Wow, I was very surprised and very happy when I heard that Neil Patrick Harris had been chosen to host the Tony Awards. He's so cute and funny and charming and he has a great voice and he's had several Broadway roles. (Who knows, maybe this experience will lure him back!)
Still, in the grand scheme of things, I'm not so sure the host is that big a draw. Don't get me wrong - I think it's a great choice for theatre fans. But if I weren't already inclined to watch the show I don't know whether NPH - or anyone else - would make me tune in. Well maybe a few fans of How I Met Your Mother might tune in who wouldn't otherwise. (Also on CBS - what an incredible coincidence!)
I was trying to think about what would make me watch something I have absolutely no interest in watching - say the Indianapolis 500. If the cast of Seinfeld were calling the race I might watch for a few minutes but I'm not sure they'd hold my interest for all 500 laps.
Seriously though, I can't believe the American Theatre Wing approached James Gandolfini, Tony-nominated for God of Carnage, about the hosting duties. According to Michael Riedel in The New York Post, Gandolfini replied that he was flattered but politely declined, saying he isn't a song-and-dance man.
Whew, that was a close one. As much as I loved The Sopranos, I don't think Gandolfini has the kind of vibrant, outgoing personality necessary for a good host. Plus, I think singing and dancing is kind of a requirement.
The 63rd annual Tony Awards air live from Radio City Music Hall at 8 p.m. June 7 on CBS.