Cooper, Mir­ren share fa­vorite Tonys mo­ment

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE - BY JOHN CARUCCI

When it comes to fa­vorite Tony Award mo­ments, some of this year’s nom­i­nees are di­vided into two main camps: The mo­ments with Neil Pa­trick Har­ris and the ones with Hugh Jackman.

Then, of course, there’s Tony­win­ner, and cur­rent nom­i­nee for “Some­thing Rot­ten!” Chris­tian Borle. His fa­vorite mo­ment is much more per­sonal.

“It was just aw­fully sur­real to hear Jes­sica Chas­tain say my name and pro­nounce it cor­rectly. It was very nice,” said Borle, who won in 2012 for “Peter and the Star­catcher.” (And, just in case you’re won­der­ing, it’s pro­nounced “bor-EL.”)

Best ac­tor nom­i­nee Ken Watan­abe for “The King and I” doesn’t have a spe­cific mo­ment, but says he’s al­ways been a fan of the show, watch­ing it in Ja­pan via satel­lite.

“It’s al­ways an amaz­ing show and a good time,” Watan­abe said.

“Fun Home” lead actress nom­i­nee Beth Malone said her fa­vorite was one of last year’s ac­cep­tance speeches: “I loved it when Lena Hall lost it last year that made me a lit­tle happy. I love her voice as an un­likely can­di­date; I thought that was re­ally cool.”

And then there’s Geneva Carr, the lead­ing actress nom­i­nee for the dark com­edy “Hand to God.” For her, it’s not re­ally about the per­for­mances. “I’ve got to be hon­est, I watch for the clothes. I want to know what every­body is wear­ing,” she said with a gig­gle.

While their fa­vorite mo­ments are di­verse, many of the oth­ers — in­clud­ing the likes of Bradley Cooper, Sting, He­len Mir­ren — picked per­for­mances of Har­ris or Jackman.

Here are some of their fa­vorite mo­ments:

BRADLEY COOPER: The Tony nom­i­nee for “The Ele­phant Man” leans to­ward four-time Tony host Neil Pa­trick Har­ris, call­ing his fa­vorite mo­ment when Har­ris per­formed last year as the lead in “Hed­wig and the An­gry Inch.” That was awe­some.”

STING: A Tony nom­i­nee for best mu­si­cal score for “The Last Ship,” the 16-time Grammy win­ner likes the other four-time host. “I thought my friend Hugh Jackman did amaz­ing last year. It was a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance.”

PA­TRI­CIA CLARK­SON: An­other Tony nom­i­nee for “The Ele­phant Man,” Clark­son is a Har­ris fan, say­ing “He is so bril­liant. I think any­thing he does is in­deli­ble.”

ELIS­A­BETH MOSS: The “Mad Men” star and cur­rent Tony nom­i­nee for “The Heidi Chron­i­cles” thinks “Neil Pa­trick Har­ris was an amaz­ing host,” but also said she’s ex­cited about his year’s hosts, Alan Cum­ming and Kristin Chenoweth. “I’m huge fans of the both of them, so I think they’re both amaz­ing ... They’re go­ing to be hi­lar­i­ous and awe­some.”

HE­LEN MIR­REN: Nom­i­nated for her role as Queen El­iz­a­beth II in “The Au­di­ence,” Mir­ren finds her­self in the Jackman camp. “I had the great priv­i­lege of watch­ing him present the Tonys and shall never for­get him walk­ing out on the enor­mous stage. With just one look and one smile he had the whole house in the palm of his hand.”

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ: This year’s Is­abelle Stevenson Tony Award re­cip­i­ent and the com­poser of “Wicked” feels two mo­ments stand out: The first was in 1972. “When ‘Pip­pin’ did the open­ing num­ber, Ben Vereen’s per­for­mance was sim­ply in­deli­ble, es­pe­cially within the con­text of the tele­vi­sion show.” The other was the open­ing num­ber “Big­ger” that Har­ris did in 2013. “That was in­cred­i­bly clever and writ­ten by Lin-Manuel Mi­randa and Tom Kitt. Per­haps it’s one of the best host’s num­bers that I have ever seen.”

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