Best Video

WATCH: Neil Patrick Harris opens the 'big' Tonys with a bang

Harris danced, sang, performed magic, and even braved a duet with Mike Tyson. And that's just the show's first five minutes

The Tony Awards returned to New York City's Radio City Music Hall on Sunday night, after several years in exile at the smaller Beacon Theater, and the night's host kicked off the ceremony by promising a "bigger" evening of celebrating musical theater. (Watch above.) Did he deliver?

That's an understatement, says Neil Genzlinger at The New York Times. "It took Neil Patrick Harris only about three minutes to banish any worries that the fearsome Host Fatigue Syndrome would overtake him and the Tony Awards." In his fourth turn hosting the Tonys, in fact, "he set the bar so high with his introductory flourish that fears of another familiar Tony malady haunted the rest of the CBS broadcast: The dreaded How Do We Top the Opening Number Disease."

Harris packed an incredible amount into his eight-minute opener, says Lauren Moraski at CBS News. After paying homage to last year's winner, Once, the 39-year-old actor "launched into [a] colorful, nonstop, energy-filled performance featuring casts from nearly a dozen musicals" — and even a brief duet with boxer Mike Tyson, who has a one-man show on Broadway. "By the end of [the] opening number, Harris appeared out of breath — with good reason." And it was almost believable when he joked, "Well, that's our budget — good night!"

Harris' success isn't that surprising, says Steven Zeitchik at the Los Angeles Times. The Tonys gig "has earned him acclaim every one of the years he's done it." But that just "raises a question that just keeps percolating: Should Harris have a crack at the Oscars?" That's a notoriously tricky job — see MacFarlane, Seth — and Harris is understandably hesitant. But, movie fans, don't lose hope, says Zeitchik: Harris is shooting a movie with MacFarlane, next year's Oscars producers "have deep Broadway and musical ties," and Harris seems game. "I would think hosting the Oscars would be a great bucket list check-off," he says.

Recommended

The daily gossip: August 19, 2022
Angelina Jolie
Daily gossip

The daily gossip: August 19, 2022

The daily gossip: Amandla Stenberg defends controversial DM to film critic, Vincent Kartheiser and Alexis Bledel are divorcing, and more
Amandla Stenberg
Daily gossip

The daily gossip: Amandla Stenberg defends controversial DM to film critic, Vincent Kartheiser and Alexis Bledel are divorcing, and more

Everything you need to know before watching She-Hulk
She-Hulk.
Briefing

Everything you need to know before watching She-Hulk

The daily gossip: August 17, 2022
Kid Cudi
Daily gossip

The daily gossip: August 17, 2022

Most Popular

Elon Musk urges Grimes not to get 'elf ear surgery'
Elon Musk and Grimes
lend me your ears

Elon Musk urges Grimes not to get 'elf ear surgery'

Russia hunting pro-Ukraine saboteurs after Crimea explosions
Russian military police in Crimea
Ghosting

Russia hunting pro-Ukraine saboteurs after Crimea explosions

Giuliani appearing before grand jury in GA election probe
Rudy Giuliani.
testimony time

Giuliani appearing before grand jury in GA election probe