Hugh Jackman to Host the 2014 Tony Awards, Sunday June 8, 2014

Hugh Jackman at the Tony AwardsOn June 8, 2014, Hugh Jackman will host the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall.  This is the fourth time the Tony Award winning actor will host the event, previously having emceed the Tony’s in 2003, 2004, and 2005.

Jackman is a favorite among Broadway audiences, as proven by the stupendous box office success of his limited engagement one-man show Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway in 2011, as well as A Steady Rain in 2009 where he played opposite Daniel Craig.  He earned the 2003 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in The Boy from Oz, in which he performed for a year.  He was also recognized with a special Tony Award in 2012 for his work to raise money and awareness for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  He will appear on Broadway next season in Jez Butterworth’s play The River, with performances set to begin early 2015.

Jackman’s film credits include the role of Wolverine in the first installment of the X-Men Series, which he reprised in subsequent films X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past.  In addition, he recently starred in Warner Bros’ 2013 film Prisoners, and he will also play Blackbeard in Warner Bros’ upcoming Pan.  In a more relevant role, he starred as Jean Valjean in the 2012 musical film adaptation of Les Misérables, for which he received an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award.

2014 tony awardsIn 2005, Jackman received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for his role in hosting the 2004 Tony Awards, and he was nominated for the same honor in 2006 for his efforts in 2005.  In 2009, that specific Emmy Award was retired, and thus Jackman cannot expect to win it this year.  However, this past year, the 2012 Tony Awards broadcast did quite well, receiving five nominations at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Special Class Program, Outstanding Music Direction, Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special, and Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special.

Hugh Jackman at the Tonys in 2012.

In taking the mic for the fourth time, Jackman will be tied for having hosted the Tony Awards for the most number of times.  Neil Patrick Harris also hosted four times: in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013.  This year, however, Harris is starring in the title role of John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and will most likely join Jackman on stage as a nominee.

This is also the second year since the return of the Tony Awards to their long-time home at Radio City Music Hall.  For the two years prior, the Awards were relegated to the Beacon Theatre as Cirque du Soleil was occupying Radio City.  Award attendees were not pleased with the change in venue, as the Beacon was much smaller and required producers to limit their number of guests.  Thankfully, the event has now returned to its more spacious home, where it appears to stay.

The Tony Award nominations will be announced on April 29, 2014.  April 24, 2014 is the last day for Broadway shows to have their official opening and still be eligible for a nomination.  On June 8, 2014, the broadcast will air on CBS from 8:00 – 11:00 pm (live ET / delayed PT).

Tony Awards Broadcast Honored With Emmy Nods

Tony AwardsThis year’s Tony Awards broadcast met with a (rare) chorus of approval from Broadway theater fans — and now the annual awards show is getting recognition from the TV industry as well. The 66th Annual Tony Awards telecast, which aired early last month, has received a total of five Emmy Award nominations.

The 2012 Tony Awards broadcast earned nominations in the categories of Outstanding Special Class Programs; Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics; Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special; Outstanding Music Direction; and Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special.

The Emmy Awards will air on the CBS network on September 22, 2013.

New York Theater Companies Now Eligible for Regional Tony

tonyawardsFor decades, in addition to honoring the best of Broadway theater in New York City, the Tony Awards have also presented a Regional Theatre Award in recognition of distinguished work happening outside of the New York area. However, the Tony Awards Administration Committee has recently announced that, starting this coming theatrical season, New York-based companies will now also be eligible for this regional award.

“The Regional Theatre Award honors artistic achievement contributing to the growth of theatre nationally,” said Charlotte St. Martin of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens of the American Theatre Wing, in a joint statement. “New York has some of the most prestigious and creative theatre groups in the country and we are thrilled to include the New York theatre community in this category.”

The change was likely made so that worthy Off-Broadway theater companies can be honored by the Tonys for their excellent work. Past recipients of the Regional Tony award have included Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, and Seattle’s Intiman Playhouse.

Kinky Boots Takes Best Musical Tony Award

Kinky Boots Broadway ShowThe 67th Annual Tony Awards ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall last night, and Broadway’s best came out dressed in their finest to compete in several categories. Best Musical is always the most anticipated award of the evening, and that honor went to Kinky Boots. Kinky Boots also took Best Actor (Billy Porter), Best Score (Cyndi Lauper), Best Choreography (Jerry Mitchell), Best Sound Design, and Best Orchestrations, making it the biggest winner of the evening.

