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July 5, 2012 5:39 PM   Subscribe

The Tony Awards' 2012 Opening Number - What If Life Were More Like Theater? - with Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, Amanda Seyfried, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson
posted by The Whelk (60 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ha. I missed the Tony's this year. That was pretty great. +10 for the Big Finish - If life were more like theatre, life wouldn't suck so much. True words, Mr. Neil Patrick Harris, true words.

unless you're doing Arthur Miller of course
posted by Lutoslawski at 5:46 PM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yay Tonys!!!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:49 PM on July 5, 2012


I had no idea Patti Lupone was Dita Von Teese's older sister.
posted by Dreidl at 5:50 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's your problem, ma'am: The lawn mower won't start unless the safety lever is held back.
posted by jcreigh at 6:11 PM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


NPH wins at everything.
posted by bquarters at 6:13 PM on July 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hate musical theatre with a passion, but at Neil Patrick Harris I was "Would I Like To Know More? Hell Yes!"
posted by Mezentian at 6:20 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope NPH's life is as great as it seems to be. Cause it sure seems great.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:28 PM on July 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Dammit, Whelk. I have been preparing a "every performance piece from the 2012 Tony Awards" post for the past few weeks in my shockingly-small amount of spare time. And you just stole the opening!

*shakes fist* *yells at sky* WHEEEEEELLLLLLLLLK!
posted by hippybear at 6:35 PM on July 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


Revealing the seams is the thing nowadays.
posted by Miko at 6:37 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Screw it. I'm going to do my post anyway, and put this in as a previously. Nobody can stop me.

except the mods
posted by hippybear at 6:39 PM on July 5, 2012 [15 favorites]


It sounds like a great post, hippybear...carry on please.
posted by Miko at 6:41 PM on July 5, 2012


Please do, hippybear. I've got a budding actor in the house and NPH is his hero.
posted by headnsouth at 6:48 PM on July 5, 2012


Revealing the seams is the thing nowadays.

The collusionary wink is the new irony? I thought sincerity was the new irony. Is it over so soon?
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:49 PM on July 5, 2012


Loved that!
posted by gen at 6:51 PM on July 5, 2012


Foiled again!
posted by The Whelk at 6:52 PM on July 5, 2012


The collusionary wink is the new irony? I thought sincerity was the new irony. Is it over so soon?

Well, a collusionary wink is a form of sincerity, although one which by definition creates an "inside" and an "outside" crowd. But if both parties A and parties B are "in on it", then they know what the real matter is, even if those other schmucks remain clueless.

Is that a form of irony? Or is irony finally dying? Hard to tell. *wink wink*
posted by hippybear at 6:54 PM on July 5, 2012


Foiled again!

In my head, you sound like Ricardo Montalban.
posted by hippybear at 6:55 PM on July 5, 2012


It's camp cause it's making fun with something not making fun of something.

I wonder who wrote it cause it really sounds like a lost Producers song.
posted by The Whelk at 6:57 PM on July 5, 2012


Is that Khan Ricardo Montalban (which would make you Kirk), Rich Corinthian Leather Ricardo Montalban, or Fantasy Island Ricardo Montalban (which would make you er... Tattoo?).
posted by Mezentian at 7:00 PM on July 5, 2012


I wonder who wrote it cause it really sounds like a lost Producers song.

If the show hadn't run long and thus my DVR cut off just as the speech for the final award was starting, I could probably tell you that. Sadly, I have no credits to refer to. :(
posted by hippybear at 7:00 PM on July 5, 2012


(I'm pretty sure it wasn't Mel Brooks.)
posted by hippybear at 7:01 PM on July 5, 2012


Is that Khan Ricardo Montalban (which would make you Kirk), Rich Corinthian Leather Ricardo Montalban, or Fantasy Island Ricardo Montalban (which would make you er... Tattoo?).

Yes.
posted by hippybear at 7:01 PM on July 5, 2012


I will now immediately create YouTube videos of Kosh, redubbed with Ricardo Montalban's voice.

