OK, theater fans. You saw them, we saw them. Now we have to talk about them. Read on to find out our favorite double-take-worthy WTF moments during the 2012 Tony Awards telecast.
Best Plays Expressed Through Interpretive Dance
There’s not much dancing in Clybourne Park, Other Desert Cities, Peter and the Starcatcher and Venus in Fur. So it was a head-scratcher when Jim Parsons introduced a set of “four mini-adventures” through these Best Play nominees, which meant scenes from each show narrated by Parsons and populated by anonymous dancers dressed in costumes inspired by the shows. Yep. That's totally normal.
The Lion King Had a Great Seat
Before a commercial break, host Neil Patrick Harris stood in an aisle of the Beacon Theatre to preview the exciting Tony tidbits to come…and Mufasa from The Lion King (a cast member in full costume and makeup) was visible behind him in an aisle seat. Sitting behind Mufasa was a very angry audience member, who couldn't see over the enormous head piece. The weird bits continued with gags like a backstage scuffle between Starcatcher cast members and someone crowd-surfing over the seats. We're preeeeetty sure it was all a joke.
The Beacon Theatre Needs Better Crowd Control
The powers-that-be of the Tony Awards didn’t want the stage to get too crowded during acceptance speeches, so hordes of producers, cast members, etc. ended up clumping on a set of stairs house right when their show came up with a win. The camera had to cut back and forth between the stage, the audience and the peanut gallery of producers. Not really an elegant solution, guys.
Tyler Perry Presented an Award to Scott Rudin
Even after Tyler Perry brought up how well his Madea plays had done at the Beacon Theatre in past years, we still weren't entirely sure why he was presenting the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. But there he was, handing producer Scott Rudin a Tony for Death of a Salesman. There is no world in which this makes sense.
Did Nick Jonas Get Drafted?
Former How to Succeed star Nick Jonas was almost unrecognizable when he hit the stage to introduce the number from Newsies. He’s shorn his signature curls and is now sporting a much more military style 'do. What gives, Nick? We haven't seen a haircut this transformative since Cynthia Nixon got ready for her stint in Wit.
Is Digital Jesus Better than Regular Jesus?
Tony nominee Josh Young sang the hell out of the title song from nominated revival Jesus Christ Superstar, and we were loving the performance until his co-star Paul Nolan (who plays Jesus) appeared—digitally—behind him. The giant onscreen Jesus hung out looking like a beatific backdrop, which was weird enough, but then the real Nolan and Chilina Kennedy (Mary Magdalene) joined the cast on stage for a bow. Good thing they got all dressed up for that.
Neil Patrick Harris Sucks at Being Spider-Man
Nothing like introducing Angela Lansbury with a joke about your package! “Any concerns I had about this Spider-Man rig failing have been overshadowed by the searing pain in my junk,” said Neil Patrick Harris, after he was lowered from the flies Spider-Man style. As Lansbury and American Theatre Wing head Ted Chapin started their speech, Harris was raised. Then lowered. Then raised. Then left to struggle in the background as they wrapped up. And he’s now an official Turn Off the Dark understudy!