The video: With Anne Hathaway and James Franco's awkward, bipolar Oscar-hosting gig still painfully burned in our collective memory, Neil Patrick Harris provided a welcome contrast at Sunday night's Tony Awards. The second-time Tony host drew near-universal raves — for his opening number, his duet with Hugh Jackman, and the two-minute rap with which he closed the show, summarizing its highlights. (Watch the video below.) In the Heights' Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tommy Kail wrote the rap together in the venue's basement, and were thrilled with Harris' performance, his first time rapping. "He is fearless," says Miranda. "He was just amazing...he crushed it."
The reaction: I'm not so sure about this, says CBS News. "A rap finale, NPH? Really?" Oh c'mon, it was an "incredible" number that "brought down the house," says Rosemary Jean-Louis at Examiner.com. From beginning to end, Harris totally owned it, and simply "rocked the awards." Yeah, "enough tiptoeing: The Oscars need Neil Patrick Harris to host in 2012," says Christopher Rosen at Movieline. His wrap-up rap was a fitting end to a night that was "funny, touching, energetic and just about perfect." Oscars producers, take note. See for yourself below:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week