I thought they did a better job than in most broadcasts over the past 20 years in getting more musical numbers and entertainment on-air. That's been one of my bugagoos about the Tonys -- don't focus on the awards, since not only is this a TV show, but this are plays and musicals that most of the audience not only has never heard of, but will likely never see. So, focus on what you do best -- musical entertainment and drama. And though there is a lot of room for improvement and additions, they did better.
I liked that they gave attention to the writers of the nominated Best Plays, letting the authors themselves make brief speeches about their works. But the Tony Awards have not figured out yet how to present scenes from the plays themselves, and that's horrible. Audiences are thoroughly used to watching short clips of scenes from movies, they can handle short scenes from plays.
James Corden did a nice job and clearly loves the theater. His bits with the live audience were lightly amusing, but utterly unnecessary. Better to have used that time with performers entertaining on stage with material you're there to honor.
All that aside, here then is the opening number. It's not "electrifying," like the Tony people titled their video below (the opening with Neil Patrick Harris a few years back, that was electrifying), this was well-done and fun. And when you can fill the stage with actors from the various shows on Broadway, that's always A Good Thing.
The point of the song was one that the Tonys tend to address -- "What we do in the theater is live, not like movies and TV." (Oddly, for somewhat inexplicable reasons, they do a mea culpa later in the song and start praising TV. That made for a funny song, but deeply mixed-message...) I thought the lyrics were particularly clever, including one couplet that is one of the better rhymes I've heard in a show, period. It was addressing how there's SO much material on the streaming services that it just becomes inundating. Which lead to the line --
You watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon
'Till you can’t remember what program is on.
(For what it's worth, that's one of my favorite Broadway performers to James Corden's right, Kelli O'Hara, who is currently starring in the revival of Kiss Me Kate. Over her right shoulder is Alex Brightman who got a Tony nomination starring in the title role of the musical version of Beetlejuice. To Corden's left is Brooks Ashmanskas who was nominated as Best Actor in the musical The Prom. Among some of the other people there...oh, never mind. You get the point.)
ll have a few other highlight clips upcoming. But for now...Curtain up --