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Burning Tony Awards questions: Why was Hugh Jackman hopping? Who broke a record?

The Tony Awards went by on Sunday in a blur of flashy costumes, ebullient production numbers and teary acceptance speeches. But there were a few things that warranted a little further investigation. Here's what had us wanting to know more:

Hoppin' Hugh Jackman?
The host bounced his way into the Tony Awards for four straight minutes, starting at the red carpet and ending on stage after a trip backstage and just one quick pause in the elevator. Eagle-eyed viewers would note that Jackman quickly passed by a TV set showing a clip from a movie in which a very cheery man was doing something similar. 

Turns out Jackman was doing an homage to 1953's "Small Town Girl," in which Bobby Van hopped his way through town to "Street Dance." The movie also included the song "Take Me to Broadway," which Jackman sang a few lines from as he finished his marathon hop-athon. And if the whole thing looked familiar, Jackman's not the only imitator: Goldfrapp and Peter Wolf both created "jumping" music videos.

Of course, Jackman had been teasing his performance on the show for a few days, including this brief preview of his hopping good time:

Yup... ready to #host and #BOUNCE at #tonyawards tomorrow night! #youneverknowwho'sgonnashow

A video posted by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman) on

And this one, posted mere minutes before he went onstage:

"It's showtime folks!" #tonyawards

A video posted by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman) on

Chairman of the board?
We're pretty sure Clint Eastwood (who presented two awards) hasn't started seeing things; the brief clip of him examining a folding chair backstage until Jackman and Idina Menzel stopped by to interrupt was a clear wink aimed at his 2012 Republican National Convention appearance, in which he delivered a speech to a chair (meant to be a stand in for President Barack Obama). The speech was mercilessly mocked afterward, so it's nice to see Eastwood has a sense of humor about the incident. 

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    Hugh Jackman kept things moving at the 68th annual awards program, billed as "Broadway's biggest night."

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    Get the party started -

    Hugh Jackman kicked off the 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York on June 8, 2014 with an enthusiastic hopping number from red carpet to stage, then still had enough energy to jump into a song-and-dance number.

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    Lady in red -

    The wickedly good Idina Menzel stood out on the red carpet and on stage; she was nominated for her performance in "If/Then."

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  • Image: Fran Drescher arrives for the American Theatre Wing's 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York

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    Wish come true -

    Fran Drescher was around to help present at the Tony Awards, and currently appears on Broadway in "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella."

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    Not pottering around -

    Daniel Radcliffe and Erin Darke were on hand to support his play "The Cripple of Inishmaan," which was nominated for a Tony Award.

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    Winner by a mile -

    Lena Hall was clearly emotionally moved as she accepted the award for best performance by an actress in a feature role in a musical for "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

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    Best friends forever -

    James Monroe Iglehart (with Adam Jacobs as Aladdin) won a Tony for his expansive performance as the genie in "Aladdin," and performed "Friend Like Me" from the musical during the Tony Awards.

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    Inching along -

    Actor and past Tony host Neil Patrick Harris performed a song from his current Broadway musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," and won a Tony for his lead role in the musical.

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  • Image: The cast of Les Miserables performs during the American Theatre Wing's 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York

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    Can you hear me now? -

    The cast of "Les Miserables" performed "Do You Hear the People Sing" during the Tony Awards; the musical was nominated for best revival.

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    Eye of the tiger -

    Andy Karl and the cast of "Rocky" performed onstage during the Tony Awards; the musical was nominated for five awards.

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    What a welcome! -

    Alan Cumming reprised his role in "Cabaret" and performed with his "beautiful" orchestra at the Tonys; the play was nominated for two Tonys. Cumming won a Tony for his original incarnation of the role in 1998.

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    Breaking Broadway -

    Bryan Cranston won his first Tony Award for his lead performance as President Lyndon B. Johnson in "All the Way."

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    Making history -

    Audra McDonald accepted the award for best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play for "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill." The prize was her sixth, which set a new record for most straight acting roles won by an actress on Broadway.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Jennie Barber and Christine Dwyer perform a scene from "Wicked" during the American Theatre Wing's 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York

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    Wicked good -

    Jennie Barber (l.) and Christine Dwyer performed "For Good" from "Wicked," which was celebrating its 10th anniversary on Broadway, during the Tonys.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: The cast and crew of "A Raisin in the Sun" accept the Award for Best Revival of a Play during the American Theatre Wing's 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York

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    Sun shines -

    "A Raisin in the Sun" earned a Tony for best revival of a play at the Tonys.

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    Music men -

    T.I., Hugh Jackman and LL Cool J launched into a rap version of a tune from the classic musical "The Music Man," and afterwrad Jackman joked that he now had a new rap name: "Biggie Tap Shoes."

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    Near and far -

    Sophie Okonedo, who described herself as a "Jewish Nigerian Brit," accepted an award for her featured role in "A Raisin in the Sun" at the Tonys.

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  • Image: Jessie Mueller and Carole King perform during the American Theatre Wing's 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York

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    Making beautiful music -

    Jessie Mueller won for her performance in "Beautiful - The Carole King Musical," in which she played the singer/songwriter -- and earlier in the show, got a chance to sing with the real-life King.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: Sutton Foster performs with the cast of "Violet" during the American Theatre Wing's 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York

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    Making her way -

    Sutton Foster may not have won a Tony on Sunday, but her performance with the cast of "Violet" was certainly one of the evening's best.

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    Gentlemen prefer awards -

    The production with the most nominations this season, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" took home the best musical Tony for the night.

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    All together now -

    Hugh Jackman invited all of the Tony Award winners from the night on stage to bid the audience farewell after a lively, exciting evening.

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So wicked!
Someone had to do it. Broadway darling Idina Menzel had her name butchered in a strange and unexpected way earlier this year at the Academy Awards, courtesy of John Travolta — but would anyone do a call-back to that "Adele Dazeem" moment on her home turf? 

Yup: Her "Glee" co-star Jonathan Groff, who introduced Menzel's performance from her musical "If/Then," called her "wickedly good," in a very good mimicry of Travolta's clipped Oscars introduction — only this time, the "Let it Go" singer's name was properly pronounced.

Theo Wargo / Today
Audra McDonald has taken down Angela Lansbury on Broadway with her latest win.

Record-breaking win
That's right: Audra McDonald is now Broadway's winningest actress, with six Tonys (she has now surpassed Angela Lansbury, who has five), and Julie Harris (who also has six, but one is for lifetime achievement). But she's not the person with the most Tonys of all on Broadway. That would be Hal Prince, who has 21.

What happened to the 'In Memoriam' segment?
Alas, the roster of those who died during the previous year had to be cut from the live broadcast at the last minute when the show ran more than 15 minutes over, according to the Associated Press

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