Kevin Spacey opens the Tony Awards with assist from Whoopi Goldberg

By Karen Butler  |  Updated June 11, 2017 at 9:09 PM
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June 10 (UPI) -- Host Kevin Spacey sent up the Best Musical nominees Dear Evan Hansen, Groundhog Day: The Musical and Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 during his opening at Sunday's Tony Awards ceremony in New York.

The number -- in which Tony and double Oscar winner Spacey pretended to be insecure about presiding over the ceremony -- included cameos by Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg and the Rockettes, as well as a video message of support from Billy Crystal.

Spacey also mocked previous Tonys hosts Hugh Jackman and Neil Patrick Harris, and Groundhog Day star Andy Karl, who injured himself shortly before his show opened this spring.

The stars of Come From Away were the first nominees to perform on the CBS telecast. Also expected to sing throughout the evening are the actors from Bandstand, Dear Evan Hansen, Falsettos, Groundhog Day: The Musical, Hello, Dolly!, Miss Saigon, Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 and War Paint.

The presenters confirmed for the gala honoring excellence on Broadway include Scott Bakula, Sara Bareilles, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bloom, Glenn Close, Brian d'Arcy James, Cynthia Erivo, Tina Fey, Sally Field, Sutton Foster, Josh Gad, Josh Groban, Jonathan Groff, Mark Hamill, Taraji P. Henson, Chris Jackson, Allison Janney, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Keegan-Michael Key, Nick Kroll, John Legend, John Lithgow, Bette Midler, Patina Miller, Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Mulaney, David Oyelowo, Chaz Palminteri, Sarah Paulson, Ben Platt, Lea Salonga, Tom Sturridge, Tommy Tune and Olivia Wilde.

Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812, a stage adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel War and Peace, goes into the competition with a leading 12 nominations.

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