The Tony Awards are the only awards ceremony to be telecast nationally, which converts to free publicity for the out-of-town audience that makes up the bulk of Broadway ticket sales, and thus becomes a huge predictor of future success for the nominated shows. Tony wins often allow shows to run on for years – with audiences streaming in to catch this year’s Best Musical and performances by the best actors, while the losing shows sometimes fold the next day.
But the most exciting piece for me is that viewers get a chance to see performances of the big nominated musicals (with no expenses spared) plus all of the stars we’ve come to love (with tons of Hollywood celebrities thrown in this year!) all in one night. Sean Hayes, the star of the nominated Promises, Promises, will host the ceremony, which will feature the following performances:
- A big opening number which will include Sherie Rene Scott’s “Up the Ladder” from her show Everyday Rapture and the cast of Memphis performing “Blue Suede Shoes,” among other bits of fun
- Catherine Zeta-Jones’ rendition of “Send in the Clowns” from A Little Night Music
- Performances from “Glee” stars Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele
- A medley from Million Dollar Quartet
- The title song from American Idiot, performed by the cast (and possibly Green Day)
- Performance from the cast of Promises, Promises
- Christiane Noll’s rendition of “Back to Before” from Ragtime
- A medley from Memphis
- A dance performance by the cast of Come Fly Away
- Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge performing “The Best of Times” from La Cage aux Folles
- A montage of songs from Fela!
Presenters for the 64th Annual Tony Awards include many stars from Hollywood, television and the stage. They are (in alphabetical order): Paula Abdul, Antonio Banderas, Justin Bartha, Patrick Breen, Laura Benanti, Cate Blanchett, Laura Bell Bundy, Michael Cerveris, Kristin Chenoweth, Barbara Cook, Viola Davis, Michael Douglas, Kelsey Grammer, Rosemary Harris, Patrick Heusinger, Katie Holmes, Brian d’Arcy James, Scarlett Johansson, Angela Lansbury, Anthony LaPaglia, Laura Linney, Lucy Liu, Jane Maxwell, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Matthew Morrison, Chris Noth, Bernadette Peters, David Hyde Pierce, Daniel Radcliffe, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Sanchez, Liev Schreiber, Tony Shaloub, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, Stanley Tucci, Denzel Washington and Racquel Welch.
I’ll be covering the ceremony live here on the blog, Twitter and Facebook. My coverage will start at 7 pm ET with the creative arts awards and continue until it ends late at night. Exasperated by or elated at the winners or losers? I wanna hear about it so don’t be shy about joining the conversation!
I don’t know about you, but I’m very much looking forward to this year’s Tony Awards!