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Neil Patrick Harris named Harvard's Hasty Pudding Man of the Year

As if Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t legendary enough, The Hasty Pudding Theatricals declared him 2014’s Man of the Year. Their Woman of the Year, announced last week, is actress Helen Mirren.

The Hasty Pudding Theatricals is the oldest theatrical organization in the U.S., and they’ve been awarding notable performers with the Man of the Year title since 1963. Harris is joining the ranks of past honorees such as Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Justin Timberlake.

Festivities, including a roast and premiere of production Victorian Secrets, will take place on February 7, 2014 in Harvard Square. “I assume this is for that pudding wrestling competition I won last April, right?” Harris joked in a statement. “It was dark and seemed quite seedy at the time, I’m stoked that it’s connected with Harvard. Fancy! Can’t wait!”

This Week on Stage: Fantasia in the Jazz Age, Neil Patrick Harris serves up magic

November is shaping up to be the busiest in recent memory, but the hustle and bustle is costing Broadway a few shows. John Grisham’s A Time to Kill became A Time to Close with an end date of Nov. 17, and the Zachary Levi-Krysta Rodriguez musical rom-com First Date will have its last date on Jan. 5. With as-yet-unannounced premiere dates for shows like Tracy Letts’ Killer Joe (making a spring Broadway bow), Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses (starring Michael C. Hall, Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei and…Letts — busy guy!) and Terrence McNally’s Mothers and Sons with Tyne Daly, it seems there are more productions than theaters to hold them. Stay tuned for which ones make the cut. Meanwhile, there have been a bevy of new openings, including Fantasia’s return to Broadway, Ed Harris and real-life spouse Amy Madigan in a new Beth Henley drama, a new play by Pulitzer winner Bruce Norris, Neil Patrick Harris directing a new magic show, and Julie Taymor’s major comeback (click on the links below for full reviews):

After Midnight  The Cotton Club era gets a jazzy jolt with this new Broadway revue already being called the sleeper hit of the season. Did senior editor Thom Geier share the enthusiasm? Ab-scat-lutely! “There are showstoppers aplenty in the ebullient new musical revue..After Midnight is a show that’s as light on its feet as its very talented ensemble.” EW grade: A-

The Black Suits Call it School of Rock with an age upgrade; Joe Iconis’ take on a high school rock band opened in L.A., but EW.com’s Laura Hertzfeld felt they could use a little more practice: “The Black Suits never gets deep enough into the roots of suburban angst to make you feel like these guys really have something to rage about — nor does it come up with light, frothy pop numbers that urge you to bop along.” EW grade: C+

Disaster!  Off Broadway gets invaded by killer bees, tidal waves, and disco-era hits in Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick’s wacky take on disaster movies. The show doesn’t hit any icebergs on the way to hilarity. As I write in my review, “It’s the perfect antidote to those lamenting the lack of Forbidden Broadway in their urban lives…scrappy but irresistible.” EW grade: B+

Domesticated  Jeff Goldblum and Laurie Metcalf star in Bruce Norris’ dark comedy about a disgraced politico and his put-upon wife weathering a Spitzer/Wiener/Good Wife-like scandal. Thom Geier had mixed feelings on this follow-up to the author’s Clybourne Park: “[Norris] strives to make a larger point about modern gender relations and the utility (and possibility) of male monogamy. But despite Anna D. Shapiro’s crisp, well-paced direction, Domesticated is better on caustic humor and verbal one-upmanship than real insight or character development.” EW grade: B

How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them  Actress Halley Feiffer takes a hand at playwriting in a new work at Off Broadway’s Rattlestick Theatre, but Stephan Lee firmly believed she may want to hone her craft a little more. “How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them opens with three girls shrieking at the top of their lungs, and over the next 90 minutes, they never really stop.” EW grade: C

