Tony Awards 2012: Neil Patrick Harris and Book of Mormon Open the Show

Seasoned Tony Awards host Neil Patrick Harris opened this year's show with a Book of Mormon number

Neil Patrick Harris hosting the 66th annual Tony Awards

Neil Patrick Harris hosts this year’s Tony Awards for the third time

Given its high demand and the number of awards it took home last year, it’s only natural that Book of Mormon open the 66th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday night. Plus, there’s something deliciously fun about seeing the likes of Ricky Martin, James Earl Jones, Matthew Broderick, and Cynthia Nixon open the door to a Mormon missionary.

Of course, for Broadway fans, seeing a new face in the role that Josh Gad originated was a little disorienting – Gad, of course, has left Book of Mormon in order to star in the new NBC comedy 1600 Penn.

The Mormons introduced host Neil Patrick Harris, who started off in the typical short-sleeved button down garb but quickly did a quick change for his musical monologue, “What If Life Were More Like Theater.”

In the song, he mused on the benefits of backup dancers and weather-on-cue. Amanda Seyfried popped in for a quick Mama Mia reference and cameo, and Patti LuPone joined Harris for a fun bit about how great it would be to have intermissions in real life.

Our favorite part was when his “understudy,” Jesse Tyler Ferguson, popped in – until Harris screamed, “Go away! You threaten me!”

We’re pretty sure Harris will be just fine.