After a 15-month delay, the Broadway League and American Theatre Wing have secured a date for the 74th annual Tony Awards. The ceremony will take place September 26 in a four-hour celebration spread across two separate televised events.
Winners for a majority of the categories—the nominees for which were announced in October last year and voted upon this March—will be revealed in a 7 PM ET presentation streaming on Paramount+.
A live concert event, titled Broadway’s Back!, will follow, beginning at 9 PM ET on CBS, the ceremony’s usual broadcast home, as well as on the aforementioned streamer and the CBS app. In addition to performances from Broadway favorites and the three current Best Musical contenders (Jagged Little Pill, Moulin Rouge!, and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), the primetime concert will feature the presentation of the night’s final three categories: Best Play, Best Revival of a Play, and Best Musical.
Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin and American Theatre Wing President and CEO Heather Hitchens called the plan a “new and exciting format” in a joint statement, adding, “There is nothing that compares to the magic of live theatre, and we are thrilled to be able to share its celebratory return and the incredible talent and artistry of the abbreviated 2019–2020 season with theatre fans everywhere.”
The 2020 awards, perhaps now more aptly the 2021 awards, will honor the 2019–2020 season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, as performances came to a halt March 12 last year. Select productions will begin to welcome back audiences in September. During the nominating process, the awards’ Administration Committee deemed productions that opened by February 19, 2020, eligible. Of the contenders, the Alanis Morissette jukebox musical Jagged Little Pill leads the pack with 15 nominations. As for plays, Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play made history with 12 nominations. Check out the full list of nominations here.
Originally scheduled for June 7, 2020, the Tony Awards were officially put on hold March 25—a couple weeks after the Broadway shutdown went into effect; a few months later, organizer expressed their optimism for a virtual ceremony in the fall. But even when nominees were announced in October, details remained scarce on the actual ceremony. As voting approached, the League and Wing announced that they were shifting their plans, aiming instead for a ceremony in conjunction with Broadway’s reopening.
Additional information, including specific performers and a venue for the events, will be announced later.
Collaborating with the League and Wing on Broadway’s Back! is frequent partner White Cherry Entertainment, with the company’s Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss serving as executive producers. Weiss will direct the broadcast.