As nearly every journalist, critic and pundit has, at some point this spring, speculated, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick will indeed co-host the 2001 Tony Awards. Variety columnist Army Archerd first quoted Mel Brooks in his May 1 column, saying the co-author and composer-lyricist of The Producers "sounded excited about" Lane and Broderick co hosting the June 3 event. Then the television New York 1 announced later that day that the due would preside. Finally, on early on May 2, the Tony office issued a statement confirming the news.
And just as Broderick's Bloom is draped in showgirls in the Producers number, "I Want to Be a Producer," backing up these two male hosts will be an all-female roster of presenters. Among the stars so far lined up are Sigourney Weaver, Edie Falco and Glenn Close.
A limited number of tickets to the Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall will be made available to the general public at $100 and $250, beginning May 7 at 10 AM EST, right after the Tony nominations are announced. Tickets can be purchased through the Ticketmaster Tony Hotline by calling (212) 307-4544. Visa is the only credit card accepted .
Weeks ago, the New York Post suggested that Reba McEntire might be an ideal candidate for hosting this year's Tonys, since she's received stellar reviews in her Broadway debut as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun. Tony hostess or no, McEntire will get her moment in the Tony spotlight, albeit a month earlier than the June 3 ceremony. On May 7, the actress-singer and "Will & Grace" star Eric McCormack will read the Tony nominations. The press conference will take place at Sardi's theatrical restaurant on West 44th Street at 8:30 AM (EST), according to Tony spokespersons at the Keith Sherman office.
McEntire is best known as a country music star but has brought new life to the box office of Annie Get Your Gun. McCormack will take over the lead in Broadway's The Music Man on May 8, replacing Craig Bierko (who will be involved in Susan Stroman's next project, Thou Shalt Not).
This year's Tony Awards will once again be at Radio City Music Hall. Gary Smith will executive produce the 55th annual event, which will again be broadcast on PBS (first hour, 8-9 PM EST) and CBS (second two hours, 9 11 PM EST) television.
It's the 24th consecutive year that CBS has broadcast the ceremony. Glenn Weiss will serve as director, with Ricky Kirshner as line producer. Smith's production company, Smith-Hemion, has overseen 24 Emmy Awards, as well as five Tony telecasts (1993-1997).
Tony Award Productions (jointly run by the American Theatre Wing and the League of American Theatres and Producers) announced that this season's Tony eligibility deadline is May 2. Shows must open at a Tony eligible house by that date in order to be considered for award recognition this season. (The Tony season's last eligible show is therefore 42nd Street, which opens May 2.) May 2 is also the date Tony Award Productions launches its official website, www.tonys.org, featuring stories, audio clips and other special material about the Tony Awards. (Playbill On-Line is the official content provider for that website.)
The Tony nominations press conference will be held on Monday morning, May 7. The nominees' brunch, at a venue TBA, will be May 16.
—By Robert Simonson
and David Lefkowitz