Finding a clip of him saying Z'Ha'Dum is gonna be a bitch.
posted by Mezentian at 7:04 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I hope NPH's life is as great as it seems to be. Cause it sure seems great."

He seems very happy these days. He went through a rough patch between Starship Troopers and How I Met Your Mother, I think.

He's from New Mexico, as am I, and a past mefite and I used to talk about him — the mefite had grown up with him in Ruidoso. I came across an interview where Harris talked about his high school years and was shocked to learn that his band director, who had a big influence on him, was someone I knew.

NPH is a genuinely good guy and I've never heard anything negative about him from people in Albuquerque who had any contact with him. Oftentimes with local celebrities you'll hear if they're jerks. Harris isn't.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:07 PM on July 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


And, he isn't hosting the Oscars because....................?
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 7:47 PM on July 5, 2012


(which would make you er... Tattoo?).

Yes.


and your favorite donut is of course, de Plain.

(sorry, that joke made the rounds back in 4th grade)
posted by jonmc at 7:53 PM on July 5, 2012


I always thought it was a demand, an order made to the new round of guests...

Deplane! Deplane! Get off the damn plane so we can start fucking with you!
posted by hippybear at 7:58 PM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


And, he isn't hosting the Oscars because....................?

Because it's beneath him.
posted by tzikeh at 8:09 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this where I comment about how utterly fantastic Hugh Jackman is, both as Tony host and performer? I'm really looking forward to Les Miserables...

I love NPH too, don't get me wrong... again, both as host and performer (and also) but, but, Hugh has an _accent_. I mean, come on!
posted by booksherpa at 8:20 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder who wrote it cause it really sounds like a lost Producers song.

It was written by Adam Schlesinger and David Javerbaum.
posted by notbuddha at 8:29 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Metafilter and Neil Patrick Harris, for making me grin ear-to-ear for 5 minutes. This was fantastic.

And, yes. The Tony's are the best award show, because the actors in it are actually trained to perform live. There's a reason why the awards shows are usually hosted by a comedian -- it's not because it adds levity to some of the world's stodgiest institutions -- it's because comedians are the only group of 'famous people' who can be reliably expected to have had any experience performing on stage and TV.

Seriously, I cannot imagine any sort of production, show, or film that could make adequate use of all of NPH's talents. The guy is just ridiculously great at everything.

That said, if I had one nit to pick, it's that all of Broadway's clocks seem to have stopped sometime around 1929. Seriously, I love Gershwin as much as the next guy, but it might be time for them to collectively start embracing the present. Broadway seems to be unwilling to accept that there could ever be another golden age of theatre....
posted by schmod at 8:32 PM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jeez, if I could figure out that seven second costume change bit, I might start getting to work on time.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 8:43 PM on July 5, 2012


Jeez, if I could figure out that seven second costume change bit, I might start getting to work on time.

Rapid costume changes like that are usually specially-built clothing that tearaway to reveal an under-layer, or with flaps of fabric which can be relaid to give a whole new look (picture pants which are constructed with a blue lower-leg, a white upper-leg, and a central flap of fabric which is blue on one side and white on the other, and is folded up for the blue look all the way up and down for the white look all the way down), things like that.

There was a whole post about rapid costume change artists here on the Blue a while back, but I'm not doing the research at the moment to locate it.
posted by hippybear at 8:52 PM on July 5, 2012


Well, there went an hour and a half down the YouTube drain. There are so many great Tony numbers on the web! Looking forward to the next post by hippybear...

Thanks!!
posted by blurker at 8:53 PM on July 5, 2012


Then NPH also rapped the post-show summary of the 2011 Tonys.

That said, if I had one nit to pick, it's that all of Broadway's clocks seem to have stopped sometime around 1929. Seriously, I love Gershwin as much as the next guy, but it might be time for them to collectively start embracing the present.

