PLAYBILL PICKS: Suggestions for Hosts of the 2013 Tony Awards

By Playbill Staff
April 21, 2013

Broadway is gearing up for the biggest night of the theatrical year when the 67th Annual Tony Awards are presented June 9 at Radio City Music Hall.



In years past, the Tony Awards have been hosted by such luminaries as Angela Lansbury, Liza Minnelli, Bernadette Peters, Gregory Hines, Julie Andrews, Robert Preston, Mary Tyler Moore, Glenn Close, Nathan Lane and more.

While we have to wait until April 30 to find out who the 2013 nominees will be, Playbill.com couldn't help but share our wish list for potential Tony Awards hosts.

Of course, this is just speculation in the event that Neil Patrick Harris decides not to return for a third year of Tony Awards hosting duties. We're still laughing over his opening number last season, which included Patti LuPone and a lawn mower!

Click through to check out our picks.

Audra McDonald
Photo by Michael Wilson

Audra McDonald
Surely it's time for Audra McDonald to follow in the footsteps of fellow five-time Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury and host the awards show. She's always funny and charming in concert, and hey, she's hosting Live From Lincoln Center on PBS this year - warm up for the Tonys, anyone?

Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli and Alan Cumming
The Cabaret connection! The Town Hall chemistry! 

Hugh Jackman in "Les Misérables."

The cast of "Les Misérables"
Perhaps the biggest event of the theatrical year didn't happen on stage - it was on screen in the film debut of the international hit musical Les Miz. Hugh Jackman and Ann Hathaway proved that they can host an awards show, so why not bring the whole crew to Radio City?

Patti LuPone
Photo by Ethan Hill

Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone
Who wouldn't want to see these two reinging musical theatre stars share the stage as hosts? We'd love to hear Peters and LuPone re-create Ethel Merman and Mary Martin's famed TV duet and then launch into a medley of their own Broadway hits.

Jane Lynch
Photo by Miranda Penn Turin/FOX

Jane Lynch
Funny lady Lynch (who makes her Broadway bow in Annie next month) is certainly a front runner after her killer run as host of the 2011 Emmy Awards.

Tim Minchin

Tim Minchin
The Australian comedian, actor and singer-songwriter made his Broadway this season with the hit musical Matilda. His sharp-edged humor, vocals and skills at the piano might be the adrenaline shot needed for a long night of awards and speeches!

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth
The Tony-winning actress is loved on Broadway, in Hollywood and beyond. She could even do a medley of her Dames of Broadway concert from this season's American Songbook series to get the evening started.

Elaine Stritch
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Tina Fey and Elaine Stritch
Stritch is leaving town - but we hate to see her go! Fey is reported to be working on a musical of her hit comedy film "Mean Girls." Then there's that "30 Rock" connection between the two of them and Alec Baldwin. The pairing of Fey and Stritch would certainly keep us on our toes and would make for an evening of unexpected and outrageous humor from two great female entertainment icons.

Alec Baldwin
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Alec Baldwin
Baldwin has award show hosting experience (he co-hosted the Oscars in 2010 with Steve Martin) and this season has him returning to a Broadway stage for the first time in close to a decade.

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks
Hanks may be a Broadway and award show-host newbie, but he's certainly the biggest star on the boards right now, and if the scene outside the Broadhurst is any indication of his massive popularity, a Hanks-hosted affair might give the Tony broadcast a much-needed B-12 shot in the ratings. Plus, Hanks is one of the nicest, most accessible Hollywood stars - he can be seen at the stage door of the Broadhurst signing dozens of Playbills long after the show is over.

Barry Manilow

Bette Midler and Barry Manilow
These former cohorts made returns to the Broadway stage this season (she, in the one-woman I'll Eat You Last and he, in a series of sold-out concerts). Despite a rumored feud, a Tony Awards reunion would certainly be popular with viewers.

Diana Ross
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Diana Ross
With Motown playing to sold-out crowds, it seems like a perfect time for "The Wiz" star to strut her stuff as host. And, wouldn't it be a hoot to have the real Diana Ross perform with Motown's Ross, Valisia LeKae?

Anne Hathaway
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Seth MacFarlane and Anne Hathaway
These two superstars are both self-proclaimed theatre nerds. McFarlane infused the Oscars with a solid dose of musical theatre this season, and Hathaway – with her "Les Miz" Oscar win and her Cabaret concert at Joe's Pub is always game for a good production number.

 

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper
She just wants to have fun and so does everyone else on Tony night! The iconic, no-nonsense Jersey Girl, who is represented on Broadway this season with Kinky Boots, could put over an opening number like nobody else!

 

Sarah Brightman

Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman
The Phantom of the Opera celebrated its 25th anniversary on Broadway in January, making it the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. The two-some who first led audiences into the Phantom's lair back in 1988 would make a fun pairing for Tony Awards night.