Broadway's Big Night! Neil Patrick Harris Hosts 66th Annual Tony Awards June 10

By Andrew Gans
10 Jun 2012

Host Neil Patrick Harris
Host Neil Patrick Harris
Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS

Will a Pulitzer Prize-winning play also win a Tony Award? Will the Best Musical prize go to a show based on a lavish Disney movie or one based on an Oscar-winning independent film? And, just where will Audra McDonald keep her fifth Tony? These questions and many others will be answered at the 66th Annual Tony Awards, celebrating excellence in Broadway theatre in the 2011-12 season, June 10 at the Beacon Theatre.

Yes, it's Broadway's biggest night of the year, and Golden Globe-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother") has returned, marking his third time as Tony host, following his work on both the 63rd Annual Tony Awards in 2009 and the 65th Annual Tony Awards in 2011. As he did in 2011, Harris also acts as a producer, along with executive producers Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment.

Two former Tony Award winners, Norbert Leo Butz and Beth Leavel, will host the Creative Arts Awards portion of the Tonys. Several of the Creative Arts Awards will be presented immediately before the Tony telecast begins; the remaining ones will be presented during commercial breaks throughout the evening. All winners will be acknowledged on the CBS broadcast. Although a list of categories has not been announced, Creative Arts Awards usually include Best Lighting Design of a Play, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Sound Design of a Play, Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Play, Best Costume Design of a Musical, Best Orchestrations and more.

The broadcast, which begins at 8 PM ET on CBS, boasts a diverse array of presenters, including Ellen Barkin, Candice Bergen, Jessica Chastain, Ben Vereen, Sheryl Crow, Nick Jonas, Angela Lansbury, James Marsden, Jim Parsons, Mandy Patinkin, Tyler Perry, Christopher Plummer, Paul Rudd, Amanda Seyfried, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Matthew Morrison, Josh Groban and Cote de Pablo.



The three-hour program will feature performances by Tony-nominated musicals including Evita, featuring Ricky Martin and Elena Roger ("And The Money Kept Rolling In"); Follies, featuring Tony-nominated actor Danny Burstein ("The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues"); a medley of tunes from The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, featuring Tony nominees Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis and David Alan Grier; Jesus Christ Superstar, featuring Tony nominee Josh Young; Leap of Faith, featuring Raúl Esparza, who will offer "Rise Up"; Newsies, featuring Tony-nominated actor Jeremy Jordan; Nice Work If You Can Get It, featuring Matthew Broderick and Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara; and Once, featuring Tony nominees Steve Kazee, Cristin Milioti and Elizabeth A. Davis. 

The evening will also include performances by Tony-nominated plays: End of the Rainbow with Tony-nominated actress Tracie Bennett; One Man, Two Guvnors with Tony-nominated actor James Corden; and Peter and the Starcatcher, featuring Tony nominees Christian Borle and Celia Keenan-Bolger. 

The show will include a performance with Corbin Bleu and the cast of Godspell; Ghost The Musical, featuring Bryce Pinkham, Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman; and a live broadcast from Royal Caribbean International's Oasis of the Seas' cast of Hairspray.

Bernadette Peters
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

During the evening, two-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters will receive the Isabelle Stevenson Award, and Special Tony Awards will be presented to Actors' Equity Association and to Tony winner Hugh Jackman. Peters is being recognized for her charitable work with such organizations as Broadway Barks!, which she co-founded with Mary Tyler Moore as a program to promote the adoption of shelter animals; Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; Standing Tall; and Actors Fund of America. Jackman is being honored for his "contributions to the Broadway community, both as a performer and humanitarian; his tireless dedication to charitable works of many types; and his personal generosity of spirit." And, Actors' Equity is being celebrated on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.

The 2012 Tony Awards are presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

Those who would rather view the ceremony outdoors can head to Times Square for a simulcast of the awards. That simulcast, which will include the Tony Awards Red Carpet (courtesy of NY1) and the entirety of the Tony Awards show, including the Creative Arts Awards, will be seen on Clear Channel's SpectacolorHD screen in Times Square, beginning at 6 PM ET. Rod and Lucy from the 2004 Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q will host the outdoor event, which will take place rain or shine.

The Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards are bestowed annually on theatre professionals for distinguished achievement.

(Those interested can view a live video webcast of the stars' arrivals at the Beacon Theatre beginning at 6 PM ET at TonyAwards.com.)

*

Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth and Emmy winner Jim Parsons announced the nominees for the 66th Annual Tony Awards May 1 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at Lincoln Center.

Once, the new musical based on the film of the same name, earned 11 Tony nominations, the most of any production of the season. The two Gershwin musicals, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and Nice Work If You Can Get It, earned 10 nominations apiece.

All four Best Play nominees, including the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Clybourne Park, arrived on Broadway after acclaimed Off-Broadway runs. Venus in Fur and Clybourne Park were first seen by New York audiences in the winter of 2010, while Other Desert Cities and Peter and the Starcatcher debuted in 2011.

