Fourth time’s a charm: Neil Patrick Harris will host the Tony Awards again

Neil Patrick Harris in a Tony Awards musical number.

Neil Patrick Harris in a Tony Awards musical skit.

A statement was released this morning by Neil Patrick Harris confirming that he will once again be hosting our favorite annual night of theatre: the Tony Awards. This will mark his third consecutive time hosting the event and his fourth time overall. In his statement, Harris promised that this year will be “more impressive than ever.”

It is a little surprising that Harris has chosen to return this year. With the rumor mill and message boards bursting with guesses, there were some that did seem reasonable. To name a few: Jane Lynch, Tom Hanks and Hugh Jackman.

Lynch is going to be making her Broadway debut this summer in Annie as the nasty Miss Hannigan and has gained recognition through her fiery one-liners as Sue Sylvester in the popular musical television program Glee.

Hanks made his Broadway debut this year in Nora Ephron’s play Lucky Guy, for which he received a nomination. Nominees have hosted this event before (before the age of Harris, Sean Hayes commanded the awards show as a host and nominee for Promises, Promises in 2010) so it might have just worked.

And lastly, Jackman starred as everybody’s favorite convict this year in the breath-taking film adaptation of Les Miserables and is set to return to Broadway next year in the musical Houdini.

These popular guesses would have made for excellent hosts. Jackman hosted the ceremony before and received rave reviews from doing so. However, so did Harris. The main reason that he is returning for a fourth time is because every time he has hosted, critics and viewers alike have absolutely adored him. He lights up the stage with his undeniable presence and that alone is going to have everyone talking on June 9.

So, Harris is back… Again! Although he has brought quite a few surprises to the awards show each time he’s hosted, there are a few things that we can expect for certain.

1. Singing. Harris has a beautiful voice. He has performed in productions of Company, Cabaret, and Assassins just to name a few, and even his hit television show How I Met Your Mother has showcased his vocal chops. There is bound to be a musical number or two which has happened every time Harris has taken the stage as the master of ceremonies. Two years ago, he opened the show with the hilarious number entitled “It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore,” which is still talked about today as one of the best Tony Award openings of all time.

2. Believe it or not, besides his solid acting ability, stellar dance skills, and wonderful voice, Harris is known for another talent as well: magic. He is a huge fan of magic tricks and pulls them out whenever it is relevant (or, really, any time he can). He has been performing these tricks since he was a child. This year, the Broadway revival Pippin features some impressive circus staging and acrobatic stunts and, of course, the well-loved song “Magic to Do.” In honor of this production, we should be expecting the unexpected in the form of a thrilling stunt by Harris. After all, this is the same man who descended upside-down from a thin rope at last year’s Tonys as he pretended to be Spiderman.

3. How much do you want to bet there is going to be some kind of joke regarding Orphans? No, not the kids from Annie. The Broadway play Orphans. Before the production even opened, there was drama circling around Alec Baldwin and Shia LaBeouf, which ultimately led to LaBeouf being replaced with Ben Foster in the production. Then when it was announced that the play would be closing early, Baldwin lashed out on New York Times writer Ben Brantley, who gave the show a poor review .Although this situation isn’t exactly one to be laughed at, Harris will most likely swoop in, make some light-hearted comment, and the camera will cut to Baldwin laughing in the audience. Can you imagine it now?

We know the drill by now, Harris. However, I am extremely excited to see what he will bring to the table this year. His brilliant charisma and fantastic energy have carried many award shows before and this will be no different. Yes, there are a few aspects of the 2013 Tonys that can be predicted, but knowing Harris (and the shenanigans he pulled last year with background audience members) it is very certain that he will deliver another wonderful show.

Check out a few blasts from the past of Harris hosting at the Tonys:


So, what do you think? Will Neil Patrick Harris be hosting the Tony Awards for the next 50 years? Leave your two cents in the comments below.

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