Kevin Spacey kicked off the 2017 Tony Awards with a musical medley, which isn’t exactly original but also par for the course in a way that everyone expects at this point. It is the Tony Awards after all. This year’s opening was competent if not incredibly impressive and revolved around Spacey’s “nerves” about hosting and being one of the last choices for the gig this year. For anyone paying attention, it was pretty obvious that other more desired hosting options turned down the producers when they reached out and Spacey eventually took up the responsibility even if he wasn’t the person many could have predicted would do it, or the person that many would choose if given the option.
During the opening however, Spacey was joined by some other candidates for the job such as Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg, and Billy Crystal. Colbert showed up wearing a groundhog head during the piece of the parody number that referenced Tony nominee and critically acclaimed musical Groundhog Day to crack some jokes and goof on Spacey. Whoopi stopped by to make a “coming out of the closet joke” and offer hosting advice, and Crystal joined remotely via satellite to explain why he didn’t take the job when offered but assured Spacey he was also not the show’s first – or tenth – choice either.
You can watch the full opening number above, which also includes references to audience favorite Dear Evan Hansen and Spacey goofing on Josh Groban (and his fake beard) in honor of multiple-nominee Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812. Something for everyone!