At this year’s Lucille Lortel Awards, co-host Laura Benanti says you can expect “one beautiful, hilarious theater star who has a deep respect for the theater and all it stands for and a middle aged white guy.” The Off-Broadway League announced today that Benanti and Jason Jones, who appear together on TBS’s The Detour, which Jones created with his wife Samantha Bee, will host the 33rd annual Lucille Lortel Awards on Sunday, May 6, at the NYU Skirball Center. The ceremony celebrates the best of Off Broadway each year. This year, they will also honor Eve Ensler with a Lifetime Achievement Award, WP Theater with Outstanding Body of Work, and the late Michael Friedman, who’ll be posthumously inducted into the Playwrights’ Sidewalk. Nominations will be announced and tickets will go on sale on April 3.
Benanti, a Tony winner for her work in Gypsy, has appeared in everything from Into the Woods to She Loves Me, and was last seen on Broadway in Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower with Amy Schumer (and recently on TV as Melania Trump). “I thought it was the Tony Awards and by the time I realized it wasn’t it was too late,” she said of signing onto the hosting gig. “Just kidding, of course. I deeply respect the work that’s done Off-Broadway, and really want to help highlight these incredible projects that don’t normally receive the spotlight they should.” Jones, whose wife previously hosted the ceremony back in 2011, got his start in theater and said would love the chance to get back to it — “Between seasons I am available. Give me a role.” To prove his dedication, Jones has a VHS of himself playing Tony in West Side Story in high school. “I am a deep bass and that part is a high tenor,” he pointed out. “I have a good twenty second clip to show the audience my skills.”