With the Tony Awards only a few days away — June 2 at Radio City Music Hall — many of the ever-changing details of the show are now beginning to gel.
Warning: Those who like to be surprised Tony night with who's singing what song may not want to read any further.
Featuring co-hosts Bernadette Peters and Gregory Hines, those scheduled to take part in the on-air event will likely include Harry Connick Jr., Mos Def, Savion Glover, Mary Tyler Moore, Paul Rudd, Edie Falco, Jason Biggs, Alicia Silverstone, Calista Flockhart, Ralph Fiennes, John Raitt, Anne Heche, Joanna Gleason, Peter Gallagher, Elaine Stritch, Cynthia Nixon, Gina Gershon, Hugh Jackman, Whoopi Goldberg, Liam Neeson, Marvin Hamlisch, Bill Pullman, Michele Lee, Stanley Tucci, Jerry Orbach, Natasha Richardson, Lea Salonga, Donna Murphy and Doris Roberts.
The opening number will pay tribute to the late composer Richard Rodgers, who would be celebrating his 100th birthday this year. At press time, PBOL had learned of some of the artists who may lend their talents to the work of the composer of The Sound of Music, Carousel and South Pacific.
The final order of artists and songs to be featured in the tribute is yet to be officially confirmed by the Tony organization. But a likely rundown will include: Marvin Hamlisch (singing "With a Song in My Heart), Harry Connick Jr. ("The Sweetest Sound"), Michele Lee ("A Cockeyed Optimist"), Mos Def ("My Favorite Things"), Lea Salonga ("I Enjoy Being a Girl," from Flower Drum Song, which Salonga will star in on Broadway next season), Peter Gallagher ("June Is Bustin' Out All Over"), John Raitt ("Soliloquy," a song from Carousel which Raitt was the first to sing) and hosts Peters and Hines, who will duet on "It's a Grand Night for Singing." The company of the current revival of Oklahoma! will also take part in the opening Rodgers medley, singing a portion of their show's title tune.
As for the shows other musical numbers, the cast of the Trevor Nunn-Susan Stroman Oklahoma! will also perform "The Farmer and the Cowman" as its official number later in the program, according to a show spokesman. Songs from Thoroughly Modern Millie, Urinetown, Mamma Mia!, The Sweet Smell of Success and Into the Woods will also be part of the two-hour CBS broadcast.
Thoroughly Modern Millie's number will probably include "Forget About the Boy" as well as a portion of the show's title tune. Urinetown is scheduled to perform their second-act show stopper "Run Freedom Run," led by Hunter Foster and the show's company. The ABBA musical Mamma Mia! will feature a medley of tunes performed by the company and led by its three stars, Louise Pitre, Judy Kaye and Karen Mason. The Sweet Smell of Success will offer John Lithgow and the show's chorus singing "Dirt," a tribute to the gossip found in the daily newspaper columns. And, the Into the Woods company will sing parts of its Act I finale and its second-act anthem, "Children Will Listen."
The American Theatre Wing's 56th Annual Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards ceremony will be broadcast live on television. PBS stations begin the national telecast at 8 PM EST with "The First Ten Awards: Tonys 2002," produced for PBS by Thirteen/WNET New York. CBS will televise "The 2002 Tony Awards" beginning at 9 PM.
Radio City Music Hall is located on Sixth Avenue between 50th Street and 51st Street in New York City.
—By Andrew Gans