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)

‘A Gentleman’s Guide’ Leads Tony Nominations

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The musical “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” a musical romp in which a poor man comically eliminates the eight heirs ahead of him for a title, has nabbed a leading 10 Tony Award nominations.

The nominations also made waves for snubbing some big names, including Denzel Washington, Daniel Radcliffe, James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Michelle Williams, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Ethan Hawke, Zach Braff, Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig.

The musicals up for the big prize in June are: “After Midnight,” ”A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” ”Aladdin,” and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” Shows that failed to make the cut include “Bullets Over Broadway,” ”Rocky,” ”If/Then” and “The Bridges of Madison County.”

The best new play category has James Lapine’s “Act One,” Terrance McNally’s “Mothers and Sons,” Robert Schenkkan’s “All the Way,” John Patrick Shanley’s “Outside Mullingar” and Harvey Fierstein’s “Casa Valentina.”

The best play revival category includes “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” ”The Glass Menagerie,” ”A Raisin in the Sun” and “Twelfth Night.” There are only three options for best musical revival: “Violet,” ”Les Miserables” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

A decision by a Tony administrative panel last week made Alan Cumming ineligible for a lead acting musical prize in the revival of “Cabaret” because he already won the award for the same role in 1998.

Some 870 Tony voters – members of professional groups such as the Wing, the League, Actors’ Equity Association, the Dramatists Guild and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society – will decide the final awards, which will be handed out June 8 at Radio City Music Hall. Only Broadway shows that opened in the 12 months ending on April 24 are eligible. (AP)

Tony Awards Viewership Jumps Up to 7.24 Million

CBS’ Tony Awards telecast saw viewership jump to 7.24 million people, the show’s largest audience in four years.

According to preliminary Nielsen figures released Monday, Sunday’s show crowning “Kinky Boots” as best musical saw an increase of more than 1.2 million people over last year’s show. Neil Patrick Harris returned to host for the fourth time.

The broadcast was up against an episode of “Mad Men” on AMC and Game 2 of the NBA finals between San Antonio and Miami on ABC. Last year’s telecast was seen by 6 million viewers, down significantly from 2011’s 6.9 million.

Updated ratings figures will be available on Tuesday.

CBS, the longtime home for the annual Tony telecast, recently agreed to continue airing the show until 2018.

“Kinky Boots” is the big winner at the Tony Awards. The feel-good musical wins six Tonys including best musical, best original score and best leading man.

Oscar-winner Tom Hanks leaves empty-handed. The Broadway newcomer was nominated for his role in the play “Lucky Guy.” But Hanks was beaten by Tracy Letts, for his role in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Cyndi Lauper wins a Tony for the music for Kinky Boots. Star Billy Porter also wins.

Other winners last night included Cicely Tyson and Judith Light.

Neil Patrick Harris was back for his fourth turn as host, as Broadway honored its best in New York last night. (AP)

Neil Patrick Harris Returns to Host Emmys

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CBS says Neil Patrick Harris is hosting the Emmys again.

It’s the second go-around for the TV, film and stage star. He last did the honors at the “Prime Time Emmy Awards” in 2009. “I couldn’t be more honored and excited to be hosting this year’s Emmy Awards,” said Neil Patrick Harris. “And what perfect timing – I’ll just do the exact same script I’m about to use for the Tonys. ‘And the Emmy for Best Revival of a Musical goes to ‘Breaking Bad!’ See, told you it works.”

CBS will air the Emmycast live from Los Angeles on Sept. 22.

But for viewers who just can’t wait to see Harris in emcee mode, he’ll preside over “The 67th Annual Tony Awards” on CBS on June 9. It’s Harris’ fourth time hosting that show, which salutes the best of Broadway.

Harris currently stars on the hit CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.” (AP)

Tony Award Organizers Reveal Show Date

Theater buffs, mark your calendars. This year’s Tony Awards will be held June 10.

The American Theatre Wing announced Tuesday both the award-show date and the cutoff for eligibility to receive one of the awards. Productions must open before April 25 to be in the running.

The awards, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be handed out June 10 starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. The telecast will broadcast live on CBS from New York’s Beacon Theatre.

Last year’s show was its first at the Beacon, a much smaller venue than the Tony Awards’ previous home at Radio City Music Hall. There was no announcement on who will be the show’s host. Last year, it was Neil Patrick Harris. (AP)

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Online: http://www.TonyAwards.com