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Neil Patrick Harris Emcees the Tonys, Ratings Up

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What a night — Intense competition! Scantily clad dancers! Bret Michaels rocking out so hard he fractures his nose! And, no, I’m not talking about an episode of VH1′s Rock of Love. It all happened at the 63rd annual Tony awards, which aired last night on CBS to impressive ratings. Neil Patrick Harris emceed the event flawlessly with a mix of music and humor. We all knew a quip about Jeremy Piven‘s sushi-gate was inevitable, and sure enough, when Harris delivered it, the audience roared. It’s incredible how much the Theatre world hates his guts now. The other showstopper of the evening was Liza Minelli, who presented, performed and even took home a Tony herself for Liza’s at the Palace…! She was thrilled.

The two big winners for Best Musical and Best Play were Billy Elliot and God of Carnage, respectively.  At 10 awards, Billy Elliot, based on the 2000 film of the same name, was at the top of the heap. Elton John, however, didn’t fare so well. He and songwriter Lee Hall, who both wrote the hit musical’s songbook, lost out to the Normal score by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. Poor Elton. He wrote “Benny and the Jets” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” for Christ’s sake. If he’s ever nominated for anything, he should always win. He and Liza.

The bizarre Shrek: The Musical had a good night. It won for best costume design. How could a play about a flatulent green ogre only take one award home? I’m surprised it didn’t sweep the Tonys all around. Click here to get the full list of winners. I’ll be honest. I could care less about the Tonys. Why should I? Most shows cost around $100 and you gotta be in New York to see them. The only reason to watch these award galas is to see a spectacle: either celebrities in their full glory or embarrassing shame. And last night did not disappoint. Just ask Bret Michaels.

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