casting rumors begin!
We're All Mormon Now
The Book of Mormon is here to stay. The biggest night on Broadway kicked things off with a number from last year's Best Musical winner, and stars like Ricky Martin, James Earl Jones, Matthew Brodrerick and more all joined in the fun of "Hello!" before Neil Patrick Harris made his big entrance in the ever-identifiable Mormon shirt and tie. At show's close, Mormon creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone presented the 2012 award for Best Musical in their new role as, “the Broadway establishment.” So…does anyone know where we can get cheap short-sleeved shirts?
Audra McDonald Will Always, Always Make You Cry
Only Audra McDonald could go from a joke about onstage rape and drugs to a tearjerking dedication to her daughter all in one Tony acceptance speech. As she held her fifth Tony, McDonald only had eyes for her fiancé Will Swenson and their "wee posse," his sons Bridger and Sawyer and her daughter Zoe. “This is a great night for Mommy," she said, addressing Zoe. “But February 14, 2001, the night you were born, was the best night of my life.” Oh, Audra! It's cool, our makeup was running already. No big deal.