Visitors from around the world come to New York City in droves to take in the sights and sounds of Broadway, with over 11 million theater fans visiting in 2017. But for one night, all those stars hop over to the screen for a celebration of everything that makes Broadway theater an exciting tradition.
This year’s 72nd Annual Tony Awards will be hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban and air live on CBS from Radio City Music Hall on June 10th at 8PM EST. And yes, those are facts the casual observer may already know. But here are 8 some theater lovers may not!
Who is Tony?
The prestigious award was posthumously named after Antoinette “Tony” Perry, an actress, director, producer, and co-founder of the American Theatre Wing. The award was named to honor her for her charitable work with the ATW during WWII.
Tony, She Hosts
Angela Lansbury, best-known for her portrayal of J.B. Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote, has taken to hosting or co-hosting duties more than anyone else: a record 5 times in 1968, 1971, 1987, 1988, and 1989. Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman are right behind her with 4 hosting appearances each.
The Music of the (Tonys) Night
To date, the Best Musical with the longest run on Broadway is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. The iconic show opened in 1988 and has garnered 7 Tony Awards so far.
All In The Family
Amanda Plummer, best known for her film roles in Pulp Fiction and the Fisher King, is the only Tony Award winner whose parents, Christopher Plummer and Tammy Grimes, are also Tony winners for their contributions to the stage.
What Goes Around…
What a whirlwind the Tonys are–the award night and the award itself. The pendant-like trophy emblazoned with the masks of comedy and tragedy on one side, and the name of the winner and the year on the other, has been in ‘rotation’ since 1967. Though the trophy itself didn’t always move, the addition of a curved iteration lets Tony spin!
Lucky Number 6
2018 is sure to make history (or herstory?) at the Tonys. For the first time ever, six women have been nominated in the Best Leading Actress in a Musical Category. Having six nominees in any category is uncommon, so this is a powerful testament to how much talent roamed the stages this past year. The first time six performers were nominated for a single category was for Best Actress In A Play. The winner that night was Julie Harris for The Lark in 1956.
The Night of the Big Show
The first ever Tony Awards were presented at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on April 6, 1947. At the time, anyone could purchase a ticket to attend the ceremony for $7. Those hoping to get a ticket this year to see the show at the Radio City Music Hall would need to shell out more than a hundred times that amount.
Lights! Cameras! Tonys!
The Tonys were broadcast to TV audiences for the first time in 1956. At the time, the award show could only be seen by those tuning into the now-defunct DuMont Network–a CBS rival at the time–where the Tonys currently air.
Regardless of whether they’re attending the show in person or from the comforts of home, New Yorkers and their fellow Broadway aficionados are sure to enjoy this annual night at the theater!