The 2009 Tony Awards

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The opening performance at the 2009 Tony Awards

The opening performance at the 2009 Tony Awards

Did you catch the Tony Awards on CBS last night? I was fortunate enough to attend the live event at Radio City Music Hall and I’m here to tell you that it was extraordinary. From the opening production number (that included the casts of the four shows nominated for Best Musical and the four shows nominated for Best Revival of a Musical, with a little Liza Minnelli thrown in for good measure) to host Neil Patrick Harris’ hilarious show closing number, the 2009 Tony Awards did not disappoint.

Billy Elliot was the big winner of the night, taking home trophies for Best Musical, Book of a Musical, Leading Actor, Featured Actor, Direction, Choreography, Orchestrations, Scenic Design, Lighting Design, and Sound Design. These victories were all well-deserved; I saw Billy Elliot on Broadway (for the third time!) on Friday night and I can’t say enough good things about the show. I was thrilled to see Elton John open last night’s Tonys along with the three boys who went on to share the Leading Actor in a Musical Award:  David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish. Their (clearly unprepared) acceptance speech at the end of the show was priceless.

If you find yourself in New York or London any time soon, run — don’t walk — to get tickets for Billy Elliot. But don’t ignore the three also-rans in the Best Musical category: Next to Normal, Rock of Ages and Shrek. Although they didn’t take home the Best Musical Tony Award last night, they are each terrific shows in their own right. Which of these Tony runners up are you most excited to see, based on the performances at last night’s Tonys? Voice your choice in today’s featured poll. And post your comments on last night’s Tony telecast below. The Emmy Awards are three months away, so this is our last major awards show for awhile. Personally, I think the Tonys should win an Emmy.

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