2019 DOC NYC movie review: ‘Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back’

November 18, 2019

by Carla Hay

Maurice Hines in “Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back” (Photo by John Carluccio)

“Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back”

Directed by John Carluccio

World premiere at DOC NYC in New York City on November 10, 2019.

In the opening scene of “Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back,” Tony-nominated entertainer Maurice Hines Jr. (who is in his 70s) is shown tap dancing with the kind of talent that most people never have in their lifetimes. That opening scene in this fascinating and comprehensive biographical film is a nod to Hines’ dancing roots, because he got his start in showbiz as a tap dancer at the tender age of 5. Throughout his childhood and early adulthood, Hines’ dancing partner was his younger brother Gregory. The two brothers also performed with their musician/singer father, Maurice Hines Sr., as part of the trio Hines, Hines and Dad.

But just like a lot of siblings, Maurice and Gregory (who died of cancer in 2003) often didn’t see eye to eye, and the documentary shows that the brothers’ relationship is the source of Maurice’s biggest lifelong emotional joy and pain. Their on-again, off-again feuding is discussed, but thankfully not exploited in the movie, which shows that Maurice has led a full and interesting life that includes being openly gay from as early as he can remember.

As Maurice’s friend Debbie Allen says in the film: “Maurice is one of the most energetic, alive people I’ve ever known.” And the movie has a spectacular range of archival footage, from his early years as a performer to his stints on Broadway or on tour for such productions as “Eubie!,” “Sophisticated Ladies,” “Uptown… It’s Hot!” There’s also new footage of Maurice dancing up a storm with dancer brothers Leo and John Manzari, who are his protégés and frequent collaborators. Viewers also get to see how much he loves to mentor young dancers, as he’s shown as a guest instructor at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles, as well as at the University of Hartford in Connecticut.

One of the surprising revelations in the movie is that Maurice’s family always accepted him as gay. Living his life so openly as a gay man was rare for his Silent Generation, just as it was rare for out LGBTQ people to be completely welcomed by their families, when homophobia was enforced by society at large. In the documentary, Hines remembers his mother telling him that she always knew he was gay before he told her, and he’d tell his father about the guys he was dating when his father asked about his love life. His straight brother Gregory, who used to go to gay bars with Maurice, had no hangups about dancing with gay men at the clubs.

And Maurice isn’t shy about discussing his favorite type of men: “I like football players the best,” he says. “If they’ve got big calves, we’re going to talk.” He also mentions that he used to date a lot of football players (but he doesn’t name names), and here’s how he described the relationships: “They just fell in love with me.”

The documentary also shows him playfully flirting with a young, stocky black cameraman from the film crew, after Maurice realizes that the cameraman overheard his microphoned comment about how he thinks the guy is sexy. “I’m 75, baby,” he laughed while sizing up the cameraman. “I say exactly what I need.”

Among the other people interviewed in the movie are Gregory’s children Daria and Zach; Gregory’s first ex-wife, Patricia Panella, who’s remained a close friend of Maurice’s; the Manzari Brothers; Ballet Tap USA founder Mercedes Ellinston; and Maurice’s friends Chita Rivera and Mel Johnson Jr., whose decades-long friendship with Maurice began when they when they were in the original 1978 Broadway cast of “Eubie.” Maurice also acknowledges some of his biggest influences, including his mentor Henry LeTang and VOP dance creator Frank Hatchett.

The documentary also covers how Maurice was affected when Gregory split off from him in 1972 to establish a separate career. Gregory still performed in musical theater, but he went on to become a star of films and TV shows, while Maurice stayed primarily in theater, where he sometimes replaced Gregory in touring productions of Broadway shows that previously starred Gregory. Maurice made his film debut in director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1984 drama “The Cotton Club,” in which he and Gregory played estranged, tap-dancing brothers who eventually reconcile. (The movie was also the last time that the two brothers danced together in public.)

The brothers’ relationship in “The Cotton Club” was very much a case of art imitating life. Although there was a period of about 10 years when Gregory and Maurice didn’t speak to each other (even when they lived just a few blocks from each other), they eventually reunited by the late 1990s, and remained close until Gregory’s untimely death in 2003. Maurice says in the movie (and his family and friends confirm) that he will never tell anyone why he and Gregory stopped talking to each other during their long estrangement. One of the most touching parts of the documentary is when Maurice accompanies Coppola to a 2017 Telluride Film Festival restoration/revival screening of “The Cotton Club,” and Maurice gets emotional during a post-screening Q&A when talking about Gregory.

Maurice also shows his tender side when it comes to his daughter, Cheryl Davis, whom he adopted with Silas Davis, who was Maurice’s partner from 1979 to 1996. (It’s another example of how Maurice was ahead of his time, because he adopted when gay adoptions weren’t allowed in most states.) Cheryl is in the movie, and Silas is briefly heard in in the film, in a voiceover interview discussing how they raised her.

“Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back” director John Carluccio, who is also the film’s editor and cinematographer, weaves together a fascinating story by not only respectfully telling Maurice’s life story but also not forgetting to present an overall historical context of the groundbreaking things that Maurice did as an openly gay black man in the entertainment industry. Many of his accomplishments were during a time when being an openly gay black man put him at high risk of being fired, assaulted, or worse.

The movie is also an unflinching look at how Maurice is dealing with aging. He shows some reclusive tendencies as a senior citizen who lives alone, and he openly discusses how much it bothers him to know that he’s losing his short-term memory. But no matter what age Maurice is, his charisma and zest for life are firmly intact, and it’s a joy to watch him in this movie. Simply put, “Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back” isn’t just a documentary about an underrated artist who at times was overshadowed by his more famous younger brother. The movie also shows how Maurice is a person of substance in his own right, and it’s an inspirational look at how someone can live life with passion and authenticity, while uplifting other people.

2019 D23 Expo: Walt Disney Studios, Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm programming announced

August 8, 2019

“Aladdin” (Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios)

The following is a press release from D23:

The Walt Disney Studios presents an exclusive look at its unparalleled film slate at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, taking place August 23–25.
At a marquee Hall D23 presentation hosted by The Walt Disney Studios Chief Creative Officer and Co-Chairman Alan Horn on Saturday, August 24, fans will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Studios’ upcoming theatrical releases, including animated films from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios and live-action projects from Disney, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm.

These studios are responsible for some of the world’s biggest movie hits, and past D23 Expos have been the site of some of the first-released details on blockbusters such as Disney’s Aladdin; Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana and Zootopia; Pixar Animation Studios’ Toy Story 4; Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War; and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, along with unforgettable moments like the debut of The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” sequence, live musical celebrations of Coco and Mary Poppins Returns, and a sprawling cast of Avengers assembling onstage.

Saturday’s showcase will feature never-before-seen footage, surprise appearances, and more. While the films to be featured in Hall D23 will remain under wraps until showtime, the Studios’ upcoming slate includes Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Mulan, and Jungle Cruise; Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen 2; Pixar originals Onward and Soul; Marvel Studios’ Black Widow and The Eternals; and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and more.

HALL D23 PRESENTATIONS:

Go Behind the Scenes with The Walt Disney Studios
Saturday, August 24, 10 a.m., Hall D23

The Walt Disney Studios presents a behind-the-scenes look at its blockbuster collection of upcoming films. Fans will glimpse what’s on the drawing board for the acclaimed filmmakers at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios and get a peek at the exciting slate of live-action projects, from Disney to Marvel Studios to Lucasfilm’s Star Wars. As always, attendees will be treated to exclusive footage, special guest appearances, and more! Cell phones, cameras, and all recording devices will be checked for this presentation.

Disney on Broadway: A 25th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, August 24, 3:30 p.m., Hall D23

Disney on Broadway is thrilled to return to D23 Expo to celebrate its 25th anniversary with an exclusive concert. Hosted by Tony Award®-nominee Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast), the 75-minute concert will feature Heidi Blickenstaff (Freaky Friday, The Little Mermaid), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, On The Record), Kissy Simmons (The Lion King), Josh Strickland (Tarzan), and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King). A six-piece band, led by Jim Abbott, will accompany performers as they lead the audience through Disney on Broadway’s Tony Award-winning catalogue. The performance will feature songs from Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aida, Tarzan®, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Newsies, Aladdin, Freaky Friday, and Frozen. (Talent is subject to change.)

Disney Character Voices, Inc: The 30th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, August 25, 4:15 p.m., Hall D23

For 30 years, Disney Character Voices has kept the voices of Disney characters alive and well for fans through toys, games, apps, theme park attractions, and much more. Take a journey with Rick Dempsey, SVP of Character Voices, and many of those beloved voices—including Tony Anselmo (“Donald”), Jodi Benson (“Ariel”), Bill Farmer (“Goofy” and “Pluto”), Bret Iwan (“Mickey Mouse”), and Linda Larkin (“Jasmine”), with more special guests to be announced—as they step out from behind the microphone to celebrate this joyous anniversary through stories and amazing voices!

CALENDAR OF KEY EVENTS:

Great Moments with Walt Disney
Friday, August 23, 10:30 a.m., Archives Stage

Grammy®-winning producer Randy Thornton, Disney Music Group’s Supervising Producer and Music Historian, will present audio recordings of Walt Disney recalling the development of the first cartoon with synchronized sound, creating Disney’s first hit song, and meeting Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.

