It was gimmicky and all that, but non-offensive, and really a pretty good performance. Heather and I half-watched it with half-enjoyment.
Then I thought about it for a second. Here's what actually happened:
Heather and I watched, through our television screen, as the immediate Tony Awards audience watched Harvey Fierstein direct their (and our) attention to another screen which showed a different cruise ship audience watching a performance of a musical on a different stage, and at one point in that musical fake cameras are rolled out to film a fake television show (akin, I suppose, to American Bandstand) hosted by a fake Dick Clark-like figure, AND that fake show is "viewed" on stage by two young women on their fake television.
So, for those of you keeping track at home: Heather and I were sitting in our apartment watching and commenting on the Tony Awards as we watched the Tony Awards audience in New York watch a screen showing another audience watching a musical performance wherein a fake television show was being "filmed," and all of the audiences watched as two characters in this musical pretended to watch this fake television show on their fake television and comment on it.
Whew! How many meta-layers became laminated at that moment? More than a few. I don't know what it might mean. I mostly just find it interesting that Heather and I found it so incredibly easy to follow the action. So much movement between so many different realities and dimensions, and we traversed them so effortlessly! We are good, experienced little travelers.
The opening and closing numbers were also pretty brilliantly, and much more self-consciously, meta. Look: