Kevin Spacey Added a New Celebrity Impression to His Arsenal: Fred Astaire
Host Kevin Spacey channeled Fred Astaire for the 2017 Tony Awards opening number. Image via the Los Angeles Times.
The 2017 Tony Awards were last night, and despite it being a highly competitive Broadway season, things went more or less as predicted. Andy Blankenbuehler took home yet another Tony for Best Choreography after the cast of Bandstandshowed everyone exactly why he deserved it (and, of course, the award was announced during a commercial break). Ben Platt broke everyone's hearts with his live performance of "Waving Through a Window" before going on to take Best Actor in a Musical for Dear Evan Hansen. Bette Midler didn't sing but did finally get a Tony Award for acting (and refused to let anyone rush her long-awaited acceptance speech). Josh Groban and the cast of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 went all in for the final performance of the night. Dear Evan Hansen took home Best New Musical, while Come From Away, which was neck-in-neck for the big prize, got Best Direction of a Musical.
What we really, really weren't expecting: host Kevin Spacey singing and dancing through the first ten minutes of the ceremony.
Not only did Spacey channel Platt, Groundhog Day's Andy Karl and Groban to parody their respective musicals and poke fun at how difficult it was for the Tonys to find a host this year, he also stole the show by ending the number a la Fred Astaire, complete with cane, top hat, tails and tap shoes. Did he look like he was trying really, really hard? Yes. Did he carry it off rather well anyway? Definitely.
The full video is below. We stand corrected: Spacey can be a song-and-dance man.
The cast of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise in rehearsal. Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy The Shed
Akram Khan loves to dive into genres he is unfamiliar with. While his own movement vocabulary is a hybrid of kathak and contemporary dance, he has choreographed a new Giselle for English National Ballet, collaborated with flamenco artist Israel Galván and made a dance theater duet with film star Juliette Binoche. Now, in between touring Xenos, his final full-length solo, and several other projects, he's found time to tackle kung fu. Khan is part of the collaborative team behind Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a blockbuster musical based on themes of migration and the fight for survival, running June 22–July 27. Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and featuring a score that remixes songs by Sia, it's part of the inaugural season of The Shed, a new venue in New York City.