Kevin Spacey to Host 71st Annual Tony Awards

Kevin Spacey has been picked to host this year’s Tony Awards, putting the award-winning star of “House of Cards” in the unenviable position of steering a telecast surely facing a post-“Hamilton” hangover.

The telecast on June 11 will originate from the 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall and producers are sure to be keeping their fingers crossed that they avoid any technical or human snafus that have marred previous awards shows this year, including the wrong winner announced at the Oscars and sound issues at the Grammys.

Producers also hope Spacey will limit the audience erosion likely from the numbers last year when “Hamilton” drew 8.73 million viewers, up 35% from 2015. Last year’s host was James Corden and 2015 saw Kristin Chenoweth teaming up with Alan Cumming.

The nominations for the 2017 TONY Awards will be announced on Tuesday, May 2.

“I was their second choice for ‘Usual Suspects,’ fourth choice for ‘American Beauty’ and 15th choice to host this year’s Tony Awards. I think my career is definitely going in the right direction,” said Spacey. “Maybe I can get shortlisted to host the Oscars if everyone else turns it down.”

Spacey won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in “American Beauty,” and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in “The Usual Suspects.” Recently, he starred in “Elvis & Nixon.” Next, he will be seen in the feature films “Billionaire Boys Club,” “Baby Driver” and “Rebel in the Rye.” Through his former production company Trigger Street, he produced “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks, “The Social Network” and “21,” as well having produced the Emmy nominated television series “Recount” and “Bernard & Doris.”

For over a decade, Spacey served as the Artistic Director of The Old Vic Theatre Company in London. He recently stepped down from this role, but during his time appeared on stage in productions of “National Anthems,” “The Philadelphia Story,” “Speed the Plow,” “Inherit the Wind,” “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” and the acclaimed production of the one-man show “Darrow.” Spacey won the Evening Standard and Olivier Awards for Best Actor for his role in “The Iceman Cometh,” as well as the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play in Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers.” Also, he starred in the Broadway and West End productions of “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” opposite his mentor Jack Lemmon, as well as the title role in the Sam Mendes production of “Richard III,” which toured 12 cities around the world as part of the three-year Old Vic/BAM/Bridge Project.

This year marks the 71st anniversary of the TONY Awards, which were first held on April 6, 1947 at the Waldorf Astoria’s Grand Ballroom. The ceremony is presented by Tony Award Productions, which is a joint venture of the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, which founded the Tonys.

(AP, CBS)

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Tony Awards Telecast Finds Home at Beacon Theatre

The next Tony Awards have found a home – a familiar one.

The Broadway League said Tuesday that the June 12 gala will be held at the 2,900-seat Beacon Theatre on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where the Tonys were handed out 2011-12.

The 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall has long been the preferred home for the awards because of its size and proximity to Broadway. But Radio City will be booked with the new “Rockettes New York Spectacular.”

CBS will again televise the event.

The official eligibility cut-off date will be April 28, meaning all productions on Broadway that wish to be included must have opened by that date. Nominations will be announced May 3.

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Online: http://www.TonyAwards.com (AP)

Josh Groban Added to a Packed Tony Awards Telecast

The Tony Awards show on Sunday will try to up the razzle-dazzle quotient by adding Josh Groban to 175 performers onstage at the same time.

All the musicals nominated — “On the 20th Century,” “The King and I,” “Fun Home,” “Something Rotten!” “An American in Paris,” “The Visit” and “On the Town” — will be featured, as well as some overlooked ones. They include “Gigi” with Vanessa Hudgens, “Finding Neverland” with Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer, and “It Shoulda Been You” with Tyne Daly.

The cast of “Jersey Boys” will perform “Oh What a Night” to celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary. Presenters will include Larry David, Jim Parsons and Bryan Cranston.

The Tonys will be handed out at Radio City Music Hall. Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming will host.

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Online: http://www.TonyAwards.com (AP)

Neil Patrick Harris to Return as Tony Award Host

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Neil Patrick Harris will be back for his fourth turn as host of the Tony Awards.

Producers of the show announced Thursday that Harris, a stage veteran and star of the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” will host the 67th annual awards to be presented June 9 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The show will air live on CBS.

