NEW YORK -- The Tony Awards air tonight live from the Beacon Theatre in the capable hands of Neil Patrick Harris, back hosting for a third time. The three-hourlong award show will feature a record 16 performances including Ricky Martin, Matthew Broderick, and the cast of last year's big winner, "Book of Mormon."
The fields for Best Play and Best Musical have their clear frontrunners. "Once" -- leading the pack with 11 nominations -- and "Newsies" stand strong in the musical category, while "Clybourne Park" and "Other Desert Cities" duke it out on the play end. However, there's no "Book of Mormon" equivalent this year, and we're always game for a good upset.
Join us here tonight at 8 p.m. EST for every win, joke, upset and tearjerker of the evening. In the meantime, check out this year's nominees' favorite plays of the year (aside from their own), predictions on who will and should win, and our series of Q&As with nominees over on the HuffPost Culture page.
06/10/2012 11:09 PM EDT
That's All, Folks
With the final word from NPH in song, "We are completely out of... "
06/10/2012 11:05 PM EDT
06/10/2012 11:04 PM EDT
Trey Parker And Matt Stone
The duo introduces the award for Best Musical thusly:
"Winning the Tony award.. changes ones life forever. You're transformed from an artist to an artiste... tonight, we who are the Broadway establishment, are pleased and honor-ed to win the award for best musical. You young whippersnappers who so desperately wish to join our ranks."
06/10/2012 10:58 PM EDT
Best Leading Actress In A Musical
Plummer's back to award the Tony to Audra McDonald for her role in "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess." This is her fifth Tony award, and first for a leading role.
"I was a little girl with a pot belly and afro puffs.. and I found the theater, and I found my home, and found a place to express myself," McDonald said tearfully. "And that the theater would [welcome] me is mind-blowing."
Watch McDonald in "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess":
06/10/2012 10:45 PM EDT
Best Leading Actor In A Play
In one of the bigger, but not entirely unexpected, upsets of the night, James Corden beat out Philip Seymour Hoffman for his role in "One Man, Two Guvnors."
"James Earl Jones, Philip Seymour Hoffman -- to be on a list with you is enough," Corden said, choking up throughout his speech. "Holding this reminds me that there's no such thing as best."
He went on to thank his "baby mama," who he "can't wait to marry":
"She made me say 'us' instead of 'I' and 'we' instead of 'me' and I love her," Corden ended. "Thank you very much."
06/10/2012 10:36 PM EDT
Best Actor By A Leading Actor In A Musical
Steve Kazee beats other young heartthrob Jeremy Jordan in a win for "Once," and gives the most emotional speech of the night:
Most of all, I want to say thank you to my cast, and to my beautiful leading lady, who has held me up for the past two months. My mother passed on Easter Sunday, and I came back to the show and this cast has carried me around and made me feel alive and I will never be able to fully repay them... this ensemble and this woman are some of the most talented people I have ever worked with in my life. My mother always told me before shows to stand up and show them whose little boy you are. And I am here to tell you I am the son of Kathy Withrow Kazee who lost the fight with cancer on Easter Sunday this year. And I feel you here today, and I love you all so much.
06/10/2012 10:33 PM EDT
A cruiseline cast of "Hairspray" performed from their boat, NPH started to cut to commercial, and then, a very strange happened, even stranger than a broadcast from a boat. A woman in the background crowdsurfed from the aisle to her seat -- she was so stiff she didn't look alive, and then she sat down at the very end of it all and crossed her legs. Please discuss.
06/10/2012 10:31 PM EDT
Hugh Jackman is getting a special Tony Award. And his wife is presenting it.
Jackman raised about $2 million for Broadway Cares for his one-man show, "Hugh Jackman: Back On Broadway." Yep, that about does it.
Jackman was visibly stunned to hear he was getting an award, no less from the hands of his wife.
She's never kept a secret her entire life," Jackman said. "Just after the loo, I was like alright, see you in a bit."
06/10/2012 10:26 PM EDT
Best Revival Of A Musical Goes To...
"The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess." The group thanks "Ira and George Gershwin... and the Gershwin estate... for giving us the permission to bring the Gershwins into the 21st century."
Next up, Gershwin in 3D?
06/10/2012 10:10 PM EDT
Ricky Martin takes the stage to showcase his alternately loved and dismissed performance in "Evita." Best part: he does somersaults on stage.