Even with Kristin Chenoweth popping out from under a giant hoop skirt worn by co-host Alan Cumming, the first hour of the Tony Awards has shaped up to be one of the least wince-worthy in memory.
“It is a puzzlement,” she cracked, stealing a line from the great Rodgers and Hammerstein show.
Even so, it’s a tony Tonys so far. Critics are skeptical about the spoof “Something Rotten!” — it’s yet another Show That Goes Like This, as “Spamalot” might have put it — but it set a we-love-theater tone. Early numbers from “The King and I” and “On the Town” brought a touch of class, and so did the tribute to the great Tommy Tune, even if his acceptance of the actual lifetime award happened earlier off-camera. Old school? Maybe. But it beats the anxious we-wish-we-were-as-cool-as-the-Oscars vibe this show sometimes radiates.
“Fun Home” has three awards already as presenters Jennifer Grey and her dad Joel — who, in his 80s, came out as gay earlier this year — struck a blow for the new and serious to open Hour Two. Too bad we didn’t get to see Lisa Kron as she won for best book of a musical, or Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori win for score. Small black marks.