The reviews are in: It was a great Tony Awards. The dancing was inspired, the singing top-notch and the humor sly — and that's just for the host.
Neil Patrick Harris once again proved how invaluable he is to the success of one of entertainment's lesser-watched televised award shows on Sunday, and others may be paying attention.
"He's completely the real deal, totally multi-talented. When you're doing a show about Broadway with someone who understands television and also Broadway, it's a real unique opportunity," said Glenn Weiss, who co-produced the Tonys with Ricky Kirshner.
"He can perform, he has great energy, but he cares about the theater and you can't make that up," Weiss said. Added Kirshner: "He really has fantastic instincts with what will work and what won't."
From the big, brash opening number that included the casts from nearly a dozen musicals to the closing song three hours later that featured him rapping with Audra McDonald to a reworked Empire State of Mind, it was Harris' night.
"I wouldn't be here if someone else hadn't passed on hosting," he said at the top of the opening number. "So special thanks to Shia LaBeouf for this opportunity."
The 40-year-old Harris' ease onstage may be part of his success. He has starred in three Broadway productions, including Assassins, Proof and as the exuberant master of ceremonies in Cabaret.
Text and images: AP