“Vader Immortal” (Image courtesy of Lucasfilm)

Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode II First Look
Friday, August 23, 2 p.m., Stage 28

Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series lets you become the hero of your own personal adventure as you step into the role of a Force-sensitive smuggler recruited by Darth Vader himself. Director Ben Snow, Senior Experience Designer Jose Perez III, and Lucasfilm Story Group Creative Executive Matt Martin take the stage for an in-depth discussion about the upcoming second episode, including an exclusive sneak peek that will be available only to those at D23 Expo.

A Musical Celebration of Aladdin
Saturday, August 24, 5:30 p.m., D23 Expo Arena

To celebrate the in-home releases of the all-new live-action Aladdin and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Aladdin Walt Disney Signature Collection, hosts Scott Weinger (“Aladdin”) and Linda Larkin (“Jasmine”) take us on a musical magic-carpet ride through your favorite tunes from Aladdin both on stage and on screen. Special guests include Brad Kane (“Aladdin” singing voice), Deedee Magno Hall (“Jasmine” in Disney’s Aladdin—A Musical Spectacular), Jamal Sims (Choreographer, Aladdin live action), Clinton Greenspan (“Aladdin” on the North American tour), Lillias White (Hercules), and Norm Lewis (Scandal, The Little Mermaid on Broadway). You never know what surprises the Genie may conjure up.

The Little Mermaid: The 30th Anniversary Celebration!
Sunday, August 25, 10 a.m., D23 Expo Arena

Fans of the classic film are invited to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of The Little Mermaid, recognized around the world as one of the greatest animated films of all time. Hosted by the voice of Ariel herself, Jodi Benson, it will be an unforgettable “Under the Sea” celebration. Presented by H2O+.

Hidden Gems of the Walt Disney Animation Research Library: Preserving and Inspiring the Disney Legacy
Sunday, August 25, 12 p.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage

Fans will discover what it’s like to hold Disney history in their hands in this informative panel. The talented team at Walt Disney Animation Research Library (ARL) preserves millions of pieces of original Disney animation art from Steamboat Willie to the films of today. Attendees will learn how the ARL shares these hidden gems, inspiring artists and audiences alike.

The Art of Disney Storytelling
Sunday, August 25, 3 p.m., D23 Expo Arena

John Stamos hosts this panel of master storytellers—including Disney Legends Tony Baxter and Floyd Norman, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Paul Briggs (head of story, Frozen and Big Hero 6), and legendary producer Don Hahn—who will discuss Walt Disney’s impact on their careers and the entertainment industry, highlighting the ways they leverage those lessons to spark creativity today.

World Premiere: Walt Disney Animation Studios Presents Short Circuit
Sunday, August 25, 4 p.m., Stage 28

In this exciting panel, Walt Disney Animation Studios will debut Short Circuit, an experimental short film program that will debut in Spring 2020 on Disney+. Talented artists and filmmakers will share their films for the first time anywhere and give behind-the-scenes insights.

Two Worlds, One Family: The Making of Tarzan
Sunday, August 25, 5:45 p.m., D23 Expo Arena

Twenty years later, the team who brought the animated classic to life “swings” into the D23 Expo to give a behind-the-scenes look at how the Walt Disney Animation Studios film came to be! Guests include directors Chris Buck (Frozen 2) and Kevin Lima (Enchanted); animators Bruce W. Smith, Ken Duncan, and Disney Legend Glen Keane; and producer Bonnie Arnold, as well as a very special performance by Matthew Morrison (Glee) from his forthcoming Walt Disney Records album.

ALL WEEKEND ON THE D23 EXPO SHOW FLOOR

Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) and Pixar will once again team up for an immersive animation experience at D23 Expo. The studios’ upcoming slate of films, which include WDAS’ much-anticipated Frozen 2 and Pixar’s brand-new original feature film Onward, will be highlighted, including opportunities to meet the teams behind the movies and autograph signings of exclusive art and promotional item giveaways. Pixar Animation Studios will also introduce fans to a real-life version of Guinevere, the van from Onward. Decked out with crescent moon windows and a “Pegacorn” (part Pegasus, part unicorn) painted on her sides, Guinevere will offer guests a taste of the adventure that two teenage elf brothers will embark upon in the movie.

Disney on Broadway

Fans can celebrate Disney on Broadway’s milestone 25th anniversary by visiting the VR (virtual reality) theatre on the D23 Expo floor. The brand-new VR experience puts you center stage in Aladdin, Frozen, and The Lion King’s biggest Broadway production numbers, featuring Broadway’s Caissie Levy (Elsa), Major Attaway (Genie), Telly Leung (Aladdin), and Tshidi Manye (Rafiki).

