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Two weeks after The Hollywood Reporter asked the question “How do you solve a problem like the Tonys?” we have an answer.
The 74th Tony Awards ceremony, which was scheduled to take place at Radio City Music Hall on June 7 before the pandemic cut short the 2019-2020 Broadway season it was to recognize, will now be held digitally in the fall on a date still to be determined. (The timeline and specifics of the voting process are expected soon.)
“Though unprecedented events cut the Broadway season short, it was a year full of extraordinary work that deserves to be recognized,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president & CEO of the American Theatre Wing, said in a statement. “We are thrilled not only to have found a way to properly celebrate our artists’ incredible achievements this season, but also to be able to uplift the entire theatre community and show the world what makes our Broadway family so special at this difficult time. The show must go on, no matter what — and it will.”
When Broadway shut down on March 12, some highly-anticipated shows had just opened, were in previews or hadn’t even reached that point yet — the eligibility cutoff was to be April 23.
There had, however, been considerable work that many in the New York theater community were buzzing about as likely contenders, such as The Inheritance and Slave Play for best play; Moulin Rouge! for best musical; Betrayal or A Soldier’s Play for best play revival; Danny Burstein (Moulin Rouge!), a popular vet with six nominations but no wins under his belt (and who recently overcame a brutal battle with COVID-19), for best featured actor in a musical; 33-year-old phenom Adrienne Warren (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) for best actress in a musical; 89-year-old Lois Smith (The Inheritance), who has worked steadily since her debut in 1952 and has been nominated twice but never won, and 80-year-old Jane Alexander (Grand Horizons), who made her debut in 1969 and won one competitive award 51 years ago, for best featured actress in a play; four-time Tonys bridesmaid Laura Linney (My Name Is Lucy Barton) and 2001 winner Mary Louise Parker (The Sound Inside) for best actress in a play; veterans Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins (The Height of the Storm) for best actor and actress in a play, respectively; Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Cox (Betrayal) for best actor in a play; Elizabeth Stanley (Jagged Little Pill) for best featured actress in a musical; David Alan Grier (A Soldier’s Play) for best actor or featured actor in a play, depending on where the nom-com placed him; and Derek McLane (Moulin Rouge!) for best scenic design. David Byrne, meanwhile, would almost certainly receive a special award for American Utopia.
Many of the aforementioned contenders were recognized at other award ceremonies that proceeded via a press release or virtual ceremony — the New York Drama Critics Circle (April 16), the Lucille Lortel Awards (May 3), the Outer Circle Critics Awards (May 11), the Drama Desk Awards (May 31), the Drama League Awards (June 18), etc.
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