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With no confirmed reopening date for Broadway, the annual theatre ceremony goes online
The Tony Awards are going virtual! Although there had been speculation that this edition of the annual Broadway event might be pushed to 2021 or scrapped altogether, the show is going online this fall. In a press release, representatives from The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, which jointly present the Tonys, said, "Though unprecedented events cut the Broadway season short, it was a year full of extraordinary work that deserves to be recognized. 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." Nominations will be announced by Aladdin Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart on Thursday, October 15 at noon on YouTube. Details for ceremony, including date and platform, have yet to be determined.
The 74th annual Tony Awards were originally set to take place on Sunday, June 7, but the ceremony was indefinitely postponed due to the pandemic. Sixteen highly anticipated productions for the 2019-2020 season had not yet opened when Broadway shut down on March 12. Since then, two—Hangmen and a revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf starring Laurie Metcalf—were completely canceled. But many others, including revivals of Caroline, or Change; Take Me Out and How I Learned to Drive; as well as new shows Flying Over Sunset and The Minutes, were rescheduled to 2021. So it makes sense that the Tonys decided to go ahead and honor the truncated season since many of the unopened productions will get their shot at awards next time. This also shines a much-needed spotlight on the struggling industry and reminds audiences of the joy of live performance.
The website Broadway News has an article with additional info, including the fact that even though West Side Story and Girl From the North Country officially opened before the shutdown, they wouldn't be eligible because too few Tony voters were able to see them.