This season's nominees will be announced at 8:30 AM ET at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Bruno Walter Auditorium. Actors Phylicia Rashad, Natasha Richardson and Liev Schreiber, who have all won Tony Awards, will announce the 2006 nominees, which will be broadcast live on NY 1.
The History Boys, Jersey Boys and The Drowsy Chaperone seem poised to garner several nominations. All three shows have fared well in the season's other awards races: History Boys and Jersey Boys were named Outstanding Play and Musical, respectively, by the Outer Critics Circle, and Drowsy Chaperone nabbed four awards from that organization. The New York Drama Critics' Circle named History Boys and Drowsy Chaperone as winners of Best Play and Best Musical of the 2005-2006 season, and History Boys and Jersey Boys won the Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Play and Musical.
Broadway welcomed 39 productions during the past season, which began with the arrival of Elaine May's After the Night and the Music, which opened at the Biltmore Theatre June 1, 2005, and ended May 10, 2006, with Disney's newest offering, Tarzan. Between Night and Tarzan, were openings of Mark Twain Tonight!, The Constant Wife, Primo, The Blonde in the Thunderbird, Lennon, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Latinologues, Absurd Person Singular, In My Life, The Odd Couple, Sweeney Todd, Jersey Boys, Souvenir, The Woman in White, Seascape, The Color Purple, A Touch of the Poet, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, Bridge & Tunnel, Rabbit Hole, Barefoot in the Park, The Pajama Game, Ring of Fire, Well, Festen, Awake and Sing!, Three Days of Rain, The Threepenny Opera, The History Boys, Lestat, The Wedding Singer, Hot Feet, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Faith Healer, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial and Shining City.
The Antoinette Perry ("Tony") Awards celebrate the best of the Broadway theatre season and are presented yearly by the League of American Theatres and Producers and the American Theatre Wing. Legitimate theatrical productions opening in any of the Broadway theatres are eligible for nominations in 25 categories, which include Best Play, Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, Best Scenic Design of a Play, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Play, Best Costume Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Play, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Director of a Play, Best Director of a Musical, Best Leading Actor in a Play, Best Leading Actress in a Play, Best Featured Actor in a Play, Best Featured Actress in a Play, Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Best Leading Actor in a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Best Orchestrations, Best Revival of a Play, Best Revival of a Musical and the relatively new category, Best Special Theatrical Event. That last award, Best Special Theatrical Event, has been eliminated this year. Instead, the Tony Awards Administration Committee recently decided to award a Special Tony to Sarah Jones, whose Bridge & Tunnel is currently enjoying an extended Broadway run at the Helen Hayes Theatre after a hit Off-Broadway engagement.
Other major decisions of the Administration Committee, who meet periodically throughout the season to discuss eligibility requirements of Broadway shows and actors, follow: Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain, which marks the Broadway bow of Academy Award winner Julia Roberts, has been deemed eligible for nomination in the Best Revival of a Play category rather than the Best Play category since the work was previously seen at Manhattan Theatre Club in 1997; Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, which featured a book by Terrence McNally, and the recently closed Johnny Cash musical Ring of Fire will both be eligible for nomination in the Best Musical category; and the recent limited engagement of Latinologues as well as the short-lived Lisa Kron work "Well" will both be eligible for nomination in the Best Play category.
This season may also mark the first Best Replacement Tony Award given to an actor and/or actress who has succeeded another actor in a musical that opened on Broadway in a previous season.
The Tony Awards Nominating Committee, who select the nominees for each category, is a rotating group of up to 30 theatre professionals selected by the Tony Awards Administration Committee. Those on the Nominating Committee are asked to attend every Broadway production of the season, and then meet to vote on nominations. This year's committee includes Victoria Bailey, Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Bogardus, Edward Burbridge, Ben Cameron, Kirsten Childs, Betty Corwin, Jacqueline Davis, Mercedes Ellington, Nancy Ford, Dana Ivey, Andrew Jackness, Geoffrey Johnson, Robert Kamlot, Todd London, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jon Nakagawa, Lynn Nottage, Enid Nemy, Gilbert Parker, Jonathan Reynolds, Jac Venza and Franklin Weissberg.
The Antoinette Perry "Tony" Award is bestowed annually for distinguished achievement. The 2006 Tony Awards will once again be held at Radio City Music Hall and will be broadcast by CBS from 8 to 11 PM ET. Sunday, June 11 is the date; no host has been announced.
The complete list of Tony nominations will be available on Playbill.com early on May 16.
Visit www.tonyawards.com for more information.