Sean Hayes hosting the Tonys: Is this sweet vindication?
Image Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty ImagesLooks like Sean Hayes is getting the last laugh. The actor — who’s been the center of controversy after Newsweek writer Ramin Setoodeh wrote that the gay Hayes was unbelievable in his straight role in the Broadway musical revival of Promises, Promises — was just announced as the host of the 2010 Tony Awards, which will air on CBS June 13.
The news is especially interesting, considering that just today there had been speculation about whether Hayes — and his Promises costar Kristin Chenoweth — would perform at the awards show. (You see, Promises, Promises wasn’t exactly the most critically loved, or Tony-nominated show, but it has been selling tickets very well nonetheless.) The release from CBS did not specify whether Hayes would be performing at the Tonys, but it seems all but inevitable at this point, since he’ll be on stage so much anyway. And who wouldn’t want to see Hayes and Chenoweth — two well-known celebrities — perform “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”? A rep for the Tonys tells us that a performance line-up will be confirmed in about a week or so.
Handing hosting duties to Hayes is a huge vote of confidence for him from the NYC theater community. Not that it hasn’t been behind him throughout the Newsweek debacle, but it feels especially vindicating because of all the nasty venom that’s been swirling. And truly, Hayes is a wonderful performer — always buoyant, likable, and delightful. Who didn’t love Jack in Will & Grace?
So I’m going on record as saying that this is a good choice, with one caveat: I don’t think the show should be laced with constant references to the controversy. In some ways, it diminishes Hayes as a performer and only lets the spotlight continue to shine on Setoodeh. The awards show should celebrate Hayes for who he is, not because of his involvement in some Newsweek mess. Do you agree, PopWatchers? Are you excited to see Hayes back on TV? Will you tune in just to see Sean do his thing? Is it possible he could actually top the superb job Neil Patrick Harris did hosting last year?
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky
More Stage coverage from EW.com:
Sean Hayes to host ’64th Annual Tony Awards’ in June