Tony Awards postponed amid coronavirus crisis
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Tony Awards postponed amid coronavirus crisis
James Corden helps open the 73rd annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York, June 9, 2019. Amid a total shutdown of Broadway theaters in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the 74th annual Tony Awards, scheduled for June 7, 2020, have been postponed until an undecided date. Sara Krulwich/The New York Times.

by Julia Jacobs

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Broadway’s biggest night will have to wait.

Amid a total shutdown of Broadway theaters in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the 74th annual Tony Awards ceremony, scheduled for June 7, has been postponed until an undecided date.

Earlier this month, the theater industry announced that Broadway venues would go dark through April 12, and as the pandemic shows no sign of slowing down, that date is expected to be pushed back to May or June.

Tony Award Productions, the company that puts on the awards show, said on Wednesday that the new date for the Tonys would be announced when Broadway reopened its doors. The production company is a joint operation of the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing; the awards ceremony is regularly aired on CBS, and while not a ratings bonanza, it has proved a reliable draw in a fractured media landscape.

The suspension of plays and musicals came at a time when Broadway is usually packed with openings to meet the eligibility deadline for awards. Between March 12, the night that Broadway shut down, and April 23, Broadway had 16 openings scheduled, including “Six,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Take Me Out.”

It has already been a devastating few weeks for those working in the theater industry. Coronavirus has cost thousands of people their jobs and has already led producers to close two plays, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Hangmen,” before they even opened.

Broadway producers have agreed to pay hundreds of actors, musicians, stagehands and other employees for the first few weeks of the industry shutdown.

© 2020 The New York Times Company
It is unclear how eligibility rules for the Tony Awards will change in response to the postponement.

“We are looking forward to celebrating Broadway and our industry when it is safe to do so,” the company said in a statement.

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