From 8-11 PM ET, CBS-TV will broadcast the ceremony, which will boast a star-studded list of presenters from the worlds of TV, film and theatre. Those scheduled to present awards include Zach Braff, Matthew Broderick, Harry Connick Jr., Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels, Brian Dennehy, Harvey Fierstein, Carla Gugino, Marvin Hamlisch, Marcia Gay Harden, Neil Patrick Harris, Anne Heche, Marg Helgenberger, Judd Hirsch, Felicity Huffman, Mark Indelicato, Eddie Izzard, Melina Kanakaredes, John Kander, Jane Krakowski, Angela Lansbury, Robert Sean Leonard, Patti LuPone, John Mahoney, Audra McDonald, Bebe Neuwirth, Cynthia Nixon, Donny Osmond, Bernadette Peters, David Hyde Pierce, Christopher Plummer, Liev Schreiber, Kevin Spacey, John Turturro, Usher, Ben Vereen, Sam Waterston, Vanessa Williams, Rainn Wilson and the Tony-winning Jersey Boys: John Lloyd Young, Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer.
The 2007 Tony Awards should be an exciting event, with several races too close to call. Chief among them is the battle for the Best Leading Actress in a Play prize; contenders in that category include veteran actress and four-time Tony winner Angela Lansbury (Deuce), Eve Best (A Moon for the Misbegotten), Swoosie Kurtz (Heartbreak House), Vanessa Redgrave (The Year of Magical Thinking) and Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed).
Although the CBS broadcast does not commence until 8 PM, the official Tony Awards website — located at www.TonyAwards.com — will offer exclusive live video of the first seven awards beginning at 7:15 PM. Deemed the "Creative Arts Tony Awards," these seven awards include prizes for 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 and Best Orchestrations. The Regional Theatre Award will also be presented to the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA, during the pre-telecast segment.
As for entertainment, the CBS broadcast will include live performances from the four nominated Best Musicals (Curtains, Grey Gardens, Mary Poppins and Spring Awakening) and three of the nominees for Best Revival of a Musical (A Chorus Line, Company and 110 in the Shade). The fourth nominated musical revival, The Apple Tree, ended its limited engagement March 11. "American Idol" winner Fantasia, who is currently starring in The Color Purple, will also lend her powerful vocals to the Tony telecast.
More entertainment details: Four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald — who is nominated this season for her performance in the acclaimed revival of 110 in the Shade — will perform Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt's "Raunchy." Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole, nominated for her work in Grey Gardens, will sing Michael Korie and Scott Frankel's "The Revolutionary Costume for Today." The cast of the Tony-nominated Best Musical Spring Awakening will perform a medley of tunes from the Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater score, and the new Kander-Ebb-Holmes-Stone musical Curtains will perform "Show People." The final Best Musical nominee, Mary Poppins, will offer a medley of "Step in Time" (from the Sherman Brothers portion of the score) and "Anything Can Happen" (one of the new songs penned by Anthony Drewe and George Stiles). The company of the hit revival of A Chorus Line will sing Marvin Hamlisch and Ed Kleban's "One," and Tony nominee Raul Esparza will belt out "Being Alive" from the Tony-nominated revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company. The 2006-2007 Tony Award nominations were announced May 15 by Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski and former Rent star Taye Diggs at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Spring Awakening, the new musical that was a hit Off-Broadway before opening on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, garnered 11 Tony nominations, the most of any show of the season. Both the Tom Stoppard trilogy, The Coast of Utopia, and the new musical Grey Gardens received 10 nominations apiece.
Other shows that fared well include the Kander-Ebb-Rupert Holmes musical Curtains (eight nominations), the movie-turned-musical Legally Blonde (seven nominations), the new Disney musical Mary Poppins (seven nominations), the British import Coram Boy (six nominations), the revival of Journey's End (six nominations) and the Roundabout's revival of 110 in the Shade (five nominations).