Allow me to direct you to something from 2008 - Passing Strange (my favorite number of which was in that year's TONYS). Like nothing Broadway had heard before and kicked everyone's ass. Spike Lee filmed the last performance, so you can indeed get to see it on DVD (and it's not a film adaptation, he filmed the stage show).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:03 PM on July 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Whoa, forgot that clip was abbreviated -- here's the unabridged version of that clip from Passing Strange.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:06 PM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Passing Strange is completely awesome. It was on Great Performances or something on PBS a while back, and I kept it on my DVR for well over a year and watched it repeatedly. One of the best pieces of theater ever.

Anyway, there's a lot going on with Broadway which is totally unrelated to the Gershwin model of broadway. Witness Spring Awakening, the musical by Duncan Sheik (yes, THAT Duncan Sheik).

Also witness Caroline, Or Change, the completely amazing musical by Tony Kushner which is based on a lot of things, but Gershwin isn't really one of them.

And the stage adaptation of Tommy from a few years ago... and the recent hugely successful revival of Hair....

And, well, there's always Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark.

Anyway, schmod, I think you're allowing your prejudices and perhaps ignorance of what is actually happening on Broadway to color your opinions. There are plenty of traditional musical sounding shows going up every year, both new and revivals, but there's a lot else happening, too.
posted by hippybear at 9:17 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The best Spiderman Turn Off The Dark review
posted by The Whelk at 9:19 PM on July 5, 2012


Oh god Passing Strange. It was so good. The Spike Lee recording is one of the best film captures of a stage show I've seen. God that show is heartbreakingly good.

The tony's however can fuck themselves as a representation of American Theatre. They are so far behind the rest of the country it's not even funny.

NPH is awesome though and should keep being awesome and tweeting pictures of his family.
posted by Uncle at 9:52 PM on July 5, 2012


If life were more like theatre, wouldn't we all be reliving the same thing over and over and over again in a cramped room that is either too hot or too cold (at least, according to those who remind you of same every five minutes), with only five or ten minute breaks (which God would bitch about having to take, because heaven forbid HIS GENIUS be interrupted by things such as needing to take a piss or something) like some sort of Groundhog Day from hell?
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:05 PM on July 5, 2012


If life were more like theatre, wouldn't we all be reliving the same thing over and over and over again ... with only five or ten minute breaks ... like some sort of Groundhog Day from hell?

To be fair, it would only be about 2 hours repeated 8 times every week, with some prep time before and after, and the rest of the time, a balance of some 144 hours a week, wouldn't be repeating at all.
posted by hippybear at 10:11 PM on July 5, 2012


Missing the SQUEE and NPH and LUV HUH tags. In all other ways, flawless.

squee!
posted by Space Kitty at 12:29 AM on July 6, 2012


I have SUCH a MAJOR boycrush on NPH.

But he's happily settled so yay him, boo me).

I can be gracious in defeat.
posted by Samizdata at 12:38 AM on July 6, 2012


I hate musical theatre with a passion

There's always one.
posted by crossoverman at 3:17 AM on July 6, 2012


NPH shoul host everything ever.
posted by moviehawk at 4:07 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


As I love NPH, Amanda Seyfried, and Adam Schlesinger, and am pretty fond of musical theater, this is pretty much my favorite thing ever.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:07 AM on July 6, 2012


Oh damn that was refreshing. NPH makes everything better.

The Oscars' production numbers seem so tired and lame and forced after seeing this.

Appetite whetted, definitely looking forward to your post now, hippybear!
posted by kinnakeet at 5:21 AM on July 6, 2012


> I hate musical theatre with a passion

There's always one.


I'm not too into it myself, frankly. (Data point - I've worked in theater most of my life.) So many producers are afraid to rock the boat and do something really innovative like Passing Strange, so we get a lot of classics and "jukebox musicals" because they figure it's a safe bet the tourists will see it.

Still, some of the classics get good revivals (it's showing its age now, but the re-launch of Chicago that's still running is fun) or sometimes something wacked-out gets to go on (okay, seriously, five years ago would you have guessed the guys who did South Park would be TONY-winning writers?).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:36 AM on July 6, 2012


I hate musical theatre with a passion

Passion is actually one of the stranger Sondheim musicals, as it is sung-through and there is often no really definite beginning or end to any of the songs, they all just kind of blend together into one giant lengthy thing. It does have some of his more beautiful melodies of his late writing career, and the character of Fosca is completely unforgettable.

