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See Hugh Jackman's bouncy Tony Awards opener

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a full opening number. But at least viewers finally found out why Hugh Jackman was bouncing up and down in his Tonys promo.

For Jackman’s opening routine at the Tony Awards last night, the host opted to forgo a full musical opening. (He’s done his fair share in the past — and, honestly, he probably couldn’t compete with Neil Patrick Harris’s showstopper from last year’s ceremony.)

Instead, showing off the endurance of the guy who brought Wolverine to screens, Jackman’s routine involved bouncing — everywhere and by everyone. Even Sting and Clint Eastwood got in on the fun.

Watch below, and stay for Jackman and Harris’ purposefully awkward elevator bit. Come on, Jackman, tell Harris you can host any show better than him. READ FULL STORY

Tony Awards 2014 winners: 'A Gentleman's Guide' and 'All the Way' take top prizes

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A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, an old-fashioned musical comedy and the rare Broadway hit not based on a movie or TV show and with zero Hollywood stars in its cast, claimed Best Musical at the 68th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday. Meanwhile, the LBJ biodrama All the Way won Best Play as well as Best Actor for star Bryan Cranston in his Broadway debut.

Neil Patrick Harris, an Emmy-winning four-time Tony host, earned his first award for his role as an East German transgender punker in the musical revival Hedwig and the Angry Inch (and is halfway to an EGOT). And Audra McDonald picked up a record-breaking sixth Tony playing Billie Holiday in the drama Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, becoming the first performer to win Tonys in all four acting categories.

Tony voters spread the wealth this year, with no one show dominating. A Gentleman’s Guide and Hedwig each took home a total of four awards, while A Raisin in the Sun earned three for revival, director Kenny Leon, and costar Sophie Okenedo. After the jump, a complete list of this year’s winners. READ FULL STORY

Inside the Tony Award Nominees: Best Revival of a Musical

As we look ahead to the Tony Awards on Sunday, EW is taking a closer look at this season’s nominated selection of new musicals, plays, and revivals, all of which will be competing for Broadway’s highest honor. Today, we dive into this year’s nominees for Best Revival of a Musical.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Opened: April 22, 2014

Closing: Aug. 17, 2014

Starring: Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall

Directed by: Michael Mayer

Book by: John Cameron Mitchell

Music and lyrics by: Stephen Trask

Synopsis: Hedwig (Harris) is a transgender East German who weds an American G.I. near the end of the Cold War, and finds herself living in a Kansas trailer park and forming a band called The Angry Inch while pining for her lost love, a younger rock star named Tommy.

Tony nominations: 8 — Best Revivial of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Neil Patrick Harris), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (Lena Hall), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Julian Crouch), Best Costume Design of a Musical (Arianne Phillips), Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Kevin Adams), Best Sound Design of a Musical (Tim O’Heir), Best Direction of a Musical (Michael Meyer)

EW’s review: “Purists may balk at Harris’ punk-lite vocals on Trask’s infectiously rockin’ score — he’s less Iggy, more pop — and his threats to ”cut you, bitch” come off with more of a wink than actual menace. But in a bravura performance, the actor proves the perfect instrument for Hedwig’s transition into world-class superstardom. He’s honed his showmanship on four Tony Awards gigs, of course. But he’s looser here, and lewder, more spontaneous and quick on his pumps.” A- (Thom Geier)

Scenic designer Julian Crouch on the challenges of a revival: “Hedwig is a kind of woman who would never perform on Broadway. In a sense, she’s a failure. So we had to find a way that it would be genuine that she was on Broadway – so let’s do it on the set of a failed musical. It really worked.”

Odds of winning: Bet your pumps on it.

NEXT: Les Miserables

Tony host Hugh Jackman on his rivalry with Neil Patrick Harris, hip flasks, and a 'Wolverine' musical -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

After nine years’ absence, Hugh Jackman bounces back to host this Sunday’s Tony Awards broadcast in a big way. Taking a break from rehearsals at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday, he gave props to Neil Patrick Harris, another four-time Tony host who’s up for his first award this year for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. (Jackman earned his own statuette in 2003 for the musical The Boy From Oz.) His advice to Harris: “Sneak some food in…or a hip flask, whatever works for you.” While dismissing any notion that he might one day star in a Wolverine musical, the X-Men star did talk about his plans to return to the New York stage this fall in a three-character drama, The River, opening this fall in a theater that’s about half the size of the one where he performed Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway three years ago. No, he’s not trying to make it harder for fans to see him. “It’s a very intimate play,” he explains. Check out our exclusive clip after the jump (and come back Sunday for our Tony live blog, starting at 8 p.m. ET #EWTonys). READ FULL STORY

Firsts & Worsts: Sutton Foster on awkward headshots and bad 'Millie' reviews

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Every actor has to start somewhere — and when it comes to theater performers, their roots are often similar, right down to the roles they cut their teeth on or the songs they first used at an audition.

