“What a great season on Broadway. It’s just been incredibly diverse. Whether you like men dressed as women or drag queens, there’s something for everyone, ladies and gentlemen.”
So host Hugh Jackman introduced the 68th annual Tony Awards in New York City June 8 which celebrates the best of Broadway musicals, and it sure was an apt description of the entertainment that night.
Jackman began the show by cracking a joke about people against same-sex marriage:
“Casa Valentina nominated for best play,” he said, “ highlights the tension between married men who cross-dress and the gay community, two sides that never really understood each other. It’s kinda like people who are against same-sex marriage and people who mind their own business.”
Jackman then went on to make a three-way joke about himself and longtime hosts Neil Patrick Harris and Angela Lansbury.
“There's the amazing Neil Patrick Harris, nominated for "Hedwig"He's a legendary four-time Tony host, but Angela lansbury has hosted five times. So, Neil is right behind her and I was right behind him, which is still illegal in 13 states.” Continued after video.
But this is an awards show celebrating Broadway so of course, flamboyant performances were to be expected. The most outlandish of the performances was Neil Patrick Harris as a drag-queen from “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” In case you didn’t know what the show was about, cross-dressing entertainer Ru Paul happily explained it’s premise:
“Hedwig is a transgender ‘Internationally ignored song stylist from east Berlin’ whose failed sex-change operation left her with an ‘Angry inch.’ It's also a universal story of love and acceptance.”
Given that disturbing mental image, Neil Patrick Harris then showed up in cross-dressing character to give an energetic performance where he gave a lap dance to Sting, cuddled with Kevin Bacon, licked Samuel L. Jackson’s glasses, and passionately kissed his real-life husband.
On June 9, The Washington Post gushed that Harris was “charming ,” while CBS “This Morning” June 9 hailed Harris’ “crowd-pleasing performance.”
Well, he certainly pleased that crowd.
Watch the clip of the performance below.
— Kristine Marsh is Staff Writer for MRC Culture at the Media Research Center. Follow Kristine Marsh on Twitter.