The 72nd Annual Tony Awards Will Showcase Broadway’s
Biggest and Best Live from Radio City on CBS; Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban Host
By: Ellis Nassour
The 72nd annual Tony Awards, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will have enough star power to light not only 50th Street and Avenue of the Americas but also all of Times Square. The list of mega talent guests could light the world! The Awards will telecast live Sunday from 8 – 11 P.M. from Radio City Music Hall on CBS, proudly entering its 60th year as Tony’s network.
Waitress creator [and former star; recent Jesus Christ Superstar live telecast] Sara Bareilles and multi-talented pop/crossover singer Josh Groban [Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet] are hosting Broadway’s penultimate, always-glittering event. As in previous years, there will be lots of social media action and surprises. The network begins full Red Carpet arrivals at 5 P.M.
“It’s Broadway’s biggest event,” says Ms. St. Martin, “and, rightly so. It will be a starry, starry night seen in 45 countries (which include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the world-wide Armed Forces TV Network). We welcome Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban to an illustrious roster of Tony hosts.”
This has been a season of particular highs with the move to Broadway of A Band’s Visit, blockbusters Frozen and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a season of nine classic and much-acclaimed revivals – probably a record, and the year that Tina Landau’s dream and vision of a different kind of musical came to be – SpongeBob SquarePants, after 10 years of development. And if you want to know where the best-dressed gals are, check out the August Wilson, where you’ll also revel in one of the season’s outstanding comic turns by Mean Girls’ Grey Henson. While welcoming back Lauren Ambrose (My Fair Lady), Glenda Jackson (Three Tall Women), Diana Rigg (My Fair Lady), Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield (Angels in America, Parts One and Two), David Yazbeck and Tony Shalhoub (Band’s Visit), and Denzel Washington (Iceman Cometh), we can also celebrate the return to the New York stage of Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz, Showstopper of the Year for his Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady. We can also feel for the masses who missed one of the most offbeat and well-acted plays of the year, The Children.
Remember the old M-G-M axiom: “More stars than there are in the heavens!” Well, the goal of the 2018 Tony Awards is to top that. There’ll be more stars than there are in the galaxy – and many of them will be singing and dancing!
Bruce Springsteen will make not only a rare TV appearance in appreciation of his Tony honor for Springsteen on Broadway, but also perform. He will be introduced by old friend Billy Joel.
The roster of guests and presenters includes Lifetime Achievement recipients Chita Rivera and Andrew Lloyd Webber; Uzo Aduba, Christine Baranski, Mikhail Baryshnikow, Erich Bergen (Waitress), Clare Danes, Jeff Daniels, Robert De Niro, Brandon Victor Dixon, James Monroe Iglehart, Christopher Jackson, Patti LuPone, Katharine McPhee, Matthew Morrison, Carey Mulligan, Leslie Odom Jr., Kelli O’Hara, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Bernadette Peters, Andrew Rannells, Kerry Washington, and Marisa Jaret Winokur (Hairspray).
Production numbers by the casts of Tony-nominated shows The Band’s Visit, Carousel, Frozen, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, Once on This Island, SpongeBob SquarePants and SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical. Returning for a performance is 2017 Tony-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen.
Once On This Island is set in a tropical village in the aftermath of a storm, and at the Tonys like audiences at Circle in the Square, the Tony-nominated Revival of a Musical will be host 130 volunteers and staff from U.S.-based 501(c)3 non-profit organizations bringing relief to areas impacted by natural disasters: All Hands Volunteers, Americares, and UNIDOS Disaster Relief and Recovery Program. They’ll be onstage on a sandy beach with lagoon, water, goats, and chickens. “Our performance is dedicated to those who give of themselves to help put homes and hearts back together,” says producer Ken Davenport.
To make way for more entertainment, Creative Arts Awards and Special Honors will be distributed in an hour pre-telecast portion that will be seen on NY1 News and www.TonyAwards.com. Highlights will appear during the telecast.
Tony telecast veterans Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment return as executive producers of the Awards; with Weiss also directing.
At the Broadway League, Tom Schumacher is chair and Charlotte St. Martin is president; at the American Theater Wing, Heather A. Hitchens is president and CEO.
In the U.K., Olivier-winning Elaine Paige will host a special program on BBC Radio 2, which will include telecast performances. The Tonys will be seen throughout Canada live and time-delayed. In many countries, the Awards will be seen within a week of the event.
