The Most Outrageous Moments From the 2018 Tony Awards
Just like The Band's Visit, the musical that ended up being the big winner, the 2018 Tony Awards ceremony was a low-key affair with some incredibly striking moments. The highlights ranged from the utterly silly -- cue up the GIFs of Nathan Lane goofing around with a goat -- to the genuinely moving, such as the surprise performance by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas. The Band's Visit earned 10 awards, while Harry Potter and the Cursed Child whisked away six, including best play. Actors who went home with shiny trophies included Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane, both for Angels in America, and Laurie Metcalf, for Three Tall Women. If you didn't end up watching -- or just want to relive some the best moments -- here's a recap.
Losers opened the showThe Tonys enlisted Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles -- interlopers from the world of pop who have both had Broadway successes, the former as the star of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and the latter with Waitress, which she wrote -- as co-hosts this year, and the two leaned hard into their theater geekdom throughout the evening. They opened with a sweetly earnest, tongue-in-cheek number that pre-emptively honored the losers. "So this is for the people who lose, because both of us have been in your shoes," they harmonized. Their dueling pianos gave way to a chorus of ensemble members from the nominated shows, as Bareilles and Groban segued into a message that "if you make art at all you're a part of the cure."
Stars revealed hilariously embarrassing old photosAs part of their "everyone here is an unabashed theater kid" schtick, Groban and Bareilles had presenters pull out photos of their earliest performances. So essentially the show was an endless parade of throwback pictures from the likes of Patti LuPone, Melissa Benoist, and Tituss Burgess. (Online fans were encouraged to post their own with the hashtag #TonyDreaming.)
Squidward got his chance to shineFor the number from SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical, our gleeful, porous friend Spongebob yielded the stage to his grumpy pal Squidward Q. Tentacles. Turns out that if you put a pair of tap shoes on him -- well, two pairs of tap shoes given his four appendages -- Squidward is actually delightful company. For those that haven't been initiated to the SpongeBob fandom yet, what all this means is that actor Gavin Lee sang and danced his way through the song "I'm Not a Loser" written by They Might Be Giants as a sea creature finally getting his due.
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sang
The best moment of the night came during a tribute to Melody Herzfeld, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama teacher who helped shield 65 students in her classroom during the shooting that killed 17 people earlier this year. After she received the Excellence in Theater Education Award, students from Parkland, Florida, launched into a rendition of "Seasons of Love" from Rent. In a night that continually emphasized the importance of live theater -- whether on Broadway or in smaller communities -- this was truly proof of its power.