Tony Awards to announce prizes in June at Radio City Music Hall

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Tony Awards to announce prizes in June at Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall before the 73rd annual Tony Awards in New York, June 9, 2019. The 75th ceremony, honoring plays and musicals staged on Broadway, resumes its traditional calendar after a few years of pandemic disruption. Sara Krulwich/The New York Times.

by Michael Paulson

NEW YORK, NY.- This year’s Tony Awards will take place on June 12 at Radio City Music Hall as the theater industry seeks to settle in to some sort of new normal following the enormous disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ceremony — like the one in September that coincided with the reopening of many theaters after the lengthy lockdown — will be bisected, with one hour streamed by Paramount+, followed by a three-hour broadcast on CBS that is likely to be heavy on the razzle-dazzle.

The Tonys, which honor plays and musicals staged on Broadway, are an important moment for the theater community because the awards are valued by artists and because the event serves to market the art form and the industry. The awards, formally known as the Antoinette Perry Awards, are presented by the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing.

This year’s ceremony — the 75th since the Tonys were established in 1947 — will honor shows that opened between Feb. 20, 2020, and April 28, 2022. That unusually long eligibility window includes the 15 months when all theaters were shut down to protect public health. (Last year’s Tony Awards ceremony was a much-delayed event that considered only the reduced slate of shows that managed to open before the pandemic cut short the 2019-20 theater season.)

The nominators, for the first time since 2019, will have a robust slate of options to consider in all categories.

This season features nine new musicals, including the fan favorite “Six”; the critical darling “Girl From the North Country” (which opened one week before theaters shut down); the Michael Jackson jukebox musical, “MJ”; and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “A Strange Loop” (which arrives next month).

In the play category, this season brought a record number of works by Black writers, the best reviewed of which were “Clyde’s,” by Lynn Nottage; “Pass Over,” by Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu; and “Skeleton Crew,” by Dominique Morisseau. They will face stiff competition from “The Lehman Trilogy,” a widely hailed exploration of the rise and fall of Lehman Bros. written by Stefano Massini and adapted by Ben Power.

The musical and play revival categories are strong as well.

Many of the contenders have yet to open. Because of concerns about when audiences would return in large numbers, and then the arrival of the omicron variant, numerous producers opted to open as late as possible in the season: 16 shows are still to open before the eligibility period closes.

The nominees are to be announced on May 3, determined by a nominating committee made up of about 37 actors, theater administrators and others with a close knowledge of the art form but no financial involvement in the eligible shows.

Then voting will take place, electronically. There are about 800 Tony voters, many of whom work in the industry and some of whom are employed by or have invested in nominated shows; they can only vote in categories for which they have seen all the nominees, and there are a few specialized categories in which only some voters are allowed to vote.

The show, directed by Glenn Weiss, will air live nationally, with the streaming portion starting at 7 p.m. ET and the broadcast portion (which will also be streamable) starting at 8 p.m.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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