As for the other major categories, Pippin won Best Musical Revival, which was not surprising given the warm reception that the show has received from critics and audiences alike (both Patina Miller and Andrea Martin also took acting awards for their work in this production). Christopher Durang’s comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, starring David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver, won the award for Best Play. Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? earned the prize for Best Revival of a Play.

Other notable wins include 88-year old Cicely Tyson as Best Actress in a Play for her energetic turn in the revival of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful and Judith Light for Best Featured Actress in The Assembled Parties. Though film star Tom Hanks failed to take a Best Actor honor for his Broadway debut in Lucky Guy (the award went to Tracy Letts for Who’s Afraid), Hanks’s co-star Courtney B. Vance did win a Best Featured Actor award. Similarly, much-raved-about Matilda star Bertie Carvel wasn’t able to nab Best Actor in a Musical, but his Matilda colleague Gabriel Ebert did secure a Featured Actor award.

For a complete list of Tony Award nominees and winners, please visit www.TonyAwards.com.

54 Below To Host Tony Viewing Party

54 BelowBroadway fans looking to watch the Tony Awards this Sunday, June 9 with fellow theater lovers can cheer for their favorites at “Celebrate the Tonys,” 54 Below’s Tony Awards viewing party. The venue will broadcast the Tony ceremony, which airs from 8:00-11:00pm, live on large screen TVs.

Located at 254 West 54th in the bustling theater district, 54 Below has become “Broadway’s nightclub,” a place where many of the finest and most famous theater singers and musicians love to perform. Given its Broadway-friendly reputation, it seems an ideal venue for theater fans to gather on Broadway’s most celebrated night.

There is no cover charge to attend 54 Below’s Tony viewing party, but there is a $30 food/drink minimum. Reservations are recommended, and can be obtained by calling 646-476-3551. Walk-ins will be allowed in, too, if the event hasn’t filled to capacity. Arrival time is 6:15 to 6:30pm for those who have made reservations, and the festivities start at 7pm. Find more information at www.54below.com.

Tony Awards Making Student Rush Tickets Available

Tony AwardsA limited number of tickets to the Tony Awards ceremony on Sunday, June 9 will be offered to New York metro area students through a lottery being held on June 6 at 12pm. The lottery will be held at the Helen Hayes Theatre (240 W. 44th Street), home of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages.

The student rush tickets will be $40 each, cash only. Students can begin submitting their names into the lottery at noon, with the drawing taking place at 12:30pm. Students who are selected will need to present a valid student ID, and they can buy up to two rush tickets.

Justin Matthew Sargent, currently starring in Rock of Ages as Drew, will draw the names. Participants have to be there in person as the names are being drawn to receive tickets.

CBS To Continue Broadcasting Tonys Through 2018

CBS NetworkThe American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League have made an agreement with CBS that ensures the popular TV network will continue to broadcast the Tony Awards ceremony through 2018. This is a continuation of a long relationship, as CBS has televised the Tonys for the last 35 years.

“We’re pleased to renew our commitment to the performing arts and look forward to continuing this great and long-standing partnership by bringing the best of Broadway to primetime television for many years to come,” stated Jack Sussman of CBS Entertainment.

Heather Hitchens and Charlotte St. Martin, the executive directors of the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League, respectively, expressed their appreciation of CBS, saying, “Their dedication to our community allows us to bring the finest of the Broadway season into the homes of our fans each and every year – and also allows us to introduce the world of theatre to new audiences across the country.”

The Tony Awards are just around the corner, with the 67th annual celebration set to broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall
on June 9. The CBS telecast will start at 8pm EST.

2013 Tony Awards Snub Great Broadway Shows With No Nominations

I'll Eat You Last Broadway ShowUnlike most little league games in North America, the Tonys often snub a Broadway show by not nominating it for any of the awards. This year’s Tony Awards did make 111 nominations for 26 Broadway shows, but a few were left out, most notably:

I’ll Eat You Last – The tart, entertaining one-woman show about Hollywood super-agent Sue Mengers was overlooked, and, more to the point, so was its beloved star, Bette Midler.

