If the producers of the Tony Awards thought that by getting Rosie O'Donnell to host the event they'd be getting lots of free publicity and exposure for this year's shows -- they were right.
O'Donnell has been using her daily morning talk show as a forum to promote Broadway, and that commitment will intensify in the weeks leading up to the June 1 Tony Awards.
May 12 saw the entire cast (and several orchestra members) of Titanic appearing on the ABC-TV program, and two weeks earlier Jekyll & Hyde's Linda Eder made a successful, last-minute appearance on the show (one that only added fuel to the "new Streisand" blaze).
Starting May 23, each of the new Tony-nominated productions will get a chance to strut their stuff on the program. According to "Rosie" press rep Marc Leipis, Tony week performances are shaping up as follows:
- Friday, May 23: Chicago
- Monday, May 26: "Best of Broadway" with performance clips from previous shows; plus Rosie's 13-year-old date for the Tonys
- Tuesday, May 27: Titanic performance
- Wednesday, May 28: The Life performance (Sam Harris)
- Thursday, May 29: Steel Pier performance
- Friday, May 30: The Life performance (Lillias White)