Many industry members and theatre fans across the country took to social media last night to express their disappointment that the moving segment, which honors the life and work of theatre artists we lost over the past year, was not included as part of the CBS Tony Awards broadcast as it had been in previous years.
The "In Memoriam" segment was shown to those in attendance at Radio City Music Hall June 8 during a commercial break. Members of the press were also able to view the segment in the Tony Awards press room; however, the segment was not shared with the general public until now.
The June 8 telecast, which celebrated Broadway's big night, was full of Broadway musical performances and star appearances, including those by host Hugh Jackman, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, rapper LL Cool J and Grammy Award winner Sting.
The theatre industry lost numerous artists this year, among them Philip Seymour Hoffman, Man of La Mancha composer Mitch Leigh, veteran press agent Shirley Herz, Tony nominee James Gandolfini, Tony winner Phyllis Frelich, six-time Tony Award winner Julie Harris, Tony nominee Mickey Rooney, critic Jacques LeSourd, Anna Crouse, Tony nominee Nicholas Martin and more.
The Tony Awards producers offered the following statement to Playbill.com. "The Tony Awards presented the 'in Memoriam' segment both in Radio City last evening and on TonyAwards.com. Presenting in this manner allowed us to include more individuals than we have been able to include most years, and as a result, more accurately reflected the depth of loss suffered by our community this past year." The Tony Awards have now made the "In Memoriam" segment public, and Playbill.com is sharing it with our readers.