Tony Awards Will Go Virtual For 2020 Ceremony

Tony Awards Will Go Virtual For 2020 Ceremony

Date and platform for 74th edition of awards show will be announced at a later date

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The 74th Annual Tony Awards are going virtual this year, the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing announced Friday.

The awards show was postponed back on March 25 because of the pandemic, and details on when the new show will take place, including what date and what digital platform, will be announced at a later date.

The show was originally meant to take place on June 7 at Radio City Music Hall to celebrate the best in a year of Broadway that has been completely shut down due to the coronavirus. And Broadway has already extended its shutdown until at least January 3, the fourth time that the reopening had been pushed back.

“Though unprecedented events cut the 2019-2020 Broadway season short, it was a year full of extraordinary work that deserves to be recognized,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president & CEO of the American Theatre Wing, said in a statement. “We are thrilled not only to have found a way to properly celebrate our artists’ incredible achievements this season, but also to be able to uplift the entire theatre community and show the world what makes our Broadway family so special at this difficult time. The show must go on, no matter what – and it will.”

Final eligibility determinations will be made by the Tony Awards Administration Committee in the coming days.

There were 31 productions on the boards on March 12 before Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all theaters to close, with another eight due to begin preview performances ahead of the April 23 eligibility for this year’s Tony Awards.

Since then, several star-driven productions have announced closures after playing only preview performances, including Martin McDonagh’s “Hangmen” with Dan Stevens and a Laurie Metcalf-led revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”

More to come…

18 All-Time Great Tony Awards Performances, From 'Dreamgirls' to Parkland Students' 'Seasons of Love' (Videos)

  • “Cabaret” (1967)Joel Grey sang “Willkommen” to the big time, winning both a Tony (and later an Oscar) playing the M.C. in this musical set in the early days of Nazi Germany.
  • “Promises, Promises” (1969)OK, the song “Turkey Lurkey” frankly doesn’t make any sense — and the whole office holiday party is kind of shoehorned into the plot. (The show’s “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” however, became a big hit for Dionne Warwick.) But Michael Bennett’s choreography is head-bobbingly, arm-spinningly awesome.
  • “A Chorus Line” (1976)The full “I Hope I Get It!” opening number from the quintessential backstage show — amazing how long CBS let the numbers run back in the day. Bonus for “Gilmore Girls” fans: That’s Kelly Bishop as the haughty dancer who says, “I had it when I was in the front.”
  • “Sweeney Todd” (1979)Angela Lansbury won the fourth of her five Tony’s playing the daffy Mrs. Lovett, the baker of “The Worst Pies in London,” in Stephen Sondheim’s dark musical.
  • “Dreamgirls” (1982)Jennifer Holliday’s rendition of “And I’m Telling You…” has been widely imitated, and this is the performance that is most often imitated. A-ma-zing.
  • “Cats” (1983)Andrew Lloyd Webber continued his domination of Broadway with this feline musical starring Betty Buckley as Grizabella. Interestingly, the breakout ballad “Memory” was one of the few songs whose lyrics didn’t come from T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.”
  • “Grand Hotel” (1990)Michael Jeter, perhaps best known from the sitcom “Evening Shade,” was a rubber-limbed sensation playing a tipsy bookkeeper in the number “Let’s Take a Glass Together.”
  • “Rent” (1996)Jonathan Larson’s rock opera version of “La Boheme” gained extra poignance with his unexpected death after the first Off Broadway preview. The show became a phenomenon, and launched the careers of Idina Menzel, Jesse L. Martin and Taye Diggs.
  • “Chicago” (1997 revival)Bebe Neuwirth and Ann Reinking displayed all the athleticism of Bob Fosse’s original choreography in the hit revival of Kander & Ebb’s musical about the dawn of celebrity criminals (which led to the Oscar-winning 2002 movie).
  • “The Lion King” (1998)While Disney’s stage version of the animated movie swept most of the major awards in 1998, we chose the opening number from the 2008 telecast — celebrating the show’s 10th anniversary and with clearer shots of Julie Taymor’s magnificent puppets and stagecraft.
  • “Wicked” (2004)Idina Menzel may have had some cold-induced pitchiness on the final note, but she (and co-star Kristin Chenoweth) are still pretty sensational on the now-standard showstopper “Defying Gravity.”
  • “The Drowsy Chaperone” (2006)Sutton Foster shows off while insisting that she doesn’t want to show off no more in this delightful number.
  • “Spring Awakening” (2007) Duncan Sheik’s rock musical about rebellious teens shook up the staid world of Broadway with a just-mouthed rendition of “Totally F—ed” performed by very young Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff, John Gallagher Jr. and Skylar Astin.
  • “Gypsy” (2008 revival)Everything came up roses for Patti LuPone, who won her second Tony Award playing the irrepressible Mama Rose in the classic musical about showbiz striving.
  • Neil Patrick Harris’ Tony Opening Number (2013)It’s hard to fill a space as cavernous as Radio City Music Hall — but NPH did just that with a “bigger” number (written by “Hamilton” composer Lin-Manuel Miranda) that included high steps, high notes, leaps, magic, shout-outs to “How I Met Your Mother” fans and even Mike Tyson. Wow.
  • James Corden’s Tony Opening Number (2016)The hard-working late-night host (and a Tony winner himself) did his own version of a dream-big number, running through a dozen classic Broadway musicals from “Les Miz” to “Fiddler on the Roof” to “Annie.”
  • “Hamilton ” (2016)Audiences at home finally got a chance to see a slice of the buzzed-about hip-hop hit, which even scored an intro from Barack and Michelle Obama.
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Drama Students Sing “Seasons of Love” (2018) There wasn’t a dry eye in Radio City Music Hall when students from Parkland, Florida, performed the anthem from “Rent” months after a horrific mass shooting killed 17 of their classmates and teachers. The Tonys had honored their drama teacher, Melody Herzfeld, with a special award.

A look back at some of Broadway’s highest kicks (and notes) over the history of the Tony telecast

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