The 66th Annual Tony Awards
As I write this, upper Broadway, specifically West 68th Street, is getting a glamorous makeover, a posh polish. This coming Sunday evening, June 10th, follow the “Great White Way” uptown to the aptly lit and appropriately named Beacon Theatre. Once all the lights are in place, this hip venue will resemble the Land of Oz, the ultimate destination for Broadway’s big night, the 66th Tony Awards. The Tonys are an annual tribute unique to NYC, and they honor the best of NYC’s current Broadway shows…its performers, composers, lyricists, orchestrators, playwrights, costume designers, and all the technicians behind the scenes that eight times a week present live theater. The actual Tony presentation ceremony and entertainment show will be broadcast live on CBS TV from 8 pm to 11 pm. However, our own NY1 will be doing interviews and red carpet arrival coverage from 6 pm to 8 pm. Since no tickets are sold to the general public as the Beacon is simply too small for all but industry insiders, CBS and NY1 pull out all stops to make this a terrifically entertaining television event for its viewers.
Broadway Theater constitutes a major contribution to the world’s ever evolving cultural history, and specifically, the American Musical Theater genre represents the USA’s unique contribution to the history of music. Exclusive of London’s West End, where else can you find so many theaters in one designated area? Broadway represents the zenith for an actor, performer, vocalist, dancer — and we are lucky to have the best of the best grace our legendary midtown stages.
The enormously gifted Broadway community annually presents this spectacular live show in which excerpts from all the nominated Broadway shows, in both musical and drama genres, are presented in addition to announcing the award winners. Yet for some odd reason which I will never comprehend, the Tony Awards is the least viewed event of all the televised award shows. It’s a live, seat of the pants, spectacular sampling of the current year on Broadway and a fabulous way to note which shows you would like to catch after this generous preview. Everyone who is anyone in theater contributes and/or attends this presentation, and Neil Patrick Harris is again serving as host. I am confident he will equal, if not top, his past performances as a smooth combination of host and performer, and I am hoping his witty, gracious presence as Master of Ceremonies will become an annual tradition.
The Tony Awards are a unique NYC event; so naturally, our “Big Apple” is proudly promoting this celebration of theater. Bloomingdales on Lexington Ave and 59th Street is displaying a Tony Award Costume Exhibit on their 4th floor, and their 3rd Avenue windows are also highlighting costumes from Tony winning shows.
If you would like to cheer the nominees during this special Sunday night tribute alongside other theater fans, go down to Duffy Square in the heart of Times Square. Starting at 6 pm there will be a joyous Tony viewing party, hosted by the puppets from a previous Tony winning show “Avenue Q.” A giant screen will broadcast the awards show, but the fun lies in the attendees and their personal tributes to the favorite shows. Expect all manner of dress and costume!
“Broadway represents the zenith for an actor, performer, vocalist, dancer — and we are lucky to have the best of the best grace our legendary midtown stages.”
A new Broadway cabaret club, 54 Below at 254 West 54th Street is also hosting a free Tony viewing party, in the heart of the theater district, there will be no cover charge, rather a $20 food and beverage charge. Randy Rainbow will host this party and expect the unexpected!
The Tony Awards broadcast serves as a rare opportunity to enjoy the nearest thing to attending a Broadway show. If you love live theater, but can’t always get there, this is the next best thing. Don’t miss it, whether you join a party somewhere, line up outside the Beacon Theater to catch a glimpse of the glitterati, or simply snuggle on your couch tuned to CBS…it’s supreme entertainment, truly indicative of the best shows currently playing on the “Great White Way.”
Used York City has enthusiastically reviewed many of the nominated shows, and of course we have our personal favorites. Yet our only prediction is that come Sunday night, you will experience a special entertaining night of unique live television. So tune in!
What were your favorite shows this year?WHAT: The 2012 Tony Awards WHEN: Sunday, June 10th 6 pm to 8 pm on NY1 (Ch. 1) and 8 pm to 11 pm on CBS (Ch. 2) in NYC
By: Joanne Theodorou