Behind-the-scenes coverage links are www.TonyAwards.com/secondscreen, Facebook.com/theTonyAwards, @theTonyAwards on Twitter, and Instagram.com/theTonyAwards. Join the conversation using hashtags #TonyAwards2017 and #TheatreInspires.
Sponsors for the 2018 Tonys are IBM, Carnegie Mellon University – the first-ever higher education partner; official hotel Sofitel New York; City National Bank; accounting services Grant Thornton LLP; the Rainbow Room; People/Entertainment, Playbill, EBG Premium, and official airline United Airlines.
For a complete list of the nominations, a printable ballot for your picks to win, video features and interviews, trivia, and a history of the Awards and the Awards namesake Antoinette Perry, go to www.TonyAwards.com.
Play – The Children – Lucy Kirkwood; Farinelli and the King, Claire van Kampen; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two, Jack Thorne; Junk, Ayad Akhtar; Latin History for Morons, John Leguizamo
Actor in a Leading Role, Play – Andrew Garfield, Angels in America, Parts One and Two; Tom Hollander, Travesties; Jamie Parker, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two; Mark Rylance, Farinelli and the King; Denzel Washington, The Iceman Cometh
Actress in a Leading Role, Play – Glenda Jackson, Three Tall Women; Condola Rashad, Saint Joan; Lauren Ridloff, Children of a Lesser God; Amy Schumer, Meteor Shower
Actor in a Featured Role, Play – Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two; Michael Cera, Lobby Hero; Brian Tyree Henry, Lobby Hero; Nathan Lane, Angels in America, Parts One and Two; David Morse, The Iceman Cometh
Actress in a Featured Role, Play – Susan Brown, Angels in America, Parts One and Two; Noma Dumezweni, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two; Deborah Findlay, The Children; Denise Gough, Angels in America, Parts One and Two; Laurie Metcalf, Three Tall Women
Direction, Play – Marianne Elliott, Angels in America, Parts One and Two; Joe Mantello, Three Tall Women; Patrick Marber, Travesties; John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two; George C. Wolfe, The Iceman Cometh
Revival, Play – Angels in America, Parts One and Two, Tony Kushner; The Iceman Cometh, Eugene O’Neill, Lobby Hero, Kenneth Lonergan ; Travesties, Tom Stoppard; Three Tall Women, Edward Albee;
Musical – The Band’s Visit, Frozen, Mean Girls, SpongeBob SquarePants
Actor in a Leading Role, Musical – Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady; Joshua Henry, Carousel; Tony Shalhoub, The Band’s Visit; Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants
Actress in a Leading Role, Musical – Lauren Ambrose, My Fair Lady; Hailey Kilgore, Once On This Island; LaChanze, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical; Katrina Lenk, The Band’s Visit; Taylor Louderman, Mean Girls; Jessie Mueller, Carousel
Actor in a Featured Role, Musical – Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady; Alexander Gemignani, Carousel; Grey Henson, Mean Girls; Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants; Ari’el Stachel, The Band’s Visit
Actress in a Featured Role, Musical – Ariana DeBose, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical; Renée Fleming, Carousel; Lindsay Mendez, Carousel; Ashley Park, Mean Girls; Diana Rigg, My Fair Lady
Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre – Angels in America, Parts One and Two – Music: Adrian Sutton; The Band’s Visit – Music and Lyrics: David Yazbek; Frozen – Music and Lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez; Mean Girls – Music: Jeff Richmond, Lyrics: Nell Benjamin; SpongeBob SquarePants – Music and Lyrics: Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper & Rob Hyman, John Legend, Panic! at the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I., and Domani & Lil’C
Book, Musical – The Band’s Visit – Itamar Moses; Frozen – Jennifer Lee; Mean Girls – Tina Fey; SpongeBob SquarePants – Kyle Jarrow
Direction, Musical – Michael Arden, Once On This Island; David Cromer, The Band’s Visit; Tina Landau, SpongeBob SquarePants; Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls; Bartlett Sher, My Fair Lady
Revival, Musical – Carousel, My Fair Lady, Once On This Island
Choreography – Christopher Gattelli, My Fair Lady; Christopher Gattelli, SpongeBob SquarePants; Steven Hoggett, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two; Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls
Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre – Chita Rivera, Andrew Lloyd Webber
Special Tony Awards – John Leguizamo, Bruce Springsteen
Regional Theatre Tony Award – La MaMa E.T.C.
Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award – Nick Scandalios, Nederlander Organization
Tony Honors, Excellence in the Theatre – New York Times photographer Sara Krulwich, beading seamstress Bessie Nelson, and Ernest Winzer Cleaners