Broadway's Big Night! Neil Patrick Harris Hosts 66th Annual Tony Awards June 10
By Andrew Gans
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.
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 Book of a Musical
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Bonnie & Clyde
One Man, Two Guvnors
Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Best Costume Design of a Play
Best Costume Design of a Musical
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 Direction of a Play
Best Direction of a Musical
Tony Nominations by Production
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