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The 2019-20 Broadway season is finally getting its Tony Awards.
CBS and Tony Award Productions said Wednesday that the ceremony will air as a four-hour “event” across CBS, Paramount+ and the CBS app on Sunday, Sept. 26.
The news about the special, The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back, comes three weeks after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sept. 14 as as the reopening date for Broadway, with theaters to be open at 100 percent capacity. After that announcement, several shows were quick to reveal reopening dates, including Hamilton, The Lion King and Wicked.
The Tony Awards originally had been scheduled for June 7, 2020, but they were initially postponed indefinitely after the Broadway closure, with industry insiders mulling over how best to honor the work from the truncated 2019-2020 season.
Even though the last night of Broadway theater was March 11, the Tony Awards committee determined that the abbreviated 2019-20 season ran from April 26, 2019 to Feb. 19, 2020, ending the season roughly a month before what ended up being the final Broadway performances of the year. Only 18 shows were eligible this year, roughly half the usual field.
Nominations were announced in October, but there was no mention of a date for the awards to be handed out. Now, the show is set to take place nearly a year after those noms were unveiled and months after the close of voting on March 15.
The Sept. 26 event will kick off with the presentation of the 74th Annual Tony Awards at 7 p.m, ET/4 p.m. PT live exclusively on Paramount+. The streaming presentation will “honor the outstanding shows, performances and artistry of the 2019-20 Broadway season, which was brought to a halt by the COVID-19 pandemic.” (The Tony Awards are presented by the Broadway League and The American Theatre Wing.)
The CBS and Tony Award Productions will present a two-hour special starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS that also will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+ and on the CBS app.
That special will consist of a live concert event featuring Broadway entertainers and Tony winners, along with special performances by the three Tony-nominated best musical contenders: Jagged Little Pill, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. It also will include the live presentation of three Tony Awards: best play, best revival of a play and best musical. Other winners will be “celebrated” throughout the broadcast, producers said, but did not offer further details, including the venue for the show.
“We are thrilled to bring the best of Broadway to television viewers who have been through so much without the joys, comfort and excitement that live theatre provides,” said Jack Sussman, executive vp specials, music, live events and alternative programming at CBS Entertainment. “With the combined power of CBS and Paramount+, the show will honor this year’s Tony Award nominees and winners in a new format unlike any other, and celebrate the iconic music, memorable performances and unique personalities that make Broadway so special.”
Said Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theatre Wing, in a joint statement: “After this devastating past year and a half for our industry, our city and for the entire world, we are excited to finally be able to celebrate the return of Broadway, our Tony Award nominees and winners in this new and exciting format. There is nothing that compares to the magic of live theater — 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.”
Additional information about the special will be available in the coming months.
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