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Neil Patrick Harris: This year's Emmy host talks Tonys

July 19, 2013|By Jamie Wetherbe

Neil Patrick Harris knows what it takes to put on a high-profile awards show.

The four-time Tony host, who will host the Emmys for the second time in September, revealed during a recent video interview with the Los Angeles Times what it takes to put on Broadway's biggest night, including how the showstopping opening number came about.

"I thought about it in the car," he said of the the eight-minute song-and-dance opener that featured casts from "Matilda," "Kinky Boots" and an offbeat Mike Tyson. "I thought since we're in Radio City we should honor that we're in a bigger space, and we should do some kind of 'South Park'y" performance.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt, who wrote the music for "Bring It On," then signed on to write the tune.

"That long run in the middle of the opening number, that's Lin," said Harris, referring to his magical disappearing act followed by a trip up the aisle ahead of the cast of "Newsies."

"We did that magic trick and failed four times," he said. But "we'd done orchestrations so it's in there and it worked great."

Harris will soon be back on Broadway in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," swapping his signature suit for a wig and heels.

Watch the opening number from the 2013 Tony Awards.

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