The Jacksonian  Staff writer Keith Staskiewicz took a look at the NYC premiere of Beth Henley’s eerie Southern drama about a motel barkeep (Bill Pullman) corralling his oddball patrons (including multiple Oscar nominee Ed Harris). “Robert Falls’ eerie direction has more than a hint of David Lynch…here’s a healthy vein of black humor running throughout which turns Henley’s Southern Gothic soap opera into an even more surreal experience.” EW grade: B+

La Soiree  The naughty burlesque revue — already a hit in Europe — settles in downtown NYC to make the city blush. Marc Snetiker was among those wooed by the circus-like, raunchy fun. “There is an abundance of charm oozing from the cast, who each exude a gleeful passion for their talent (be it sexy, silly, or downright strange). If traditional circus isn’t your thing, you’re in luck.” EW grade: A-

A Midsummer Night’s Dream  Visual stylist Julie Taymor trades Spidey for fairies with an opulent new version of the Shakespeare comedy, the inaugural production at Theatre for a New Audience’s new Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn. Thom Geier found himself much enchanted by Taymor’s reborn ingenuity: “There’s a magnificent muchness of her approach to the Bard’s most durable of comedies, as she tosses in everything from pillow fights to a grass-upholstered reclining chair to achieve her vision. But remarkably, this Midsummer never tips over into a too-muchness.” EW grade: A-

Nothing to Hide  It’s no secret that beloved star Neil Patrick Harris likes magic, but he’s fan of his peers too, and decided to helm a new 70-minute variety show featuring upstart showmen Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimarães. Did Hillary Busis surrender to the sleight of hands? “[The performers are] clever, surprising, and altogether incredible, in both the literal and figurative senses.” EW grade: A-


Neil Patrick Harris, Ginnifer Goodwin, more campaign for People's Choice Award nods

Celebrities across various social media platforms are proving that it’s never too early to start campaigning for an awards show nod.

With nominations already open for the 2014 People’s Choice Awards, dozens of stars are tweeting up a storm in the hopes that their dedicated fans will vote them onto the ballot

Check out a few tweets from celebs like Neil Patrick Harris, Ginnifer Goodwin, and more who are campaigning for your vote for this year’s PCAs!

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Neil Patrick Harris and family win Halloween... again

And with 11 days to spare, no less!

On Sunday, the How I Met Your Mother star took Instagram by storm by posting a picture of his incredibly photogenic family — Harris, fiance David Burtka, son Gideon, and daughter Harper — dressed in their annual elaborate Halloween costumes. This year’s theme: Alice in Wonderland. People, start your “aww”-ing”:

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Neil Patrick Harris tweets fabulous first poster for 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' -- PHOTO

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As Tim Gunn would say, that’s a lot of look.

Neil Patrick Harris has just debuted the first poster for his upcoming Broadway return, in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, on Twitter, and the result is a bold, sparkle-heavy attention-grabber for the beloved show, this time directed by Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) with a book by original writer/movie star John Cameron Mitchell.

“Hedwig News! The first ad image was just released, and I get to debut it! Tickets go on sale soon… ” Harris tweeted alongside the image. The show centers on fictitious rock-band fronter Hedwig Robinson (Harris) bringing her glam rock and roll tale to New York to tell a story about life, love, and the botched operation that left her with that “angry inch.”

“I am simultaneously ecstatic and terrified to be stepping into Hedwig’s heels,” Harris, who was last seen on Broadway in the New York Philharmonic’s concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s Company, previously said in a release. “It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime role and I can’t wait to begin the journey.”

The award-winning cult show, which originally premiered in 1998, will officially open with Harris on April 22, 2014, with previews beginning March 29.

Emmys 2013 review: What the upsets say about the way we watch TV now

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Jeff Daniels summed it up nicely: “Well, crap!”

That was the Newsroom star’s opening line when he accepted his Emmy for Outstanding Actor in a Drama. But he might as well have been speaking for the rest of us. Last night’s winners list was so baffling, I half-expected seven different Tatiana Maslanys to jump up on stage and claim their trophies, even though the Orphan Black actress was snubbed.

