NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Courtney B. Vance won the first Tony Award of the night, taking the trophy for best featured actor in a play after host Neil Patrick Harris opened the show with a high-octane song boasting this night would be bigger than ever.
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Vance, who was previously nominated for Tonys for “Fences” and “Six Degrees of Separation,” won for playing a newspaper editor opposite Tom Hanks in “Lucky Guy.”
The Tonys are being broadcast live by CBS from Radio City Music Hall. Harris is back for his fourth turn as emcee and leads a show featuring talented children and pulse-pounding musical numbers.
“Kinky Boots” and “Matilda the Musical” are the front-runners for top musical, while those for best play are “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” and “The Assembled Parties.”
The big, opening number started with Harris simply holding a guitar in a pub like “Once” but quickly morphed into a flashy razzle-dazzle number that showcased performers from almost a dozen musicals — and even ex-boxer Mike Tyson dancing. Harris sang “It’s bigger! Tonight it’s bigger,” jumped through a hoop, vanished from a box and promised a “truly legendary show” before glitter guns went off.