Watch this hilarious musical number about cancelled TV shows with Neil Patrick Harris on the Tony Awards 2013!
Sunday night’s 67th annual Tony Awards had 7.24 million viewers, which is a 20 percent increase from last year’s viewership. Although the event is, of course, for theatrical arts, television might have played a minor, yet vital role at this surprising statistic.
In a musical number, the show’s host, Neil Patrick Harris is joined by Andrew Rannells – a theater actor who had a short stint in the TV series, The New Normal, which was cancelled this year after just one season.
The number starts when Harris calls Rannells on stage, and introduces him to the audience, casually mentioning that he quit an award-winning Broadway show to star in a TV series, which was later cancelled.
In the midst of their musical dialogue, where they discuss the perks of being on a TV show, Megan Hilty — whose TV series Smash also took the axe last month — joins them on stage, and her presence is instantly met with applause.
Laura Benanti then steps in, drink in hand, and sings bitterly about having her two shows cancelled. Benanti starred in “The Playboy Club” and “Go On”, both of which was cancelled after just one season.
While Harris comforts them with the thought of being able to always come back to the theater, he also quips: “We can’t all have long running hit TV shows like my own!”
They then conclude with a chorus to the tune of “What I Did For Love”, revealing reasons that they decided to take on a TV role.
Although it’s only (partly?) in jest, the performance does say a lot about an actor’s life in a television show, especially when it’s unsuccessful. It also poses a subtle comparison to life as a theater actor — which is more work with lesser pay. Nevertheless, it pays a sincere tribute to both industries — despite the pros and cons.
TV actors don’t always have a platform to vent when their shows get cancelled, but these ones are lucky — they have the stage and the voice to literally sing their hearts out.
Do you think Broadway actors are not made for TV?