Broadway's biggest night is almost here. The 2017 Tony Awards is bound to be much more exciting since there isn’t one production expected to take home every trophy — last year’s show was even jokingly called The Hamiltonys.
The 71st annual Tony Awards will take place on Sunday, June 11, back in their usual home of Radio City Music Hall. The night begins with red carpet coverage at 5 p.m. on the official Tony Awards website, followed by a live broadcast on CBS beginning with a preview presentation at 7 p.m. and showtime at 8 p.m., ending at 11 p.m.
This year’s host will be Kevin Spacey, who's taking a break from his usual stint as the scheming president of “House of Cards” to star in a limited production of “Clarence Darrow.” And he’s only marginally the biggest name among the glittering Tony Awards roster.
Among the A-listers scheduled to appear are Scarlett Johansson, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Taraji P. Henson, Mark Hamill, John Legend, “Beauty and the Beast” star Josh Gad, Anna Kendrick, Sarah Paulson, Glenn Close (who’s reprising her original starring role in “Sunset Boulevard” now), “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” creator Rachel Bloom, the “Oh, Hello” boys Nick Kroll and John Mulaney — even “Hamilton” creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda will make a last-minute appearance.
I...better book my flight. 😳 https://t.co/tmuBK9SiXm— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 6, 2017
But you’re not watching the Tonys to see celebrities read off a teleprompter. You want dancing and singing! Last year’s lead actor winner for the role of Aaron Burr in “Hamilton,” Leslie Odom Jr., will perform, as well as fellow Tony winner for “The Color Purple” Cynthia Erivo. Since the show is taking place on their home turf, the Radio City Rockettes will bring their high kicks, and the casts of nine shows will perform:
“Come From Away”
“Dear Evan Hansen”
“Groundhog Day The Musical”
“Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812”
Tony Awards predictions: Who will win?
Unlike 2016, none of this year’s categories are a foregone conclusion, though there are plenty of standouts.
Best Musical: The Bette Midler-starring revival of “Hello, Dolly!” got a big welcome back to Broadway after a 22-year absence with 10 Tony nominations. It won best musical when it premiered back in 1964, but will being the sentimental favorite be enough to topple the juggernaut of romance and some truly excellent songs that is “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”?
Best Actor in a Musical: New York certainly loves Andy Karl in “Groundhog Day The Musical” as much as London did, where he won an Olivier Award this year for originating the role. But the nuanced, charming portrayal of a high schooler with a secret has earned Ben Platt a nod for “Dear Evan Hansen.”
Best Actress in a Musical: Midler’s shadow looms large over this category, but Broadway newcomer Denée Benton is just luminous in “Great Comet.”
Best Play: Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat” has the lion’s share of the buzz, with its depiction of factory workers whose friendship is tested when layoffs begin. Will it be enough to upset “A Doll’s House Part 2,” the most-nominated play in this year’s Tonys?
Best Actor in a Play: Kevin Kline’s well-received turn in “Present Laughter,” the farcical story about the mid-life crisis of a comedic actor is the solid pick here.
Best Actress in a Play: “A Doll’s House Part 2” is bursting with female talent, with Laurie Metcalf as the wife who abandoned her husband and daughter the fiercest of them.