You know you are in for something legendary when Neil Patrick Harris is in the fray. The “How I Met Your Mother” star stole the show in the 67th Tony Awards with his opening act. Hosting the show for his fourth time, Neil made his grand entrance dressed as a guitar player as the lead male artist from “Once”. There was not going to be any holding back as he started the proceedings with a potshot at LaBeouf who decided to pull out of “Orphans”. To quote him, “I wouldn’t be here if someone else hadn’t passed on hosting. So special thanks to Shia LaBeouf for this opportunity.” That was the start of many more rib-tickling moments to follow in his act.
Knowing the versatile actor’s reputation as an anchor, I was expecting a musical sometime during his hosting duties. After-all who can forget his duet and foot-tap dance with Hugh Jackman in the 2011 edition of the show? But, to assume that he would bring the house to a stand-still in the opening act and send internet into a frenzy with fans sharing it across was totally unexpected. The opening act had NPH (Neil Patrick Harris) singing live, jumping through hoops, making gentle puns, performing a magic show and guest cameo from Mike Tyson. Combine it all and I was left at the edge of my seat knowing not what would be coming next.
After his magic disappearing act as he made his entrance from behind the audience, he requested a close-up of the camera. I was baffled. Why would he bring the camera awkwardly close to his face at an angle that was shaving off the top of his head and spoil it for us? Immediately, he upped the tempo by many notches as he took a jab at the “Les Miserables” director Tom Hooper saying, “On Broadway, we don’t need extreme close-ups to prove we’re singing live” What followed next was a verse of soulful singing at a breakneck pace a la Shankar Mahadevan singing “Breathless”.
In between he also made out with a dog and capped the evening with an original song along with Audra MacDonald and her crystalline soprano to sing the chorus for the closure. A befitting finish to an unforgettable evening.
Neil Patrick Harris is a prime example of how a single man’s insane hosting capabilities can revive even some of the lesser watched TV show awards. It’s about time, someone in Indian Television would wake-up and take notice. We Indian audiences love seeing our stars perform and nothing would become our water-cooler moment at the office than a similar performance by any of our Bollywood stars. Yes, song and dance sequences are nice, slapstick humour even more, but an opening act of this magnitude would just be unforgettable. Let us too get bigger!