Tony Awards May Be Postponed or Scrapped Entirely

 

The Broadway League, in conjunction with the American Theatre Wing, and based upon CDC recommendations to keep theaters dark for an added four weeks, plays havoc with any chance of staying on schedule with a June 7 Radio City Music Hall ceremony, as coronavirus continues its rapid assault. The Tonys have been broadcast on CBS for the past 42 years.

This season’s crop of spring shows forced to postpone previews or opening nights include some of the most anticipated productions of the 2019-2020 Broadway season. Six, the hit pop musical from London and Chicago about the wives of Henry VIII, was set to open on March 12, the day the shutdown was announced, and so had already completed at least some of the required preview performances.

Now-canceled press previews had been scheduled for late March and into early April for playwright Tracy Letts’ The Minutes, the Jerry Zaks-directed musical adaptation of  Mrs. Doubtfire, director Sam Mendes’ The Lehman Trilogy and the Princess Di musical Diana.

 

 

Shows that either had not yet started previews, hadn’t officially opened or had not yet announced voter performances include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, directed by Joe Mantello and starring Laurie Metcalf and Rupert Everett; Company, the gender-switched revival of the classic Sondheim musical starring Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone; playwright Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen; Plaza Suite starring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parkerthe Tony Kushner-Jeanine Tesori musical revival Caroline or Change; How I Learned To Drive, the Paula Vogel play starring Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse; David Mamet’s American Buffalo starring Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockwell and Darren Criss; the Debra Messing-starrer play Birthday Candles; the Off Broadway transfer of New York Theatre Workshop’s musical Sing Street; the revival of Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jesse Williams and Patrick J. Adams (previews now set to begin April 14)and Flying Over Sunset, a new musical by James Lapine, Tom Kitt and Michael Korie.

Representing theater owners and producers, the League is in discussions about new guidelines via the CDC that called for a 8 week postponement or cancellation of gatherings of 50 or more people. Currently Broadway shutdowns were due to resume April 13.

Regarding Actors’ Equity, who strongly support Gov. Cuomo’s move to close the theaters, they say it’s important to protect the health and safety of everyone working in theatre. They are also urging Congress to ensure paid leave, health care and unemployment benefits.

In addition to being Broadway’s ultimate marker of peer recognition, The Tony Awards are the industry’s most significant national promotional endeavor – leading to significant increases or losses in ticket sales.

 

 

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