Performer of the Week: Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris Tony AwardsA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Neil Patrick Harris

THE SHOW | Tony Awards

THE AIRDATE | June 9, 2013

As host of Broadway’s biggest night, Neil Patrick Harris took our breath away without ever losing his.

From the moment the show started, we knew we were in for a treat, but we never could have imagined the impeccably delivered and stamina-testing opening number that was to follow. He jumped through a hoop. He climbed a giant statuette. He did it all. Never pausing for more than a few seconds, Harris sang and danced his heart out (at one point while being hoisted by Bring It On cheerleaders!) with so much dynamic enthusiasm and power that it radiated out from the screen — and left us gasping for him.

Neil Patrick Harris Tony AwardsAs if that wasn’t enough, he performed a magic trick, sprinting from the stage to the back of theater in seconds — we’re still trying to figure that one out — and even imbued heartfelt emotion into a verse reaching out to all the theater-loving kids out there. (When he said, “We were that kid,” you knew he meant it.)

And it only got better from there. A clever bit about Broadway vets from recently canceled TV shows, featuring Megan Hilty (Smash), Andrew Rannells (The New Normal) and Laura Benanti (Go On), delighted, and as both a performer and a producer, multihyphenate Harris deserves some credit for that.

Then, for the crème de la crème, the host delivered a wrap-up rap about the night’s big winners and moments with help from Broadway star Audra McDonald. It’s become something of a tradition for Harris to close out the show with Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights) and Tommy Kail’s on-the-fly written words, but he still impresses every time he does so.

What performance knocked your socks off this week?

Comments (26)

  • Sorry. My vote would be Jeffrey Donovan as Director and Actor in last Thursday’s episode. Burn Notice’s 100th – “Forget Me Not” Incredible work and performance.

    Comment by kirads09 – June 16, 2013 07:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He definitely at least deserved runner-up for that. That episode was heart-breaking.

      Comment by wordsmith – June 16, 2013 10:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I still find a live performance that involved expertly timed comedy, dancing, singing, and even a perfectly executed circus stunt to be far more impressive. Though I tend to find great comedy much more impressive and harder to pull off than drama.

      Comment by Will – June 16, 2013 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yeah. No contest here. Donovan did a great job – I’m a fan – but NPH was on a whole ‘nother level.

        Comment by Annie – June 16, 2013 04:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to concur with your nod to @actuallyNPH. I had to watch the part twice to see _ yeah, he actually jumped thru a hoop! The guy’s a Renaissance Man of entertainment.

    Comment by annehedonia – June 16, 2013 07:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wonder if NPH can do it again when he host the Primetime Emmy Awards come September on CBS.

    Comment by Jack Bauer 2.0 – June 16, 2013 07:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NPH has become the consummate entertainer….no one note wonder here…but a true performer in all sense of the word.

    Comment by CA – June 16, 2013 07:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Neil Patrick Harris may be one of the few entertainers who could bring back the variety show format like the CAROL BURNETT SHOW. He sings, he dances, he does comedy and he is charming!

    Comment by ksrob – June 16, 2013 08:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree! This is a fabulous idea, and I’d love to see it.

      Comment by lariet50 – June 16, 2013 08:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • ITA. i’d love to see him do the Donald O’Connor “Make Em Laugh” number from Singing In The Rain. He’s a natural showman.

        Comment by lyn – June 16, 2013 09:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • ksrob, what a great idea. Has my vote. NPH is the best.

      Comment by Sherry – June 16, 2013 03:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NPH was amazing. He should win an award for that performance alone.

    Comment by c0rinne – June 16, 2013 08:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Perfect

    Comment by Jared – June 16, 2013 08:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • And just in time for a busy weekend for NPH for sure: his 40th bday and Father’s Day! Can’t wait to see what he does next after HIMYM wraps.

    Comment by Ryan T – June 16, 2013 09:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • he just blew me away with his talent. I was so glad that I DVR it. I have watched some of the segments again a few times over!! Way to go Neil !!

    Comment by Barbara C – June 16, 2013 10:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • PNH was good! It would be nice if he would acknowledge that Gay Blackstone was the first person to give him a hosting gig, on The World Magic Awards many years ago. Since then, he seems to be the host everyone wants for their show. Seems like he may have forgotten!!

    Comment by Carol – June 16, 2013 10:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am not a “show tune” type if guy and, truth be told, I only caught the opening on youtube because I heard that Mike Tyson made an appearence. Also, I ha e to be honest, I am not a NPH fan and have only seen his program (either) less than five times. But, honestly, I have watched the opening number more times than I care to make public. This gu was,GREAT!

    Comment by Chaz Brown – June 16, 2013 11:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Absolutely! But no mention of my favorite part–his doggie make-out session? ;)

    Ok, I’m partially kidding, but not fully, because it was a moment that really showed he is willing to just go all-out for the sake of entertainment and nailing a bit. It was a moment that felt improvised, but whether or not was both funny and sweet.

    Comment by Will – June 16, 2013 01:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • His performance made me smile!

    Comment by The Beach – June 16, 2013 02:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So being racist pays off after all

    Comment by K – June 16, 2013 03:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Even though nobody watches it Danielle Harris deserves a Honorable Mention for playing a exaggerated version of herself on Holliston.

    Comment by Ralph Hartman – June 16, 2013 05:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree – NPH was outstanding. The only things that didn’t work for him were the repeated Mike Tyson jokes. They weren’t funny.

    Comment by Gale – June 16, 2013 10:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed. But those one-liners were the only things that didn’t work.

      Comment by JC – June 17, 2013 12:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NPH deserves performer of the year for the opening performance number alone!

    Comment by Jerri – June 17, 2013 12:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NPH hosting makes me smile … I never enjoyed the Tony’s as much before. He is a-mazing!

    Comment by JAO – June 18, 2013 09:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NPH is the performer of the decade. I honestly hate the Emmy selection process, but am totally looking forward to (hopefully several) musical numbers.

    Comment by Leila! – June 23, 2013 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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