Nominations for the 2012 Tony Awards follow:

Best Play 

Clybourne Park
Author: Bruce Norris

Other Desert Cities
Author: Jon Robin Baitz

Peter and the Starcatcher
Author: Rick Elice

Venus in Fur
Author: David Ives


Best Musical
Leap of Faith
Newsies
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Once

Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
Master Class
Wit

Best Revival of a Musical
Evita
Follies
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Book of a Musical

Lysistrata Jones
Douglas Carter Beane

Newsies
Harvey Fierstein

Nice Work If You Can Get It
Joe DiPietro

Once
Enda Walsh

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Bonnie & Clyde
Music: Frank Wildhorn
Lyrics: Don Black

Newsies
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Jack Feldman

One Man, Two Guvnors
Music & Lyrics: Grant Olding

Peter and the Starcatcher
Music: Wayne Barker
Lyrics: Rick Elice

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
James Earl Jones, Gore Vidal's The Best Man
Frank Langella, Man and Boy
John Lithgow, The Columnist

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nina Arianda, Venus in Fur
Tracie Bennett, End of the Rainbow
Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities
Linda Lavin, The Lyons
Cynthia Nixon, Wit

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Follies
Jeremy Jordan, Newsies
Steve Kazee, Once
Norm Lewis, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Ron Raines, Follies

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Jan Maxwell, Follies
Audra McDonald, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Cristin Milioti, Once
Kelli O’Hara, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Laura Osnes, Bonnie & Clyde

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Michael Cumpsty, End of the Rainbow
Tom Edden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Andrew Garfield, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Jeremy Shamos, Clybourne Park

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Linda Emond, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Spencer Kayden, Don't Dress for Dinner
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Peter and the Starcatcher
Judith Light, Other Desert Cities
Condola Rashad, Stick Fly

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Phillip Boykin, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Michael Cerveris, Evita
David Alan Grier, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Josh Young, Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Elizabeth A. Davis, Once
Jayne Houdyshell, Follies
Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Jessie Mueller, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Ghost the Musical

Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, Other Desert Cities
Daniel Ostling, Clybourne Park
Mark Thompson, One Man, Two Guvnors
Donyale Werle, Peter and the Starcatcher

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley, Once
Rob Howell and Jon Driscoll, Ghost the Musical
Tobin Ost and Sven Ortel, Newsies
George Tsypin, Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark

Best Costume Design of a Play
William Ivey Long, Don't Dress for Dinner
Paul Tazewell, A Streetcar Named Desire
Mark Thompson, One Man, Two Guvnors
Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Follies
ESosa, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Eiko Ishioka, Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark
Martin Pakledinaz, Nice Work If You Can Get It

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Jeff Croiter, Peter and the Starcatcher
Peter Kaczorowski, The Road to Mecca
Brian MacDevitt, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Kenneth Posner, Other Desert Cities

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Christopher Akerlind, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Natasha Katz, Follies
Natasha Katz, Once
Hugh Vanstone, Ghost the Musical

Best Sound Design of a Play
Paul Arditti, One Man, Two Guvnors
Scott Lehrer, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Gareth Owen, End of the Rainbow
Darron L. West, Peter and the Starcatcher

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Acme Sound Partners, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Clive Goodwin, Once
Kai Harada, Follies
Brian Ronan, Nice Work If You Can Get It

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford, Evita
Christopher Gattelli, Newsies
Steven Hoggett, Once
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It

Best Direction of a Play
Nicholas Hytner, One Man, Two Guvnors
Pam MacKinnon, Clybourne Park
Mike Nichols, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, Peter and the Starcatcher

Best Direction of a Musical
Jeff Calhoun, Newsies
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Diane Paulus, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
John Tiffany, Once

Best Orchestrations
William David Brohn and Christopher Jahnke, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Bill Elliott, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Martin Lowe, Once
Danny Troob, Newsies

* * *
Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Emanuel Azenberg

Regional Theatre Award
The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C.

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Bernadette Peters

Special Tony Award
Actors’ Equity Association
Hugh Jackman

Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre
Freddie Gershon
Artie Siccardi
TDF Open Doors

* * *

Tony Nominations by Production
Once - 11
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess - 10
Nice Work If You Can Get It - 10
Peter and the Starcatcher - 9
Follies- 8
Newsies - 8
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman - 7
One Man, Two Guvnors - 7
Other Desert Cities - 5
Clybourne Park - 4
End of the Rainbow - 3
Evita - 3
Ghost the Musical - 3
Bonnie & Clyde - 2
Don't Dress for Dinner - 2
Gore Vidal's The Best Man - 2
Jesus Christ Superstar - 2
Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark - 2
Venus in Fur - 2
Wit - 2
The Columnist - 1
Leap of Faith - 1
The Lyons - 1
Lysistrata Jones - 1
Man and Boy - 1
Master Class - 1
On A Clear Day You Can See Forever - 1
The Road to Mecca - 1
Stick Fly - 1
A Streetcar Named Desire - 1

Browse the Tony Playbills by year below:

2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996
1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1987 1986
1985 1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1976
1975 1974 1973 1972 1971 1969 1968 1967