True, there were a few wonderful upsets. As an avowed fan of Nurse Jackie‘s Merritt Wever, I actually said “Yes!” out loud when she won for Supporting Actress in a Comedy — and that was before she delivered the best anti-speech speech of the night. (“Thank you so very much. Um, I gotta go. Bye!”) When Tony Hale stepped on stage to claim his Supporting Actor award for Veep, it started to feel like we were watching some sort of Bizarro Emmys, where the people who deserved to win actually did. Then things got weird. Jonathan Banks and Mandy Patinkin got passed over in favor of Bobby Cannavale, though in his defense, Cannavale worked insanely hard for that victory, right down to his final rubber-hose beat-down. (As my colleague Darren Franich pointed out, “No other nominee could say, ‘I filmed a gunfight where I was completely naked and covered in blood.'”) And Daniels’ win made the internet angry. When he beat Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm for a season of The Newsroom that at least one critic compared to the crash-and-burn spectacularity of NASA’s Vanguard rocket explosion, you’d think it was an American tragedy so solemn that Will McEvoy will surely deliver a self-important monologue about it next season, to the strains of some sad Coldplay song.

And yet, watching this, something struck me: you can’t really be outraged if you don’t already have a pretty good idea of who’s expected to win. Never in history have viewers had access to more information about who to vote for in their Emmys office pools — simple Googling can get you critics’ picks, industry insiders’ picks, even gamblers’ betting odds — and maybe that’s why these upsets felt like such a shock. At a time when TV viewing habits are getting more and more niche, the Emmy picks for who will win (as opposed to who should) are the one thing that many experts and fans agree upon. READ FULL STORY

Emmys 2013: Neil Patrick Harris cuts loose in 'The Number in the Middle of the Show' -- VIDEO

And there it is.

EW knew host Neil Patrick Harris wouldn’t open tonight’s show with a big, splashy musical number. (How did we know? Because he told us so.) Still, we couldn’t help hoping that he’d still strap on his dancing shoes at some point — and finally, at the midpoint of tonight’s telecast, NPH did just that.

The song, appropriately enough, was called “The Number in the Middle of the Show.” And while it was definitely “fairly arbitrary” — NPH’s words, not ours — the bit still deserves points for getting Harris moving — as well as for pairing him with pinch-hitters Nathan Fillion and Sarah Silverman. Watch their shenanigans below:

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Emmys 2013: Neil Patrick Harris kicks off the show with help from former hosts (and one Paula Deen joke)

And we’re off! Neil Patrick Harris kicked off the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards with a host-filled opening number. What started with an over-complicated binge-watching bit (that made at least one viewer very dizzy), turned into a bit of a rough start on stage for the usually musical host.

Shying away from said musical talent, Harris wasn’t exactly on his game when he first came out on stage, trying too hard to make a joke about the way “kids” watch television nowadays. But after the first Paula Deen joke of the night, Harris was joined on stage by previous hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Fallon, and Conan O’Brien, who picked up the tempo (a little) with gender jokes, tap dancing, and those always funny 2002-was-so-long-ago jokes. READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Planner: 'How I Met Your Mother' and more new fall shows, plus the 'Breaking Bad' finale!

We’re looking at a prime time life cycle – one of big returns and one very big Bad finale. How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory  return and the final two episodes of Breaking Bad bookend the week. Better get your DVR revved up.

All times listed are Eastern.
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Emmys 2013: Here's your drinking game guide

Awards shows: Fun, but also more fun if you’re either A.) In the audience or B.) A little bit buzzed. Since you won’t be heading to the Emmys this year, PopWatch has broken down all the likely phrases and jokes you’ll be hearing when Neil Patrick Harris takes to the Emmys stage tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Obviously, PopWatch cautions you to celebrate responsibly — especially if you’re not planning to switch over to Breaking Bad halfway through. Pace yourself! READ FULL STORY

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