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

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

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.

Stars of Broadway’s Matilda To Be Given Tony Honors for Excellence

Matilda Broadway MusicalThis past week the Tony Awards Administration Committee came together to determine various eligibility issues concerning shows from this Broadway season. One of the most anxiously awaited rulings was whether or not the four young performers who alternate in the title role of the musical Matilda will be eligible to share a Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical nomination. But though Billy Elliot had set a similar precedent when its three stars were nominated (and won), the committee decided not to allow Matilda‘s Milly Shapiro, Oona Laurence, Sophia Gennusa, and Bailey Ryon eligibility in the Best Actress category. Instead, the quartet will be given Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre because the committee felt that the young ladies deserved recognition for their “outstanding performances”. This makes the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) – Who developed the show – and Dodger Properties (The Producer of the show on Broadway) very happy as they can take this four-way Tony accolade all the way to the bank by squeezing the marketing juice out of this guaranteed honor pre and post Tony’s, making it unlike any other Tony award given this year.

Other decisions made by the committee included declaring Orphans eligible for Best Revival of a Play (even though it didn’t previously appear on Broadway), disallowing the Motown score award eligibility, and deciding that neither Manilow on Broadway nor The Rascals will be eligible for nomination. Most of the other decisions involved whether certain performers would be eligible in Leading or Featured acting nominations.

Sutton Foster and Jesse Tyler Ferguson To Announce Tony Nominees

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

The 2013 Tony Award nominations are set to be announced on April 30 at 8:30am. Two famous faces, known both on Broadway and on television, will make the announcements from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, located at Lincoln Center. The well-known performers in question are Tony winners Sutton Foster (Anything Goes, TV’s Bunheads) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee).

Other Broadway luminaries will be there along with Sutton Foster and Jesse Tyler Ferguson when the Tony Award nominees are announced. Noted Broadway costume designer and American Theatre Wing chairman William Ivey Long, American Theatre Wing executive director Heather Hitchens, Broadway League chairman Nick Scandalios, and Broadway League executive director Charlotte St. Martin will all be in attendance.

Once the Tony nominations are announced, it will be a little more than a month until the main event, the Tony Awards ceremony, is held on June 9. The Tonys will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS network. Find more information at