I gotta say, I was a little shocked when I heard the big news about Neil Patrick Harris five years ago.---
I don't know why I never guessed it -- usually I'm pretty perceptive about these things. But, in 2006, when it came out that Harris was a big deal in show business, my jaw dropped to the floor. Who'da thunk it, right?
(Oh, and also, as it turned out, he's gay.)
Actually, had I been paying attention, I'd have known that Harris has enjoyed quite a successful film and theater career since the days of Doogie Howser, M.D., not even counting his ironic cameos in stoner movies such as Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and roles in network TV series such as How I Met Your Mother. All along, he's been performing on Broadway, as well as producing, directing and doing voice work in Hollywood, making appearances in TV ads, and doing stage magic.
But 2011 has got to be Harris' seminal year. The Neil Patrick Harris brand has reached critical mass: In recent years, he's been in more TV ads; he's been doing more TV series episodes; he appeared opposite Patti LuPone (yes, Patti LuPone!) in a concert version of Stephen Sondheim's wonderful and often-underrated show Company -- playing the lead role of Bobby, natch; and, among his myriad other projects, Harris somehow found the time to, ahem, host the 2011 Tony Awards.
And, as it turns out, he was brilliant. Just watch his opening number "It's Not Just for Gays Anymore" (including a shout-out to us "sad, embittered malcontents who write the reviews"). Flame on, Neil Patrick Harris! What's not to love?
Oh, and also this hilarious Annie Get Your Gun/Singin' in the Rain/West Side Story/Funny Girl/How to Succeed in Business/Gypsy/etc. mashup with Hugh Jackman:
Brandon's Big Gay Blog