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Remember the old M-G-M axiom: “More stars than there are in the heavens!” The 2013 67th annual Tony Awards, telecast by CBS live from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday from 8-11pm, has that beat. There’ll be more stars than there are in the galaxy! Minus one, but more about that later.
The stars are aligning! Tony fave, six-time Emmy nominee, and two-time winner and four-time Golden Globe nominee Neil Patrick Harris returns as host. Expect humorous barbs and songs.
He's Back: Neil Patrick Harris hosts. Photo: CBS
He’ll be joined by these presenters and nominees: Annaleigh Ashford, Laura Benanti, Stephanie J. Block, Charl Brown (Motown nominee), Danny Burstein, Carolee Carmello, Keith Carradine, Bertie Carvel, Will Chase, Victoria Clark, Carrie Coon, Jon Cryer, Alan Cumming, Gabriel Ebert (Matilda nominee), Jesse Eisenberg, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sally Field, Harvey Fierstein, Santino Fontana, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Shalita Grant (Vanya and Sonia... nominee), Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hanks, Megan Hilty, Judith Ivey, Jane Krakowski, Scarlett Johansson, Richard Kind, Valisia LeKae (Motown nominee), Nathan Lane, Cyndi Lauper, Tracy Letts, and Judith Light.
In addition, there’ll be Rob McClure, Audra McDonald, Billy Magnussen (Vanya and Sonia... nominee), Terrence Mann, Andrea Martin, Laurie Metcalf, Patina Miller, Matthew Morrison, Amy Morton, Kristine Nielsen, Laura Osnes, Johnny Orsini (The Nance nominee), David Hyde Pierce, Martha Plimpton, Billy Porter, Hal Prince, Andrew Rannells, Condola Rashad, Stark Sands, Keala Settle (Hands on a Hardbody nominee), Tony Shalhoub, Tom Sturridge (Orphans nominee), Holland Taylor, Cicely Tyson, Courtney B. Vance, Sigourney Weaver, Steven Van Zandt, Lauren Ward (Matilda nominee), the four girls alternating in the role of Matilda, and, among numerous others, none other than the Sir himself, Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Best Performance by an Actor. Leading Role, Play nominees Tom Sturridge (Orphans), David Hyde Pierce (Vanya and Sonia...), Nathan Lane (The Nance), and Tom Hanks (Lucky Guy). Not pictured: Tracy Letts (Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?).
There’ll be numbers by the casts of the Tony-nominated musicals A Christmas Story, Bring It On, Kinky Boots, Matilda, and Motown the Musical, and nominated revivals Cinderella and Pippin.
Not enough? The world’s largest stage is going to have to get larger. Try this on for size: additional headliners will be from currently running Chicago, Jersey Boys, Newsies, Once (last season’s Best Musical), Rock of Ages, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and long-running The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, and the granddaddy of ‘em all, The Phantom of the Opera.
The Tony Awards, which will be seen in 45 countries, are presented by the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League. For a complete list of the nominations, go to www.TonyAwards.com. As always, you’ll notice a few worthy names are missing among the nominees.
Midler as Hollywood superagent Sue Mengers. Photo: Richard Termine
One omission is especially embarrassing: Bette Midler. It’s been the hot gossip of the chat rooms for weeks. NOT TO NOMINATE Bette Midler, who courageously has returned to the stage and in a non-musical role in I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, is mindboggling! The nominators had to see it/her, so how is it they didn’t recognize nominators missed the most sizzling performance of the season?
The play’s SRO and a hard ticket and Miss Bette doesn’t disappoint. Her performance is like having Sue back with us for a night or afternoon and sitting right across from her plushly-appointed couch eavesdropping along with an A-List group of, say 12, on the latest and torrid Hollywood gossip. ?
[For a feature on Ms. Mengers, check out: People Who Knew Sue Mengers - Interviews - May 31, 2013]
What do you mean, you can’t be at the Tonys? So what if you couldn’t afford those thousand dollar ducats, there’re ways you can be part of the excitement. There’s CBS; and then, at what could easily be called the viewing party of the year, watch in Times Square starting at 6 P.M. on two SpectacolorHD screens. The host is Forbidden Broadway alumna Christine Pedi (currently Mama Morton in Chicago). Entertainment will include a performance by the cast of Rock of Ages, Patti Murin and the teen troupe Applause! and a round of Broadway karaoke.
Heather Hitchens, executive director, American Theatre Wing, co-presenter of the Awards with the League, adds, “There’s nothing like celebrating Broadway’s biggest night, with Broadway’s biggest fans, right in the heart of Times Square. It’s the next best thing to being at Radio City Music Hall.”
You’ll also see the live presentation of the Creative Arts Awards, which, sadly, aren’t seen on the telecast in order to make more room for commercials. It’s in Duffy Square, adjacent to the TKTS booth red stairs, and first come, first serve. With thousands of enthusiastic fans expected, arrive early and bring snacks and (non-alcoholic) beverages.
A lucky fan will have the opportunity to win a Nexxus makeover, tickets to the Tonys and the gala that follows, plus walk the red carpet.
Another way to keep up-to-the-minute with the Tonys is at www.TonyAwards.com, where you’ll find clips, posters, photos, Tony nominee videos, past Tony winners, facts and trivia, a printable ballot so you can vote, and a feature on the life and times of Awards namesake Antoinette Perry. Follow the Tonys on Facebook.com/theTonyAwards and Twitter.com/theTonyAwards.
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