James Corden Kicks Off the 2019 Tony Awards With Ambitious Opening Number

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
James Corden performs onstage during the 2019 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2019 in New York City.

Another op'nin', another show! The 2019 Tony Awards started off with a bang, as host James Corden led the casts of just about every musical nominated tonight in an elaborate opening number.

The scene opened with Corden, sitting solo on a couch wearing a hoodie and holding a television remote, trying to decide what show to stream. There was a “play my queue/cue” joke, and he launched into a song about the benefits of watching actual people perform live, instead of binge-watching. Then the backdrop lifted, revealing the Radio City audience behind him.

Backup dancers appeared to pop out of the couch itself, and Corden’s tear-away hoodie uncovered a red tuxedo jacket (see below). Suddenly, Bryan Cranston interrupted, as he was caught walking in the aisle -- “I just have to go to the bathroom” -- before running away. Other highlights: Corden attempting a split, appearances from cast members of Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations, Tootsie, Hadestown, The Prom, Oklahoma! and Kiss Me, Kate, and Corden referencing his own talk show, finally admitting that he, and most everyone there, gets paid way more money by network television than the theater.

Naturally, the performance (which featured a reported total of 170 people) ended with a resounding, “We’re live!” All in all, it was right up there with some of the more entertaining Tony Awards openers.

The 73rd Tony Awards are being held at Radio City Music Hall in New York, N.Y. on Sunday, June 9. Expect live performances from the casts of Ain’t Too Proud -- The Life and Times of the Temptations; Beetlejuice; The Cher Show; Choir Boy; Hadestown; Kiss Me, Kate; Oklahoma!; The Prom and Tootsie.

Broadway