From Millie to Violet, Sutton Foster has seen and sung it all, and she’s got the stories to share about her time on the Broadway stage — and the much smaller stages in her hometown in Georgia. Foster is the latest theater star to recount some of her favorite (or least favorite) musical memories in Entertainment Weekly’s Firsts & Worsts Series.

Foster was game to share stories about her first lines (as Fan in A Christmas Carol), her worst review (“Get the hook!”), and the early theater experiences that shaped her as an actress today. Bonus points for an embarrassing confession of a particularly phallic Scarlet Pimpernel costume.

Check out Sutton Foster’s Firsts & Worsts below: READ FULL STORY

Inside the 2014 Tony Award Nominees: Best Play

As we look ahead to the Tony Awards on Sunday, June 8, EW takes a closer look at this season’s nominated selection of new musicals, plays, and revivals, all of which will be competing for Broadway’s highest honor. Today, we dive into this year’s nominees for Best Play.

Act One

Opened: March 20, 2014

Closing: June 15, 2014

Starring: Tony Shalhoub, Andrea Martin, Santino Fontana, Beatrice Kaufman, Frieda Fishbein

Directed by: James Lapine

Written by: James Lapine, based on the memoir by Moss Hart

Synopsis: Act One chronicles the life of Moss Hart (1904-61) and his growth from a poor kid interested in theater to a wildly successful playwright, who wrote (or co-wrote, with George S. Kaufman) classics such as Merrily We Roll Along and You Can’t Take It With You.

EW’s review: “Eccentricity comes easily to Shalhoub after his award-winning eight-season stint as an OCD-afflicted detective on TV’s Monk. The actor is so quirkily charming as Kaufman — and such a good match for Fontana as his high-strung extroverted writing partner — that it’s almost a letdown when he morphs back into Moss.” B- –Melissa Rose Bernardo

Tony nominations: 5 — Best Play; Best Leading Actor in a Play (Tony Shalhoub); Best Scenic Design of a Play (Beowulf Boritt); Best Costume Design of a Play (Jane Greenwood); and Best Sound Design of a Play (Dan Moses Schreier)

Odds on winning: It has an outside chance.

NEXT: All The Way

Tony Awards 2014: Who will win?

Will Neil Patrick Harris claim his first Tony Award this Sunday for his gender-bending turn in the musical revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch? Probably. Will fellow multiple-Emmy winner Bryan Cranston win for playing Lyndon B. Johnson in the biodrama All the Way? Count on it. But will it be the Carole King biomusical Beautiful or the murderously funny A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder that earns top honors as the Best New Musical of the Broadway season?

On that point, as on many other tight races in this year’s Tony contest, EW critics Melissa Rose Bernardo and Thom Geier are divided. Here, we offer our predictions of who will be step-step-kicking to the podium at Radio City Music Hall this Sunday. (By the way, we’ll also be live-blogging the ceremony, hosted for the fourth time by Hugh Jackman.) Disagree with our picks? Please let us know who you think will win — or should win — in the comments section. READ FULL STORY

Broadway box office: 'Aladdin,' 'Raisin,' and 'Beautiful' are the season's hottest pre-Tony tickets

As we sneak up on this Sunday’s Tony Awards, the Broadway season’s box office winners are quickly emerging. And the biggest new hit appears to be on a magic carpet ride. For the week ending June 1, Disney’s Aladdin led new shows with nearly $1.2 million in ticket sales, according to figures from the Broadway League. The animated-film-based tuner is playing to full houses and nearly 88 percent of its potential gross in the cavernous 1,723-seat New Amsterdam Theatre. Right behind Aladdin, though, is a rare non-musical blockbuster: the Denzel Washington-led revival of A Raisin in the Sun, which soaked up $1.19 million last week (thanks in part to premium tickets selling for as much as $348). READ FULL STORY

'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' cast album gets release date

Ready to rock out to some midnight radio?

The Tony-nominated, Neil Patrick Harris-led Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch — which centers around “internationally ignored song stylist” Hedwig Robinson and her tale of life, loves, and a botched operation — will release a cast album July 1 digitally and July 15 in stores.

“Anyone who has spent more than five minutes with me in the last three months knows how excited I am by the new versions of these songs,” Hedwig composer and album producer Stephen Trask said in a release. “The talents of Neil and Lena and this amazing f—ing band have made these the best version of the score ever. After years of working with Justin Craig and a decade and a half recording with Tim O’Heir, producing these recordings as a team with them has been everything I could have hoped. I think we truly captured the brilliance of these great performers. If any band wants to learn any of these songs, these are the versions they should study.” READ FULL STORY

Tony Awards: Neil Patrick Harris, Idina Menzel and more set to perform

Hot on the heels of announcing the presenters at this year’s Tony Awards, the show has confirmed the annual ceremony’s performance lineup. The headline news: Nominated musicals Hedwig and the Angry Inch, If/Then and Violet will be showcased with performances by their Tony-nominated stars, Neil Patrick Harris, Idina Menzel, and Sutton Foster, respectively. Alan Cumming will also reprise his award winning role as the Emcee in a performance from Cabaret.

READ FULL STORY

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