In a statement, Harris said he was excited to be back hosting the Tonys, adding: “The show will rock!”

The 39-year-old Harris has starred in three Broadway productions, including “Assassins,” “Proof” and “Cabaret.” (AP)

‘The Book of Mormon’ Leads Tony Award Nominations

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AP Photo/Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Joan Marcus

In this file theater publicity image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown, from left, Rema Webb, Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad perform in “The Book of Mormon” at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York. “The Book of Mormon” has been a critical and box-office darling even without big-name stars and Tuesday’s Tony Award nominations could give it an extra boost.

NEW YORK — “The Book of Mormon” nabbed a leading 14 Tony Award nominations Tuesday morning, earning the profane musical nods for best musical, best book of a musical, best original score, two leading actor spots and two featured actor nominations, among others.

The second-highest nominations went to “The Scottsboro Boys,” a searing tale of 1930s injustice framed as a minstrel show. It received 12 nominations, including best musical, best book of a musical, best original score as well as a leading actor and two featured actor nods.

Among others who earned nominations were Al Pacino, who played Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice,” Vanessa Redgrave in “Driving Miss Daisy,” Edie Falco in “The House of Blue Leaves” and Ellen Barkin in “The Normal Heart.”

Some notable snubs included James Earl Jones in “Driving Miss Daisy,” Daniel Radcliffe in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and Aaron Tveit from “Catch Me If You Can.”

The Cole Porter comedy “Anything Goes” was nominated for nine awards, including best revival, best leading actress for Sutton Foster, a best featured role nomination for Adam Godley, best scenic and costume design.

“I’m very happy. I’m thrilled for our show,” said Kathleen Marshall, who picked up her sixth and seventh nominations for directing “Anything Goes” and its high-kicking choreography. “‘Anything Goes’ is one of those shows that is there to delight and entertain and transport the audience.”

“The Book of Mormon,” about two Mormon missionaries who find more than they bargained for in Africa, was written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of Comedy Central’s irreverent “South Park,” and Robert Lopez, co-creator of the equally irreverent Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q.”

The trio teamed up with Casey Nicholaw, who co-directed with Parker and choreographed. Both won nominations for best direction and Nicholaw won a best choreography nomination. “Mormon” also earned its two missionaries — Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells — acting nominations as well as Nikki M. James for featured actress.

Of the 42 new productions this season, there were 14 musicals — 12 new ones and two revivals — and 25 plays, a whopping 16 of them brand new. The last time there were 16 new plays produced in a single season was 1986-87.

It is also shaping up to be a lucrative time for Broadway, with total box-office grosses already at more than $987,057,484, or 3.6 percent more than the same time last year. Attendance this season is at over 11.4 million, up 3 percent from this time last year.

The awards will be handed out June 12 at a new location: the Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side of Manhattan after producers lost their long-term space at Radio City Music Hall. It will be broadcast live by CBS.

http://www.tonyawards.com

Tony Nominations Announced

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The musical version of the movie “Billy Elliot” has dominated the 2009 Tony Award nominations for Broadway productions.

It picked up 15 nominations, more than any other show.

“Billy Elliot” — the season’s biggest musical hit — is based on the popular British movie about a coal miner’s son who dreams of becoming a dancer. It will compete for best musical against “Next to Normal,” “Rock of Ages” and “Shrek The Musical.”

Best-play nominations went to “God of Carnage,” “Dividing the Estate,” “reasons to be pretty” and “33 Variations.”

“Next to Normal” received 11 nominations. It’s a musical about a woman battling mental illness.

Getting eight nominations each were “Shrek” and the revival of “Hair.”

Winners will be announced June 7 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Busy Spring Means a Crowded Tony Nomination Field

Broadway is getting ready to honor the best of the New York theater season.

Nominations for the 2009 Tony Awards will be announced Tuesday.

Among the likely candidates for best musical are “Billy Elliot,” “Next to Normal,” “Shrek” and “9 to 5.” “West Side Story” and “Hair” are expected to be nominated for the musical-revival crown.

Best-play nominees could include “reasons to be pretty” and “Dividing the Estate.”

Winners will be announced June 7 during a three-hour CBS telecast from Radio City Music Hall.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)