The Tonys are almost upon us, and the American Theater Wing has officially announced who will be gracing the red carpet for this year's festivities. The 56th Annual Antoinette Perry Awards will be held on Sunday, June 2 at Radio City Music Hall, hosted by Bernadette Peters and Gregory Hines.
The Tony Awards broadcast is Broadway's biggest TV commercial, and so the Wing always makes an effort to pull out the big guns. Among the faces we will see this year are Natasha Richardson, Jerry Orbach, Mary Tyler Moore, Marvin Hamlisch, Michele Lee, Harry Connick Jr., Mos Def, and Doris Roberts. Movie stars who also love to trod the boards, such as Whoopi Goldberg, Hugh Jackman, and Liam Neeson, will be on hand as well, along with a few folks who might not be very familiar to the "viewers at home" but who are already big names on Broadway, such as Lea Salonga and Donna Murphy.
Among the big moments scheduled: Peters and Hines will perform a musical tribute to New York City and there will be a production number honoring Richard Rodgers, the legendary composer whose centenary is being celebrated across the globe this year. As usual, there will also be numbers from the shows nominated in the Best Musical and Best Musical Revival categories, performed by the Broadway casts.
Televised live from Radio City, the Tony Awards will be aired in two segments, as has become the practice over the past several years. Beginning at 8pm, PBS will offer "The First Ten Awards: Tonys 2002", including presentation of the honors for Best Score and Best Choreography plus short videos in which various theater artists explain their processes. The CBS broadcast, which begins at 9pm, will feature the musical production numbers plus the presentation of the awards for Best Play and Best Musical, the revival awards, and the acting awards.