Macbeth – Another one-person show, this bloody tour-de-force starring Alan Cumming (Cabaret) surprisingly went entirely ignored by the Tony nominating committee.

Glengarry Glen Ross – Star Al Pacino and the production as a whole of this David Mamet revival were forgotten by the Tony nominators, which may be due to Pacino’s mixed critical reception (even though the box office receipts were spectacular, lets face it, theatregoers would pay to see Al Pacino go to the bathroom).

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Scarlett Johansson took a Tony Award last time she did a classic on Broadway, but this Tennessee Williams revival got a cool reception and, consequently, no attention from the Tonys.

Harvey – Starring Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), this Roundabout Theatre Company revival was charming and well-liked by audiences and critics. But it had the disadvantage of opening at the very beginning of the season, and therefore was totally forgotten by Tony nominating time.

Picnic – Another Roundabout play revival, Picnic and its pedigreed cast (Ellen Burstyn, Mare Winningham, Elizabeth Marvel) got quite a bit of attention when it was playing, but all were left out come Tony time.

Grace – Although this four-person drama did poorly from a commercial perspective, it was one of the better original plays on Broadway this season, and even included a wonderful featured performance from Ed Asner (who hadn’t been onstage in over 20 years). When all was said and done, though, this though-provoking show didn’t get any Tony love.

Jekyll and Hyde starring Constantine Maroulis, Dead Accounts featuring Katie Holmes, Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), and An Enemy of the People were among the other snubbed shows, but these were less surprising since they either received not-so-great reviews or little audience buzz.

Although many of the snubbed Broadway shows had already closed when the Tony nominations were announced, a handful were just getting started in their Broadway runs. But once the nominations came out, both I’ll Eat You Last and Macbeth revoked their ticket  invites to Tony voters who hadn’t yet seen them. While some may have viewed this as petulant behavior on the part of the shows’ producers, it actually makes solid financial sense, as they are not getting an award and could save some money by selling the ticket for face value.

There are an enormous number of Tony voters (868 to be exact), and each is also invited to bring a date to the show. Without the gain of a prestigious Tony nomination or win, there is little reason for I’ll Eat You Last — which is selling out performances — to give away seats that they could be making top ticket prices on. Even Macbeth, which is not selling out, has a limited number of performances left, so it is in the best interest of the show’s investors to sell, not give away, its best seats.

The reasons why the Broadway shows above, all great contenders for a Tony, did not receive a single Tony nomination is part politics, part critical, part box office, part forgetfulness, part snobbery and an equal part reality – the shows maybe weren’t actually good enough – Although how anyone can say that Alan Cumming wasn’t mesmerizing in this high-hurdle challenge is beyond me.

Tony Awards Tickets On Sale To The Public

tonyawardsOn June 9, CBS will broadcast the three-hour Tony Awards ceremony, celebrating the best of Broadway. But if you would rather watch the drama unfold in person, tickets are now available to the general public for the event, which is being held at Radio City Music Hall (1260 Avenue of the Americas) in New York City.

Tony Awards tickets are steeply priced at $275 to $475. To order, call 866-858-0008, or visit the Radio City Music Hall box office in person. Be aware that there is a limit of six tickets per order, and ticket sales are final.

The Tonys are a black-tie-only event, so you must be dressed to the nines to attend. Doors close at 7pm.

2013 Tony Award Nominations Announced

Kinky Boots Broadway ShowThe Tony nominations were announced this morning, and the new musical Kinky Boots came out ahead of the pack with 13 nods, including Best Musical, Direction, Choreography, Original Score, Book, and, of course, Best Costumes. Close behind was the rave-reviewed British musical Matilda, with 12 nominations.

The Broadway revival with the most Tony Award nominations was the Stephen Schwartz musical Pippin, which earned 10 noms. With 8 nominations, Golden Boy was the play revival that fared the best. Lucky Guy had the most nominations (6) of any new play, and star Tom Hanks earned a nod for Actor in a Leading Role.

The Tony nominees will battle it out on June 9 when the Tony Award ceremony takes place. The awards will take place at Radio City Music Hall and will be aired in a three-hour broadcast on CBS.