The Tony Awards Are Considering a Move to Lincoln Center

News   The Tony Awards Are Considering a Move to Lincoln Center
 
Having been told by Radio City Music Hall that the 6,200-seat theatre will not likely be available for the annual Tony Awards ceremony next year, the Tonys are considering the David H. Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center as a possible alternative, The New York Times reported.

The Tonys also reportedly checked out the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, but judged it to be too far from Broadway.

The Times report said the Tonys are seeking alternatives to the 2,900-seat Beacon Theatre, where the Tonys moved the last time Radio City was unavailable, in 2011 and 2012. It characterized the Koch as more glamorous, but said the Beacon has more seats in the orchestra section.

Tony officials are hoping to settle on a venue over the next month, according to the Times, quoting sources who asked not to be identified.

News that Radio City might not be available to the Tonys came just a day after Radio City announced plans to move its New York Spectacular from spring to summer, with performances scheduled to begin June 15, 2016, less than two week after the Tonys, when the elaborate, multi-media production will be in its final weeks of rehearsals.

The 70th Annual Tony Awards will air on CBS-TV June 5, 2016 (8-11 PM ET/delayed PT) live from New York City.

Host Neil Patrick Harris and casts of Broadway shows perform onstage at The 67th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall
Host Neil Patrick Harris and casts of Broadway shows perform onstage at The 67th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall

The Times initially reported that "barring a last-minute change of heart" by Madison Square Garden Company (MSGC), which manages Radio City, the ceremony will return to the much smaller concert venue, the Beacon Theater, which has less than half the seats, 2,900.

A spokesperson for the Tony Awards offered a glimmer of hope for the future of the Tonys at Radio City, telling Playbill.com, "The location is still in negotiations for any venue options.... We are still in negotiations and will announce that location when the deal is completed."

The change to any of the alternate venues would be a disappointment for the Broadway community, which counts on the extra seats, not just for industry people who want to attend Broadway's biggest night, but for fans who were able to buy tickets in the upper balconies at the larger venue.

No word on whether any tickets would be sold to the general public for the Beacon.

The Tonys were held in Broadway theatres until the late 1990s when they switched to Radio City for the first time. A scheduling conflict with Cirque de Soleil led to the ceremony being switched to the Beacon (also owned by MSGC) in 2011 and 2012, after which Radio City became available once again.

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