Tonys to Turn 60 April 6

Tony Awards   Tonys to Turn 60 April 6
April 6 will mark the 60th anniversary of the Tony Awards, Broadway's highest honor. The first Tony ceremony was held April 6, 1947, at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan.
The program cover from the first Tony Awards Ceremony in 1947.
The program cover from the first Tony Awards Ceremony in 1947.

A copy of the program for "The First Annual Presentation of The American Theatre Wing's 'Tony's' Antoinette Perry Awards" reads, "Supper at nine. Entertainment and dancing till midnight, when the awards will be made and announced over Station WOR and the Mutual Network."

The menu for the evening featured bisque of lobster, salted nuts, breast of chicken Montmorency with black cherries, croquettes of brown rice, asparagus tips Polonaise, frozen soufflé Alaska with strawberry sauce, petits fours and demi tasse.

Entertainment was arranged by James Sauter. The evening included stars from Chocolate Soldier, Street Scene, Brigadoon, Oklahoma!, Call Me Mister, Sweethearts, Carousel and Finian's Rainbow as well as appearances by Mickey Rooney, Charles Trenet and Ethel Waters.

The final page of the program offers this brief history of the creation of the Tony Awards: "Jacob Wilk first suggested the idea of an Antoinette Perry Memorial to John Golden, who subsequently turned the matter over to the Wing, since Miss Perry was Chairman of its Board. The Wing appointed Brock Pemberton chairman of a committee for a memorial. The directors who attended the special meeting called for this purpose and who chose by secret ballot the persons to receive awards were: Mesdames Vera Allen, Louise Beck, Jane Cowl, Helen Hayes; Messrs. Brooks Atkinson, Kermit Bloomgarden, Clayton Collyer, George Heller, Rudy Karnolt, Burns Mantle, Gilbert Miller, Warren P. Munsell, Solly Pernick, James E. Sauter and Oliver M. Sayler."

Among the winners of the 1946-1947 Tony Awards were Jose Ferrer, Fredric March, Ingrid Bergman, Helen Hayes, Patricia Neal, David Wayne, Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan, Lucinda Ballard, David Ffolkes, Agnes de Mille, Michael Kidd and Kurt Weill. The 2006 Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS-TV on June 11. Nominations for the awards will be announced on May 16.

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