Months later than originally planned, the biggest theater awards show is going on after all. The Tony Awards have announced that the Broadway ceremony, originally scheduled to air on CBS on June 7 and scuttled due to the coronavirus pandemic, will return in digital form this fall. The Broadway theater season was cut short on March 12 this year as many major spring productions were gearing up to open, and it remains officially closed until 2021, though many producers aren’t planning to open new productions until later that spring.
“Though unprecedented events cut the Broadway season short, it was a year full of extraordinary work that deserves to be recognized,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theatre Wing, said in a statement. “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. The show must go on, no matter what — and it will.”
The awards show typically airs on CBS, which aired a Grease sing-along in place of the Tonys this year, but the Tonys release says that both a date and a platform for the ceremony will be announced later, indicating that CBS may no longer be involved. With many shows halted, in previews, or barely open when Broadway shut down, the Tonys will also be making determinations about which productions and performers are eligible to compete this year in the coming days. Now that everyone has had a little practice doing remote concerts over the last few months, we expect nothing less than seamless performances the night of, and hopefully an appearance from Patti LuPone deep inside her basement.