Visa Signature will be offering a taste of the Tonys by sponsoring a “Tonys Preview Concert,” to be taped at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 11. All of this season’s Broadway musicals that are eligible for Tony nominations will perform at the event. The broadcast will air on CBS in the New York City area on June 7, but dates will vary in other markets, so check local listings. And don’t forget to check out the Tony Awards ceremony itself, which will air on June 15.
The 62nd Annual Tony Awards show, which honors the best of Broadway each year, will be held on June 15, 2008 at Radio City Music Hall. As usual, the ceremony will be broadcast on CBS. With the Broadway season just now beginning, there isn’t much buzz yet on which shows are most likely to be Tony contenders, but come Spring, the Broadway community will surely be engaging in heated debates over who will take home the statues.
The Tony Awards Nominating Committee for the 2007-2008 season, the people who will be in charge of seeing all of the Broadway shows and picking the best, has been announced. Among the many distinguished Broadway performers and theater professionals on the committee are producer Sue Frost, actress Joanna Gleason (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), actor Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime), actress Phyllis Newman, playwright Lynn Nottage, actor Roger Rees, choreographer Donald Saddler, and theater writer Steven Suskin.
It has just been announced that the Tonys, the annual awards that reward Broadway excellence, will be adding two new categories in the 2007-2008 season: Best Sound Design of a Musical and Best Sound Design of a Play. It’s about time that the Tonys recognize good sound design, a vital part of the Broadway experience. Perhaps what finally led them to this decision was that the recently-completed Broadway season boasted so many shows that demonstrated such impressive sound design — most notably Journey’s End, Talk Radio, and The Coast of Utopia.
So far there have been two casualties following the Tony Awards. Oddly enough, the first Broadway show to post its closing notice was Company, which actually won the biggest award that it was up for, Best Revival of a Musical. Usually struggling shows will do their best to stick it out until the Tonys, in the hopes that they’ll win an award and then be able to attract a bigger audience. But apparently that hasn’t worked out for Company. The other show to make such an announcement was August Wilson’s play Radio Golf, which lost the Best Play award to The Coast of Utopia. Both shows will have their last Broadway performance on July 1.
The Broadway musical phenomenon Spring Awakening and the epic play trilogy The Coast of Utopia took the top prizes at the Tony Awards on Sunday night, as expected. Also unsurprising: Frank Langella taking the Best Actor in Play award for his masterful performance in Frost/Nixon, Christine Ebersole winning the Best Actress in a Musical award for playing two different characters in Grey Gardens, and John Gallagher Jr. grabbing Featured Actor in a Musical for his tortured teen in Spring Awakening. Company got Best Musical Revival and the marvelous Journey’s End (which sadly had its last Broadway performance just hours before the Tonys began) took Play Revival.
The only true “upset” came when dark horse David Hyde Pierce’s name was announced for Best Actor in a Musical rather than the favored Raul Esparza. Pierce’s warm-hearted acceptance speech was a highlight of the evening, as was Langella’s classy one. Manic Julie White, winner of Best Actress in a Play for her agent-from-hell in The Little Dog Laughed, was the comic highlight at the podium, followed closely by Mary Louise Wilson (Grey Gardens). The musical performances sandwiched in between the award presentations were less than thrilling this year, with the exceptions of the Chorus Line opener (performed on the street outside Radio City Music Hall) and the energetic Spring Awakening medley (which amply proved that Duncan Sheik deserved his Best Score award).
Don’t forget to tune into the 61st Annual Tony Awards show at 8pm tonight (Eastern Standard time) on CBS. Broadway’s best will be on display as they are honored for their achievements in the 2006-2007 Broadway season. If you’re in the New York area, also check out the “Red Carpet” pre-show on NY1 at 6pm.
In between musical numbers performed by the casts of nominated Broadway shows Curtains, Grey Gardens, Mary Poppins, Spring Awakening, 110 in the Shade, Company, and A Chorus Line, a starry line-up of actors and entertainers will be presenting this year’s Tony Awards on June 10. The list includes Harry Connick, Jr., Claire Danes, Brian Dennehy, Neil Patrick Harris, Anne Heche, Marg Helgenberger, Felicity Huffman, Eddie Izzard, Jane Krakowski, Angela Lansbury, Robert Sean Leonard, John Mahoney, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, Bernadette Peters, David Hyde Pierce, Christopher Plummer, Kevin Spacey, Usher, Sam Waterston, Vanessa Williams, Rainn Wilson, and more! There will also be a special performance by Fantasia, the former American Idol who is now starring in The Color Purple on Broadway.
The 2007 Tony nominations came out today, and it’s no surprise that the shows receiving top recognition were the epic Tom Stoppard play The Coast of Utopia and the hot new musical Spring Awakening, which have a total of 10 and 11 nominations, respectively. The real shock was what — and who — didn’t manage to make the cut this year. Legally Blonde failed to land a Best Musical nom (despite the fact that it got nominations for Book and Score), and both The Pirate Queen and the Les Miserables revival were completely shut out. Broadway darling Kristin Chenoweth did not snag an acting nom for her performance in The Apple Tree, and Oscar winner Kevin Spacey’s turn in A Moon for the Misbegotten was snubbed. Among those triumphant were Christopher Plummer (Inherit the Wind), Liev Schreiber (Talk Radio), Vanessa Redgrave (The Year of Magical Thinking), Angela Lansbury (Deuce), Audra McDonald (110 in the Shade), and David Hyde Pierce (Curtains). To see these heavy hitters, and many others, duking it out for the big prizes, tune into the Tony Awards on CBS on June 10.