Audra McDonald and Nina Arianda at the 2012 Tony Awards (© Tristan Fuge)
It was another exceptional celebration of the most talented performers on Broadway and the magic of theater! I can't wait for next year.
1. Audra McDonald I can't pick just one Audra moment from Sunday night, so I'm going to list her as a person. First of all, her Porgy and Bess performance was outstanding. Is there a more beautiful soprano voice out there? I got goose bumps from every note in "Summertime." She's such a graceful, beautiful presence onstage. So of course I was thrilled when she took home her FIFTH Tony. As they read the names of the nominees, I gripped my friend Megan's hand for dear life. When Audra's name was announced, I jumped off of the couch and screamed in excitement. And her acceptance speech did not disappoint. Her reference to Will Swenson made my heart melt. Favorite Broadway couple right there. Then, when she said her daughter's birth was the best day of her life, the tears started streaming.
2. Big Moments for Northwestern Okay so this top 5 moment may be a little personal, but Northwestern University was killing it at the Tony's. As I watched, I was so proud to bleed purple. We had seven grads either nominated or involved with nominated shows! One of the most impressive was the combo of Zachary Baer, who graduated in 2010, and Tom Casserly, who graduated in 2011. They were above-the-title producers for Peter and the Starcatcher. I can't believe that two guys under the age of 25 held such huge positions. Another shout out must go to alumnus Bruce Norris, who wrote Clybourne Park, the Best Play winner. Go U, N-U!
3. Hugh Jackman's Special Tony How cute were Jackman and his wife? Her introduction was so sweet, and then when he revealed that public speaking was her least favorite thing, but that she was doing it for him, the whole speech became even more adorable. They love each other so much! I really liked Jackman's gratitude to the theater community for welcoming him. I would welcome him into my community any day. I'm so happy that he was awarded this Tony because his work for Actors Equity has been truly inspirational.
4. Neil Patrick Harris' Best Score Recap Song Who knew it was possible to combine more than 60 Best Score winners into one song? This was NPH's best moment from the Tony's. I can't believe he was able to remember all the lyrics! It was one of the funniest Tony moments I have seen. If he hosts again though, I would like to see the return of Dr. Horrible.
5. Nina Arianda's Acceptance Speech Hilarious. I knew it was going to be a fantastic moment as soon as she told Christopher Plummer, "You were my first crush! When that whistle was blown in Sound of Music, you made my day." My other favorite part was when the music started to cut her off and she said, "Yo! I might not get to do this again! Hold on!" Nina was adorable, especially with her excited screams.