Still a lot of people weren't that overly fond of it. I see you're one of them.
posted by hippybear at 5:52 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Allow me to direct you to something from 2008 - Passing Strange (my favorite number of which was in that year's TONYS ). Like nothing Broadway had heard before and kicked everyone's ass. Spike Lee filmed the last performance, so you can indeed get to see it on DVD (and it's not a film adaptation, he filmed the stage show).

And for those who have Netflix Streaming - it's there too.
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:54 AM on July 6, 2012


(okay, seriously, five years ago would you have guessed the guys who did South Park would be TONY-winning writers?).

The south park movie was a really strong, traditional musical with lots of cursing, but structurally it was straight out of the 40s.
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 AM on July 6, 2012


Oh, they definitely know their stuff. I was more surprised that Parker and Stone got past the "will it appeal to the little old ladies visiting from out of town" hurdle.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:20 AM on July 6, 2012


Yeah, Sondheim said that the Southpark movie was the best musical in ten years, so I'm not surprised they've won Tonys. Despite the fact that a lot of their stuff has cursing and a lot of poop jokes, they're really, really talented.
posted by nushustu at 10:49 AM on July 6, 2012



Speaking of quick costume changes, sometimes you have to do them without purpose-made clothing. In the 1999 Tony Awards, Kristen Chenoweth was nominated and her category (where she was rather expected to win) was going to be announced right after the musical she was in, a revival production of You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, had its slot to perform. So there she was, dressed as the Peanuts' Sally.

Rosie O'Donnell came to her rescue, calling on the "quickest changer on Broadway" to make sure Chenoweth got into her Hilfiger gown in time to collect her award dressed as an adult. (I saw somewhere else that there were 5 changers involved, but I can't source it well.)

Count it... it's like 42 seconds between cartoon character and glamour star.
posted by clauclauclaudia at 4:50 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Something was weird with that first link, clauclauclaudia - this one may work better for the "dressed as Sally" link.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:04 PM on July 6, 2012


I'm not too into it myself, frankly. (Data point - I've worked in theater most of my life.) So many producers are afraid to rock the boat and do something really innovative like Passing Strange, so we get a lot of classics and "jukebox musicals" because they figure it's a safe bet the tourists will see it.

I think the argument that the entire genre of musical theatre can be written off because Broadway doesn't try to be innovative is ridiculous. Yes, we're talking about the Tony awards. But you know, like mainstream Hollywood films aren't always the best films, mainstream Broadway musicals aren't always the best musicals. There are some great and innovative musicals being done off-Broadway. There are some great and innovative musicals being made all over the world.
posted by crossoverman at 5:21 PM on July 6, 2012


Yeah, Sondheim said that the Southpark movie was the best musical in ten years, so I'm not surprised they've won Tonys. Despite the fact that a lot of their stuff has cursing and a lot of poop jokes, they're really, really talented.

I was actually expecting it...oh, I'm talking about the Book of Mormon...to be way more crass than it was. What struck me, from the first minute of the opening number, was how SLICK it was. So professional, as in they know what musicals are, what makes them good, and then took that, ran with it and gave it their own twist, completely modernizing the genre. That's what struck me. It was just so GOOD.

And I haven't seen the actual South Park Movie (Bigger, Longer etc) nor do I really like the show. But I like musicals and I loved the Book of Mormon.

(oh And while I'm off topic, I saw Chenoweth on Ellen (which might negate all credibility of what I'm saying, and she was very...into her dog and very..unfocused as an interviewee. It was odd.)
posted by bquarters at 5:42 PM on July 6, 2012


Thank you, Empress! I don't know what's up with that other clip.
posted by clauclauclaudia at 5:47 PM on July 6, 2012


Last year's Tonys thread
posted by knile at 3:42 PM on July 10, 2012


The promised post has finally been done: 2012 Tony Awards Performances
posted by hippybear at 6:46 PM on July 15, 2012


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