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VIDEO: Tony Awards welcome Broadway stars whose TV shows were canceled back from LA

Andrew Rannells, Megan Hilty, Laura Benanti - Tony Awards 2013

Boom Fiyah (via YouTube)

Laura Benanti, Andrew Rannells and Megan Hilty are forced to eat crow in a group number, returning from Los Angeles to Broadway at the 2013 Tony Awards alongside Neil Patrick Harris after their shows were canceled.

While the Tony Awards has a Manhattan-based vibe since most of the Broadway shows featured on it have yet to make their way through the rest of the country, the West Coast played a big role in one of host Neil Patrick Harris’s songs Sunday night — a medley that ended with a tune beginning, “Kiss L.A. goodbye.”

Andrew Rannells, who made his name on Broadway in “The Book of Mormon” before going on to star on “The New Normal,” made an appearance alongside Harris, leading into a group number featuring Broadway stars-turned-TV-show-stars-turned-canceled-TV-show-stars Rannells, Megan Hilty of “Smash” and Laura Benanti of two shows that got the axe — 2011’s “Playboy Club” and 2012–13’s “Go On.” They came back from L.A. and were forced to face returning to theater after getting their taste of Hollywood stardom.

Meanwhile, Harris took shots along the way, jokingly rubbing their noses in the fact that he’s been on the highly successful “How I Met Your Mother” for almost a decade.

They used some classic Broadway hits to explain how they felt:

  • Rannells tweaked “America” from “West Side Story” to be about wanting to be on a TV show;
  • Under Hilty, Gypsy’s “You Gotta Have A Gimmick” became “You Gotta Have A Series”;
  • “The Ladies Who Lunch” from “Company” was turned into a drunken tirade about how "television sucks" by Benanti;
  • Finally, “A Chorus Line” from “What I Did For Love” became a group song with all four explaining their reasoning for leaving Broadway for Los Angeles.

Fun fact: All four of those canceled series came from NBC. What star of the Great White Way will they make depressed next?

Check out the spectacular stuntwork-filled opening number and the first of multiple appearances throughout the show of Mike Tyson (really, I promise):

You can also watch Harris once again pull off the trick of doing an original closing number with specific details from the show you just saw, this time to the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys song “Empire State of Mind,” with an assist from actress Audra McDonald:

You can read the full list of 2013 Tony Awards winners below:

Best Play: "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike."

Best Musical: "Kinky Boots."

Best Book of a Musical: "Matilda the Musical."

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater: "Kinky Boots."

Best Revival of a Play: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Best Revival of a Musical: "Pippin."

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Tracy Letts, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Best Performance by an Actress in Leading Role in a Play: Cicely Tyson, "The Trip to Bountiful."

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Billy Porter, "Kinky Boots."

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Patina Miller, "Pippin."

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Courtney B. Vance, "Lucky Guy."

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Judith Light, "The Assembled Parties."

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Gabriel Ebert, "Matilda the Musical."

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Andrea Martin, "Pippin."

With contributions by AP

Mike Roe
Mike Roe, Digital News Producer/Blogger

Mike Roe is the lead writer for KPCC's pop culture blog, Without A Net. When he's not busy being a journalist, he writes and performs comedy around L.A.

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