Sounding, if this is possible, even better than ever, the great Martha Wash-who has never appeared on Broadway or, to my knowledge, acted on stage-provided the highlight of Sunday night's Tony Awards telecast. Joining the cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-The Musical in a performance of the dance anthem "It's Raining Men," the titanic-voiced Wash reprised the hit she had with The Weather Girls back in 1982, while making it, as she always does, look easy.
In a broadcast notable more for sobriety, theater-centrism, and a sea of mostly white faces (though New Jersey-born Nikki M. James did garner a Best Featured Actress win for The Book of Mormon) than for celebrity excitement, Wash's appearance was the musical highlight, while Chris Rock, who didn't win any Tonys but has received positive reviews for his performance in The Motherf***er with the Hat, provided the most entertaining comedy moment, pretending to be surprised when The Book of Mormon took home the Best Musical award.
Speaking of people who are really white, Ellen Barkin won a Best Actress Tony for The Normal Heart, and host Neil Patrick Harris's closing-credits rap (written on the fly by In the Heights writer-star Lin-Manuel Miranda and director Tommy Kail) was pretty clever. Of course, NPH would be pretty funny even if he were saying something sad.
And speaking of sad but funny, New York viewers who stayed with CBS for the 11:00 news were treated to more Anthony Weiner pictures, proving that even after the curtain goes down, the entertainment never ends in the Big Apple.
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