There were several theatre folk who received multiple nominations: Both Bob Crowley and Melly Still received three nominations apiece. Crowley was nommed for Best Scenic Design of a Play for Coast of Utopia (with Scott Pask), Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Mary Poppins and Best Costume Design of a Musical for Mary Poppins. Still received nominations for Best Direction of a Play (Coram Boy), Best Scenic Design of a Play (with Ti Green for Coram Boy) and Best Costume Design of a Play (also with Ti Green for Coram Boy). The Spring Awakening creators also fared well: Steven Sater received nominations for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score, while Duncan Sheik was nominated for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations. Jonathan Tunick received two Best Orchestrations Tony nominations: for LoveMusik and 110 in the Shade. Brian MacDevitt was also a double-nominee in the same category: He received Best Lighting Design of a Play nominations for Inherit the Wind and The Coast of Utopia (the latter with Kenneth Posner and Natasha Katz). And, Rupert Holmes, who won two Tonys for his work on The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was nominated in two categories for Curtains: Best Book of a Musical (with Peter Stone) and Best Original Score (with John Kander and Fred Ebb).
In the time between the announcement of the nominations and the awards ceremony, Coram Boy closed; The Pirate Queen, which received no nominations, announced a June 17 closing; and Journey's End is scheduled to play its final performance today.
Nominees for the 61st Annual Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards follow:
The Coast of Utopia
The Little Dog Laughed
Best Book of a Musical
Curtains, Rupert Holmes & Peter Stone
Grey Gardens, Doug Wright
Legally Blonde The Musical, Heather Hach
Spring Awakening, Steven Sater
Best Original Score
Music: John Kander
Lyrics: Fred Ebb, John Kander & Rupert Holmes
Music: Scott Frankel
Lyrics: Michael Korie
Legally Blonde The Musical
Music & Lyrics: Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin
Music: Duncan Sheik
Lyrics: Steven Sater
Best Revival of a Play
Inherit the Wind
Best Revival of a Musical
The Apple Tree
A Chorus Line
110 in the Shade
Best Special Theatrical Event
Jay Johnson: The Two and Only
Kiki & Herb Alive on Broadway
Best Performance By a Leading Actor in a Play
Boyd Gaines, Journey's End
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Brían F. O’Byrne, The Coast of Utopia
Christopher Plummer, Inherit the Wind
Liev Schreiber, Talk Radio
Best Performance By a Leading Actress in a Play
Eve Best, A Moon for the Misbegotten
Swoosie Kurtz, Heartbreak House
Angela Lansbury, Deuce
Vanessa Redgrave, The Year of Magical Thinking
Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed
Best Performance By a Leading Actress in a Musical
Laura Bell Bundy, Legally Blonde The Musical
Christine Ebersole, Grey Gardens
Audra McDonald, 110 in the Shade
Debra Monk, Curtains
Donna Murphy, LoveMusik
Best Performance By a Featured Actor in a Musical
Brooks Ashmanskas, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me
Christian Borle, Legally Blonde The Musical
John Cullum, 110 in the Shade
John Gallagher, Jr., Spring Awakening
David Pittu, LoveMusik
Best Performance By a Featured Actress in a Musical
Charlotte d’Amboise, A Chorus Line
Rebecca Luker, Mary Poppins
Orfeh, Legally Blonde The Musical
Mary Louise Wilson, Grey Gardens
Karen Ziemba, Curtains
Bruce Coughlin, Grey Gardens
Duncan Sheik, Spring Awakening
Jonathan Tunick, LoveMusik
Jonathan Tunick, 110 in the Shade
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Bob Crowley & Scott Pask, The Coast of Utopia
Jonathan Fensom, Journey's End
David Gallo, Radio Golf
Ti Green and Melly Still, Coram Boy
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, Coram Boy
Brian MacDevitt, Inherit the Wind
Brian MacDevitt, Kenneth Posner, and Natasha Katz, The Coast of Utopia
Jason Taylor, Journey's End
Regional Theatre Tony Award
Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA
The Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards are "bestowed annually on theatre professionals for distinguished achievement." The Tonys are presented by the League of American Theatres and Producers and the American Theatre Wing.
For more information visit www.TonyAwards.com.