OpinionStageTony Awards

Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming Outstanding as 69th Annual Tony Awards Hosts

By Bridget McCarthy ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Stage Editor

Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming hosting the 69th Annual Tony Awards. Photo Credit: CBS
Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming hosting the 69th Annual Tony Awards. Photo Credit: CBS

Co-hosting doesn’t always work out for award shows. The public knows this all too well after the 2011 Oscars, where Anne Hathaway and James Franco partnered up for the job to less than favorable reviews. However, Broadway stars Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming seem to have broken the dual hosting curse at the 69th Annual Tony awards. The dynamic duo showed the audience that stage veterans know how to work together and share the spotlight, creating a night of entertainment and celebration.

A big part of the pair’s success is due to the fact that they gave the viewers the perfect amount of everything. Their little performances and jokes throughout the show left the audience feeling not overwhelmed, but also not wondering: ‘who is hosting again?’ Chenoweth and Cumming always showed up at the right time, making their appearances enjoyable. Despite their star power, the two made sure the spotlight stayed on the nominees, (even though Chenoweth was nominated herself, she never overstepped) something especially admirable considering this season’s flurry of newcomers still in the process of being discovered or recognized.

The other big proponent to the cohosts triumphant Tony night: they are both impeccable singers. It seems like a no brainer to have a host that can sing for the Tony’s, but past hosts have fallen short even if they can carry a tune. After being sewn in between Broadway performers who do this live eight times a week, it’s hard for every host to compare. However, Chenoweth and Cumming had no problem with this, as there was no singing the hosts couldn’t match up to.

Krisitn Chenoweth, Brian d'Arcy James, Brad Oscar, Alan Cumming and the cast of Something Rotten!. Photo Credit: CBS
Krisitn Chenoweth, Brian d’Arcy James, Brad Oscar, Alan Cumming and the cast of Something Rotten!. Photo Credit: CBS

The shtick humor at times did feel forced or overdone, especially when Chenoweth came out onstage in a full blown E.T. costume after Cumming made a joke about saying the musical name ‘Fun Home,’ not the Spielberg blockbuster’s famous phrase, ‘Phone home.’ Still, most of the time the gimmicks and banter seemed very true to Broadway; after-all, what’s a stage show if it isn’t over the top?

However, there was something missing from the host-side of the ceremony, and it wasn’t any lack of energy on Kristin or Alan’s part. But the opening number itself was certainly lackluster. After the amazing 2013 Tony Award opening by Neil Patrick Harris, the first ten minutes of the show has Broadway-lovers waiting for that huge number, featuring all the shows in a quick-paced and hilarious setup that is breathtakingly entertaining. But since 2013, the opening number has failed to match up.

So for next year, it is the viewers’ hope that not only will there be talented hosts, but an opening number that utilizes that talent. It will be the 70th Annual Tony Awards, so something big is expected to happen. Only 364 more days to see how it will all play out!

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