Tony Awards live updates: What to watch out for
Tonight, after a 27-month hiatus, the show honoring Broadway’s best plays and musicals is back.
There will be lots of awards – 25 competitive categories throughout this year – and a lot of speeches.
But the emphasis of the evening is a little different: to remind viewers that Broadway has reopened after a devastatingly long pandemic shutdown, and hope that the show’s performances of tunes and emotions will persuade viewers to return.
This year’s Tony Awards are taking place live and in-person at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre, starting at 7 p.m. Eastern and ending at 11 p.m. Eastern.
Most of the awards will be announced during the first two hours in a ceremony hosted by six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald. That segment will be watchable only on the streaming service Paramount+.
The second half of the evening will see a concert featuring theater stars performing classic and contemporary show tunes. That part of the event, called “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” Said, will be hosted by Leslie Odom Jr. (a Tony winner for “Hamilton”) and aired on CBS, and will feature three big awards for Best. Musical, Best Play and Best Play Revival.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the ceremony is restricted in many ways.
The red carpet is a lot shorter than usual. There is no official after party. (The city denied a request to have a permit on the road.)
And in-person audiences will be limited – the Winter Garden holds 1,500 people, compared to 6,000 at Radio City Music Hall, where the event was often held in previous years. All attendees must show proof of vaccination, and are being asked to wear masks throughout the event.
The awards ceremony will honor plays and musicals opened during a pandemic-short eligibility period from April 26, 2019 to February 19, 2020. Only 18 shows were eligible for the award – almost half the normal – and only 15 scored nominations.
“Jagged Little Pill,” with 15, “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” with 14, and “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical,” with 12, as well as “Slave Play,” which is the first in Tonys history with 12. Most nominated drama
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