Tony Awards Opening Number: ‘Hamilton’ Introduces James Corden

Associated Press

The cast of Broadway’s smash hit Hamilton, which is nominated for a record 16 Tony Awards tonight, opened the ceremony wondering:

How does an upstart Briton best known for sittin’ and jesting

From a desk in the middle of a forgotten slot on late night

Far from Manhattan, chattin’ with Hollywood phonies

End up being the guy who hosts the Tonys?”

Corden quickly promised the live audience in the theater, and viewers at home, the three-hour ceremony would not be all Hamilton. It also will have commercial breaks.

It will be like the Oscars, but with diversity.

It’s so diverse, Corden marveled, “Donald Trump has threatened to build a wall around this this theater.”

“This is like the Super Bowl for people who don’t know what the Super Bowl is.”

Then, Corden did what he does best (besides “Carpool Karaoke”: manic mashups – this time of Broadway musicals Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Grease, Sweeney Todd, Jesus Christ Superstar (“Spoiler alert: He dies!”), The Sound of Music, The Music Man, Funny Girl, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Annie, Cats, A Chorus Line, Evita, Fiddler on the Roof and a few that we missed, ending with Gypsy (“Ten more years stuck in the background. Here I am, hosting the Tonys. This time tomorrow,  back at 12:30!”).

“Sorry I’m not entirely sure what happened there,” Corden said of the 12:30 crack. “I blacked out a little bit. Have I ruined it? I have ruined it, haven’t I? I’ve ruined the Tonys! Oprah, have I ruined the Tonys? Level with me, Oprah!”

Oprah Winfrey, from the audience, assured him he had not. Corden picked up where he’d left off:


This article was printed from