The Tony Awards, the annual celebration of New York live theater, can have a bit of a narrow demographic bearing in mind that only a very small percentage of viewers know the nominated works, let alone have actually seen them. So for that by itself, I applaud CBS for continuing to air it in prime time.

However, the best reason to have watched this years’ telecast was to seeNeil Patrick Harris do the best damn opening number in the history of award shows. One of the many things that impressed me about that opening number at the Tony Awards was the sheer bravery of it all. They did the whole thing live…and I counted at least two dozen points in eight minutes where something (the vanishing act, N.P.H.’s leap through the hoop, etc.) could easily have gone wrong. I didn’t see more than a few minor missteps by the dancers — not even the many children — and there were a lot of them on that stage. With a whole three-hour show to plan and prep and with so many people involved in the opening, I’m wondering how much rehearsal they could have gotten.

So in front of America — with much of Show Business right there in the hall with them — Neil Patrick Harris and his crew attempted this one-time-to-get-it-right performance. I’m going to guess that about 90% of the people in television who call themselves professional entertainers would never have risked it. That was one of the things the pros in that audience were applauding last night: the sheer guts of it. And, of course, the fact that everyone was so good at what they did that everything worked.

Below is a video of the telecast if you missed it along with an abbreviated video of the amazing director calling the shots on this spectacular night.

Many of the nominated musicals will have their music featured on Mood’s “Showtunes” program (channel 69)!

– Submitted by Jim Fisher, Music Design