Broadway’s Big Event: The Tony Awards Are Sunday, Telecast Live from Radio City and Simulcast in Times Square and Worldwide
By: Ellis Nassour
Remember the old M-G-M axiom: "More stars than there are in the heavens!" The 2013 Tony Awards, the 67th Annual, telecast by CBS live from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday from 8-11 P.M. has that beat. There’ll be more stars than there are in the galaxy! Minus one, and more about that later.
The stars are aligning! Tony fav, six-time Emmy nominee and two-time winner and four-time Golden Globe nominee Neil Patrick Harris returns as the host with the mostest. Expect humorous barbs and songs.
He’ll be joined by these presenters and nominees: Annaleigh Ashford, Laura Benanti, Stephanie J. Block, Charl Brown (Motown nominee), Danny Burstein, Carolee Carmello, Keith Carradine, Bertie Carvel, Will Chase, Victoria Clark, Carrie Coon, Jon Cryer, Alan Cumming, Gabriel Ebert (Matilda nominee), Jesse Eisenberg, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sally Field,Harvey Fierstein, Santino Fontana, Cuba Gooding Jr, Shalita Grant (Vanya and Sonia … nominee), Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hanks, Megan Hilty, Judith Ivey, Jane Krakowski, Scarlett Johansson, Richard Kind, Valisia LeKae (Motown nominee), Nathan Lane, Cyndi Lauper, Tracy Letts, and Judith Light.
In addition, there’ll be Rob McClure, Audra McDonald, Billy Magnussen (Vanya and Sonia ... nominee), Terrence Mann, Andrea Martin, Laurie Metcalf, Patina Miller, Matthew Morrison, Amy Morton, Kristine Nielsen, Laura Osnes, Johnny Orsini (Nance nominee), David Hyde Pierce, Martha Plimpton, Billy Porter, Hal Prince, Andrew Rannells, Condola Rashad, Stark Sands, Keala Settle (Hands on Harbody nominee), Tony Shalhoub, Tom Sturridge (Orphans nominee), Holland Taylor, Cicely Tyson, Courtney B. Vance, Sigourney Weaver, Steven Van Zandt, Lauren Ward (Matilda nominee), the four young girls alternating in the role of Matilda, and, among numerous others, none other than the Sir himself, Andrew Lloyd Webber.
There’ll be numbers by the casts of the Tony-nominated musicals A Christmas Story, Bring It On, Kinky Boots; Matilda, and Motown; and nominated revivals Cinderella and Pippin.
Not enough? The world’s largest stage is going to have to get larger. Try this on for size: additional headliners will be from currently-running Chicago, Jersey Boys, Newsies, Once [last season’s Best Musical], Rock of Ages, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and long-running The Lion King, Mamma Mia, and the granddaddy of ‘em all The Phantom of the Opera.
The Tony Awards, which will be seen in 45 countries, are presented by the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League. For a complete list of the nominations, go to www.TonyAwards.com. As always, you’ll notice a few worthy names are missing among the nominees.
One omission is especially embarrassing: Bette Midler. It’s been the hot gossip of the chat rooms for weeks. NOT TO NOMINATE Bette Midler, who courageously has returned to the stage and in a non-musical role in I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, is mindboggling, disgraceful! The nominators had to see it/her, so how is it they didn’t recognize nominators missed the most sizzling performance of the season? What were they thinking? Drinking, might be more like it.
The play’s SRO and a hard ticket and Miss Bette doesn’t disappoint. Her performance is like having Sue back with us for a night or afternoon and sitting right across from her plushly-appointed couch eavesdropping along with an A-List group of, say 12, on the latest and torrid Hollywood gossip. If write-in votes were allowed, taking nothing away from the certainly-deserving nominees in the Best Actress category, B.M. would be a contender.
What do you mean, you can’t be at the Tonys? So what if you couldn’t afford those thousand dollar ducats, there’re ways you can be part of the excitement. There’s CBS; and then, at what could easily be called the viewing party of the year, watch in Times Square starting at 6 P.M. on Clear Channel’s huge SpectacolorHD screen, courtesy of Nexxus Hair Care, NY1, and the Times Square Alliance. The host is Forbidden Broadway alumna Christine Pedi (currently Mama Morton in Chicago).
Entertainment will include a performance by the cast of Rock of Ages, Patti Murin and the teen troupe Applause! and a round of Broadway karaoke.
Heather Hitchens, executive director, American Theatre Wing, co-presenter of the Awards with the League, adds, "There’s nothing like celebrating Broadway’s biggest night, with Broadway’s biggest fans, right in the heart of Times Square. It’s the next best thing to being at Radio City Music Hall."
You’ll also see the live presentation of the Creative Arts Awards, which, sadly, aren’t seen on the telecast in order to make more room for commercials. It’s in Duffy Square, adjacent to the TKTS booth red stairs, and first come, first serve. With thousands of enthusiastic fans expected, arrive early and bring snacks and (non-alcoholic) beverages.
A lucky fan will win a Nexxus makeover right on the red carpet, tickets to the Tonys and the gala, plus walk the Music Hall red carpet. Arrive in formal attire (suit/cocktail dress) between 3 and 4:30 P.M. to have photos in front of Tony signage and be entered to win the grand prize [announced at 5 P.M.]; then to be wisked away to the Music Hall! Participants receive Nexxus products.
There’ll be streaming with exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage on the official Tony website, and viewing parties at supper club 54 Below on West 54th Street (between Broadway and Eighth Avenue) and famed actor hangout Joe Allen’s, on West 46th Street (between Eight and Ninth Avenues).
Another way to keep up-to-the-minute with the Tonys is at www.TonyAwards.com, where you’ll find information, clips and posters from plays and musicals, photos, video visits with Tony nominees and previous Tony winners, facts and trivia galore, fan predictions, a printable ballot so you can vote, and a feature on the life and times of Awards namesake Antoinette Perry. Follow the Tonys on Facebook.com/theTonyAwards and Twitter.com/theTonyAwards.
Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment are executive producers of the 2013 Tonys, with Weiss also directing. Official Tony partners include IBM, which develops, designs, and hosts the Tony website, Audemars Piguet, The New York Times, People, Royal Caribbean International, United Airlines, and the Intercontinental and Paramount hotels.
The Tony Awards are presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. Nick Scandalios is Broadway League chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is executive director. Tony-winning costume designer William Ivey Long is Wing chair.