In a tap-dancing, costume-changing opening, Kevin Spacey began the Tony Awards with parodies of several nominated musicals, with surprise appearances from Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal.
In a medley with modified lyrics, Mr. Spacey performed numbers from “Dear Evan Hansen”; “Groundhog Day”; “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”; and “Come From Away.”
At several points, he joked about skepticism that he could live up to the high expectations of hosting. Indeed, two New York Times critics and a reporter were not impressed in a live chat.
“Aagagh. Is anyone else wincing?” Ben Brantley said.
“This is very … confusing,” Jesse Green said.
If nothing else, the opening appeared to serve as a solid workout for Mr. Spacey.
“I can’t believe how many people do that eight times a week,” Mr. Spacey said. “But that’s why we’re gathered here to celebrate all the incredible work that you do. Now if someone will please find my cardiologist.”
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