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 www.tonyawards.com.

A Broadway Show Has Got Have a Gimmick

Displaying a keen sense of humor, the infamous Broadway musical Spider-man Turn Off the Dark celebrated the Tony Awards last week by giving away free tickets to anyone named Tony (or with similar names such as Toni and Antonio). As a result, Spider-man was able to claim — with tongue firmly in cheek — that it had broken the record for most Tonys on Tony Sunday. It was a clever way for the musical, which only received nominations for Set and Costume design (it didn’t win in either category), to turn its general snubbing into a funny, press release-worthy news item.

Advertising and marketing gimmicks like this have a long history on Broadway, with producer David Merrick being one of the most notorious practitioners. Today, many of the gimmicks are internet-driven, such as the Instagram meet-up hosted by End of the Rainbow or Next To Normal‘s special live-tweet performance. The current Jesus Christ Superstar revival held a secret concert for fans, spreading the word through social media.

Some gimmicks, like Bonnie & Clyde‘s posting of “Wanted” posters around town, are designed to intrigue potential Broadway ticket buyers. Other gimmicks, like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels handing out free cast recording CDs to entire audiences, are done with the hopes of creating positive word-of-mouth and repeat business.

Gimmicky Broadway merchandise can be a great way to get people talking about a new Broadway show.  This season saw such buzzworthy promotional items as Evita tissues (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”) and Stick Fly fly swatters.  Promo items are often passed out at events like “Broadway on Broadway” and the Broadway Flea Market, where superfans receive them and then pass on the word to their friends.  And in the age of Facebook and Twitter, this kind of marketing is even more effective, since people can instantly upload photos to show their friends.  In this way, the fans themselves are transformed into advertisers, proving that it pays to have a good gimmick.

Once Takes Top Honors at the 2012 Tony Awards

Many Broadway shows were honored at the 2012 Tony Awards this past Sunday evening, but it was the musical Once, based on the Irish indie film of the same name, that received the most recognition, nabbing eight Tonys (including Best Musical and Best Leading Actor for Steve Kazee).

Little-show-that-could Peter and the Starcatcher won the second largest number of Tony Awards, taking a total of five Tonys, including Best Featured Actor in a Play for Christian Borle (now well-known to TV audiences for his role as a Broadway songwriter in the NBC series Smash).

Beloved Broadway actress Audra McDonald received her fifth Tony Award, this time for her acclaimed performance in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, which took the Best Musical Revival award.

The Best Play award went to the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Clybourne Park, while the Best Revival of a Play award went to the sell-out production of Arthur Miller’s classic Death of a Salesman (co-starring Andrew Garfield, star of the new Spider-man movie).

Newsies, the Disney film flop that has now become a popular Broadway show, won Best Score (for lyricist Jack Feldman and composer Alan Menken), as well as Best Choreography for Christopher Gattelli’s energetic dance moves.

Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, this year’s Tony Awards ceremony not only featured the presentation of the awards to this season’s winners, but also several musical performances (including a special performance by the cruise ship cast of Hairspray on the high seas) and special awards like one given to Hugh Jackman in recognition of the money he raised for charity while performing his solo show.

Starry Line-Up To Host 2009 Tony Awards

The presenters for the 63rd Annual Tony Awards ceremony have been announced, and it’s quite a starry line-up, full of theater celebrities (many who are currently appearing in Broadway shows) and well-known personalities from film and TV too. The stars currently scheduled to present awards and introduce the evening’s performances on the telecast are: Will Ferrell, Nicole Kidman, Jane Fonda, Kristin Chenoweth, Anne Hathaway (upcoming Twelfth Night in Central Park), Angela Lansbury (Blithe Spirit), Kevin Spacey, Lauren Graham and Oliver Platt (Guys and Dolls), Jessica Lange, Audra McDonald, Susan Sarandon (Exit the King), Carrie Fisher (upcoming Wishful Drinking), Piper Perabo (Reasons To Be Pretty), Lucie Arnaz, Kate Burton, Edie Falco, Hallie Foote, Colin Hanks, Frank Langella, David Hyde Pierce (Accent on Youth), John Stamos, Chandra Wilson, James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis (God of Carnage). Neil Patrick Harris will host the ceremony, which will air on June 7, broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

2008 Tony Award Nominations Announced Today

This morning the nominations for the 62nd Annual Tony Awards were announced by David Hyde Pierce (Broadway’s Curtains, TV’s Frasier) and Sara Ramirez (TV’s Grey’s Anatomy, Broadway’s Spamalot), and the musical In the Heights came out on top with an impressive 13 nominations. Other musicals that did well were Passing Strange and the Broadway revivals of South Pacific and Sunday in the Park with George; August: Osage County fared particularly well among the plays. Given that all of these shows were well-reviewed, their success was expected, and today’s Tony nods actually yielded very few surprises. However, they have set up some pretty exciting contests for Tony night on June 15, when we’ll find out which Broadway shows and performers reign supreme. If you want to judge for yourself, make sure you see as many of the noms as possible before then. To get discount tickets to see nominees like Passing Strange, August, and Sunday, click here.