Nathan Lane, star of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum on Broadway and The Birdcage on film will co-host the 50th annual Antoinette Perry Awards June 2. The other host(s) have not yet been announced.
The Tony show will be broadcast 9-11 PM (ET) on CBS-TV from a theatre to be announced.
It will be interesting to see whether Lane is nominated for his Forum role. He was not nominated for either of his two previous roles, in Love! Valour! Compassion! and Laughter on the 23rd Floor. He made light of his non-nomination in 1995, when he also co-hosted the show.
If no new productions are scheduled and no existing ones are cancelled, the 1995-96 Broadway season will have seen 39 productions, nearly 40 percent more than last season's 28 productions.
The deadline for Tony eligibility is May 1. The Tony committee will meet the following weekend to determine which shows will be nominated in which categories. Nominations will be announced 8:30 AM Monday, May 6. Here are the shows that are eligible for those nominations:
* Seven new musicals are eligible this year (versus only two in 1995): Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Swinging on a Star, Victor/Victoria, State Fair, Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk, Big and Rent. This is one of the most diverse offerings in this category in a decade. Only four can be nominated. Which three will they leave off?
* Nine new plays are eligible this year (the same number as in 1995): Moon Over Buffalo, Sacrilege, Master Class, Racing Demon, Getting Away With Murder, Seven Guitars, Jack, The Apple Doesn't Fall . . ., Tartuffe--Born Again.
* A whopping 14 play revivals were mounted; 13 invited Tony voters and are eligible (versus 11 last year). Look at this list of authors: Ference Molnar's The Play's the Thing, Tennessee Williams' Garden District, William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Richard Sheridan's The School for Scandal, Phillip Barry's Holiday, August Strindberg's The Father, William Inge's Bus Stop, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's Inherit the Wind, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Williams' The Night of the Iguana, Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance, Sam Shepard's Buried Child, Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. Which four playwrights do you think will come out on top there?
Phillip Hayes Dean's Paul Robeson did not invite Tony voters and is not eligible, according to Susan Harley of the League of American Theatres and Producers.
The same is true of the season's five specialty shows (versus three last season): Red Buttons' Buttons on Broadway, Patti LuPone on Broadway, Fool Moon, Danny Gans on Broadway and Jackie Mason's Love Thy Neighbor.
Each year there are shows that do not fit neatly into one category or another. Among the questions this year: Will Sam Shepard's Buried Child -- which won a Pulitzer Prize in its original 1979 off-Broadway production, and now making its Broadway debut -- be eligible as a new play, or a revival?
Such questions will be decided by the Tony nominating committee, which this year consists of Jon Robin Baitz, Donald Brooks, Marge Champion, Betty L. Corwin, Gretchen Cryer, Thomas Dillon, Brendan Gill, Jay Harnick, Charles Hollerith, Barnard Hughes, Robert Kamlot, Ming Cho Lee, Robert McDonald, Lynn Thigpen, Douglas Watt and George White.