Awards season has been quite shuffled around the last year and a half, and no ceremony has felt the impact like the Tony Awards. The Broadway celebration last took place in June 2019 and was expected to honor the 2019-2020 season that respective June.
And now, after much delay, it’s finally back. The Tony Awards are set for Sept. 26.
It’s sure to be a special night. Instead of your typical ceremony, CBS is putting on a four-hour event that both commemorates the Tony Awards for the 2019-2020 season and celebrates the return to live theatre. Broadway didn’t even open until this month, making big-time musicals among the last live events for people to return to since the pandemic shuttered live events in March 2020.
The multi-platform evening kicks off at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT on Paramount Plus with Tony, Grammy and Emmy-winning singing actor Audra McDonald hosting the live presentation of the Tonys.
“My greatest hope is that this event marks the beginning of a new era for Broadway—one with renewed commitment to inclusivity and belonging as well as appreciation for the sacred experience of live theatre,” Mcdonald said. Her portion of the evening will honor the outstanding shows, performances and artistry of the 2019-2020 season.
Later, multi-hyphenate superstar Leslie Odom Jr. takes the reins as host of The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back! The second portion of the night will air at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and serves as a way to celebrate the re-opening of Broadway through special performances from the three Tony-nominated best musical contenders. After star Broadway entertainers and Tony Award winners reunite to perform beloved classics, the night will come to a close with the presentation of the awards for best play, best revival of a play and best musical. There is no award this year for best revival of a musical.
“Broadway is a part of my DNA and I’m so thrilled to see it open back up again,” Odom said. “There are so many talented artists going back to work and doing what they love for audiences who have missed these tremendous performances.”
Alongside McDonald and Odom, the Tonys will feature a star-studded lineup that includes Annaleigh Ashford, Kerry Butler, Kristin Chenoweth, André De Shields, Jake Gyllenhaal, Christopher Jackson, Idina Menzel, Ruthie Ann Miles, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bebe Neuwrith, Kelli O'Hara, Ben Platt, Jeremy Pope, Chita Rivera, Daphne Rubin-Vega and BD Wong. What’s more, viewers will get the chance to witness Broadway magic right from their homes with filmed performances of Jagged Little Pill, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. It all goes down Sunday at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre.
Photography by: Carl Timpone/BFA.com for TimesTalks