From hopping and rapping Hugh Jackman to Hedwig and Carole King. Ranked from worst to best.
18. “Rock Island,” The Music Man
Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d type: Hugh Jackman rapped The Music Man with LL Cool J and T.I. at the 2014 Tony Awards. Weird doesn’t even begin to cover it.
17. “The Last Ship,” Sting
Sting has a musical coming to Broadway this fall! Conceptually interesting (it’s inspired by Sting’s childhood and the shipbuilding industries in northern England), but the Tonys is not a time to debut a new lush melody that no one has ever heard before.
16. The Opening Number
Oh, Hugh. After being treated to three years of Neil Patrick Harris’ clever homages to theater, it was no surprise that you went a different route. But an obscure reference to a 1950s choreographer was not the way to go. However, you can rest assured we have no doubts to your physical prowess.
15. The Closing Number
The closing number didn’t fare much better — Jackman’s inspired choice to call all of the night’s winners up to the stage for a rendition of “On Broadway” could have worked much better if A) there was more time and B) people knew what was going on. Alas!
14. “Eye of the Tiger/Undefeated Men/The Fight,” Rocky
Video available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=_RUxgviTx1E.
The Rocky final fight is one of the most incredible moments of the season, and the spirit of that certainly came through — but this incredibly condensed version lost a lot of the WOW factor you get in the theater.
13. “Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness If I Do,” Bullets Over Broadway
Who doesn’t love a group of tap-dancing mobsters?!
12. “Always Starting Over,” If/Then
Jonathan Groff made an A+ Adele Dazeem joke when introducing Idina Menzel, and the good karma continued: Menzel’s Tonys performance outshone the one she gave at the Oscars by miles.
11. “On My Way”/”Raise Me Up,” Violet
The show’s decision to focus on the Act 2 gospel opener rather than some of the gorgeous melodies sung by its stars (like nominee Josh Henry!) was unexpected, but holy moly those vocals.
10. “For Good,” Wicked
In honor of the show’s 10th anniversary, the current Glinda and Elphaba performed the sweet ballad… but, you’re lying if you say you weren’t holding out for an Idina Menzel–Kristin Chenoweth reunion.
9. “Never Neverland,” Finding Neverland
Get ready: A new musical based on Peter Pan, helmed by visionary director Diane Paulus… and then Harvey Weinstein hired Jennifer Hudson to sing this gorgeous ballad even though she’s got nothing to do with the show (literally! she’s not even in it). Hudson sang her face off and the dancing was sensational, which makes this one a winner.
Jennifer Hudson will be a part of the Finding Neverland concept album.
7. “One Day More,” Les Miserables
The iconic and triumphant act one closer was delivered iconically and triumphantly, and if your arms were not raised defiantly as the last note rang out you are possibly dead inside.
6. “Friend Like Me,” Aladdin
The best musical moment of the season finally came to life in front of a TV audience. Though it suffered a smidge by being condensed to half its normal length, all of the razzle dazzle power made it through.
5. “On the Sunny Side/It Don’t Mean a Thing,” After Midnight
The jazz revue’s performance was a delightful headspin of divas (Patti! Gladys! Fantasia!), incredible footwork, and fabulous music. And then Hugh Jackman took a break from hopping to remind us he can tap dance!
4. “Willkommen,” Cabaret
Alan Cumming performs the exact same number as on the 1998 Tony Awards and somehow it’s even better. We should all be so lucky / WHAT IS YOUR SECRET?!?
3. “I’ve Decided to Marry You,” A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
GGLAM performed its best number, showcasing its Best Musical–winning hijinks and hilarity.
2. “Sugar Daddy,” Hedwig and the Angry Inch
In the first official live performance of this revival, Neil Patrick Harris reaffirmed that he can do anything — including shaking his crotch in Orlando Bloom’s face, giving Sting a lap dance, licking Samuel L. Jackson’s glasses, and jumping all over the stage in what have to be 4-inch heels — and make everyone love him.
Important questions: If I were to work out with his Hedwig trainer, would I make it out alive? And what do we as a theater-loving people have to do to ensure NPH comes back to host the Tonys next year but also has a role on stage?
1. “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”/”I Feel The Earth Move,” Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
As if Carole King’s intro for the musical about the formative years of her career didn’t convert you to a fan, the show’s beautiful medley sold it. As Frozen and Book of Mormon lyricist Bobby Lopez tweeted, “It’s hard to present a show on the Tonys as well as @BeautifulOnBway just did.”
Harvey Weinstein hired Jennifer Hudson to sing “Never Neverland” – the wrong Harvey in the theater world was originally mentioned.