Tony Awards: WTF, Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman kicks off the 68th Tony Awards with an obscure hopping sequence. Like a kangaroo, yes. Credit: Getty Images
Hugh Jackman kicks off the 68th Tony Awards with an obscure hopping sequence. Like a kangaroo, yes.
Credit: Getty Images

Last year we got an entire circus, this year we got four minutes of kangaroo hops.

For the 68th annual Tony Awards, Hugh Jackman didn’t want to try to top Neil Patrick Harris’ four years of excellence — leading up to last year’s impressively acrobatic opening number in celebration of “Pippin.” Instead, he and the creative team went for a low-key lead-in, featuring Jackman bouncing through the audience and backstage against overtures from the various musicals that are up for awards this year (an obscure homage to Bobby Van’s sequence in 1953’s “Small Town Girl”).

Part of his bit included soft jokes about being Australian, which he somehow did not exhaust last time he hosted the Tonys in 2003. And then there was one joke that, upon hearing Jackman was hosting the awards show this year, NPH reached out with a congratulatory, “Wow, that’s fantastic!” — or, at least, that’s what Jackman assumes he meant by “WTF.”

We also got brief interlude in which Jackman joined the “After Midnight” ensemble in a quick tap number. (“Wolverine in tap shoes — you won’t see that at ComicCon,” he quipped.)

It’s a little disappointing that cutesy jokes and a few song-and-dance asides summed up the hosting gig this year. It’s classy, it’s just not what we’re used to — and it’s not a competition, so why fear falling short? Nothing says “go big or go home” like the Tony Awards.

At the very least, it provided a neutral backdrop for the musical numbers woven throughout the program, including “One Day More” from “Les Miserables,” “Friend Like Me” from “Aladdin” and “Always Starting Over” from “If/Then.”

Awards starting out the night included Mark Rylance (“Twelfth Night”) as the Best Supporting Actor in a Play, following shortly by Lena Hall (“Hedwig”) as the Best Featured Actress in a Musical, as well as Robert L. Freedman (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”) for Best Book. See how the awards hold up to our Critic’s Picks.

Check back for updates as the night progresses and be sure to follow T. Michelle Murphy on Twitter: @TMichelleMurphy.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

Movies

Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.

Education

Does the school day start too early?

As thousands of high schoolers get ready to head back to class, health experts say it may be time to push back the start of…