Tony Presenters Required to Attend Class on Pronunciation of "Tveit"
by Tricia Davenport. @TriciaDavenport.
NEW YORK, NY - Tony Award hosts Audra McDonald and Leslie Odom Jr. were joined by a “Who’s Who” of Broadway stars this week at a class to learn the correct pronunciation of Moulin Rouge star Aaron Tveit’s last name.
“I’ve literally just called him Aaron T. since Next to Normal,” said rarely mispronounced Tony Award co-host, Audra McDonald. “When I saw him in Catch Me If You Can, I just pointed at him and said, ‘Hey you!’. I’m pretty sure he didn’t notice that I didn’t call him by his name.”
The class attendees had a heated debate about Mr. Tveit’s last name. Tony Shaloub.Tony winner for The Band’s Visit, was adamant the pronunciation was “Tev-it”, whereas Ben Platt and Billy Porter were Team “T’vight”. The class yielded to Hedwig and the Angry Inch star, Neil Patrick Harris, for assistance, since he directed Mr. Tveit in Rent at the Hollywood Bowl in 2010.
“I always just called him Roger and he called me Doogie”, stated Mr. Harris, who has an honorary PhD in Leading Man Linguistics from Steps on Broadway. “We should probably get this right though, since there’s zero chance he won’t win.”
Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. introduced the class’s guest speaker, Idina Menzel. After some extensive vocal warmups, Ms. Menzel shared with the class the importance of saying names correctly.
“As I told James Corden, being called Adele Dazeem was the greatest thing that ever happened. John Travolta is my b---- now. If you want to be Aaron’s b----, go ahead and screw this up!”
As the class was about to be dismissed, Aaron Tveit’s Moulin Rouge co-star and Featured Actor in a Musical nominee, Sahr Ngaujah, raised his hand and said, “It’s Tuh-vayt. Do you want to start working on Ngaujah?”