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NPH and His Finale



The great NPH in his closing number on the Tonys last Sunday.

Watch Harris' Shape. The way he swaggers and sways from one side to the next. This is old time Sinatra, Darrin, this is an actor who gets it. This is an actor who understands things have to live in you to be true. They have to mean something to you to matter. And most importantly, they have to come out of you, instead of Acting as if they're coming out of you, in order to be funny.

We saw Neil in "Cabaret" on Broadway years ago when he replaced Alan Cummings. I remember going to the box office, and being told he had taken over the role, and both my wife and I sighed. Deep. And long.

That was probably one of the finest, most amazing performances I'd seen in a long, long time. I'll never forget "I Don't Care Much" in that shabby dress, with Harris practically falling into himself. It was tortured and tragic and one of the greatest torch songs I'd ever seen.

And so here, he's completely in his element. This actor never simply plays at his stuff, he's constantly revealing, and constantly moving and always experimenting. And in the middle of all of it, remember that all the text, all the lyrics in this piece had been written during the actual show. This isn't a song that's been living in him for months and months. This is something that was thrown at him, with no previous Repetition. You're watching him surrender to whatever it is that's going to happen next to him. You're in the exact same place he is. All of us are.

And that's Art.