Lucasfilm Pavilion

For the first time at D23 Expo, Lucasfilm will host a pavilion on the show floor with an impressive display showcasing the evolution of the Star Wars stormtrooper. The exhibit will include several of the screen-used costumes seen throughout the iconic movie series. From the classic stormtrooper to new designs featured in the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, this stunning display is a rare opportunity to examine these production costumes up close and study the many unique styles deployed throughout a galaxy far, far away. Also featured in the Lucasfilm pavilion will be a special section for young Padawans that will include Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures video shorts, along with multiple interactive activities for kids.

Marvel Studios Pavilion

Inside the Marvel Studios Pavilion on the show floor, fans can step inside the action of Avengers: Endgame via a D23 Expo-exclusive video experience, and tour the costume gallery to see costumes worn by characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Throughout the weekend, Marvel Studios will host panel conversations with filmmakers and artists, as well as special talent signings inside the Pavilion. Fans can test their encyclopedic knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with daily trivia games for prizes.

Inside the World of Avatar

“Avatar” props (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

The astonishing world of Avatar is one of the most indelible ever created in film and a celebration of all that is possible in cinema and storytelling. Avatar’s visionary director, James Cameron, has created a spellbinding, immersive world that transports audiences to a never-before-imagined place inhabited by jaw-droppingly original characters. At D23 Expo 2019, the spectacular world of Avatar comes to life once again with rarely seen props, costumes, and models used in the making of Cameron’s groundbreaking film, paired with the iconic movie moments where they are brought to life. Fans will also get a glimpse at the making of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World Resort, making this one-of-a-kind exhibit, located on the second floor of the Anaheim Convention Center, a must-see stop for anyone who appreciates the very best in movie and theme park storytelling.

Disney Music Emporium – Album Signings and Exclusive Products

Disney Music Emporium, the online destination for collectible Disney music products, returns to D23 Expo 2019 with a pop-up store on the show floor. Over the three-day Ultimate Disney Fan Event, the Emporium will feature album signings by artists and award-winning composers. Limited quantities of a wide assortment of music products will be available, including new releases from Marvel and Lucasfilm, vinyl albums, die-cut picture disc vinyl, cassettes, Crosley turntables, cassette players, posters, and more. Additionally, visitors to Disney Music Emporium will be able to pre-order the Matthew Morrison Disney album. Album signings at the Disney Music Emporium shop include Oscar®- and Grammy®winning composer and Disney Legend Randy Newman (Toy Story films, The Princess and the Frog, Cars films); composer Tyler Bates (Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy); actor Anthony Gonzalez (voice of Miguel from Coco); singer-songwriter, actor, and dancer Matthew Morrison (Glee); plus Hollywood Records artist JD McCrary (voice of young Simba in The Lion King). Scheduled artists subject to change.

Single-day tickets for Sunday of D23 Expo 2019 are available for $89 for one-day adult admission and $69 for children ages 3–9. Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $79 for a one-day adult admission and $59 for children ages 3–9. Single-day Friday and Saturday tickets, as well as three-day passes, are sold out. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2019, visit D23Expo.com.

About The Walt Disney Studios
For more than 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music, and stage plays to consumers throughout the world.

About D23 Expo 2019
D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities.

For the latest D23 Expo 2019 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.

About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99), Gold Family Membership ($129.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

2019 Tony Awards: ‘Hadestown,’ ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’ have the most nominations

April 30, 2019

Tony Awards logo

The following is a press release from the Tony Awards:

Nominations in 26 competitive categories for the American Theatre Wing’s 73rd Annual Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards® were announced today by Tony Award-winning actress Bebe Neuwirth, Tony-nominated actor Brandon Victor Dixon and CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King, at the Tony Award Nominations ceremony, held at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. The nominees were selected by an independent committee of 42 theatre professionals appointed by the Tony Awards Administration Committee. The 2019 Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. (The list of nominations follows.)

Marking 73 years of excellence on Broadway, The Tony Awards, hosted by James Corden, will be broadcast live from the Radio City Music Hall on CBS, on Sunday, June 9th, 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT time delay).

Legitimate theatrical productions opening in any of the 41 eligible Broadway theatres during the current season may be considered for Tony nominations. The 2018/2019 eligibility season began April 27, 2018 and ended April 25, 2019. The Tony Awards will be voted in 26 competitive categories by 831 designated Tony voters within the theatre community.

As previously announced, the 2019 Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre will be presented to Rosemary Harris, Terrence McNally and Harold Wheeler. The 2019 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre will be presented to Broadway Inspirational Voices founded by Michael McElroy; long time Vice President of Theatre Operations for The Shubert Organization, Peter Entin; Founder and President, Scenic Art Studios, Inc. Joseph Blakely Forbes and FDNY Engine 54 / Ladder 4 / Battalion 9. The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award will be presented to Judith Light for her advocacy work for HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+. The 2019 Special Tony Awards will be presented to Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company the creators of the character/puppet “Kong” for King Kong; musical director and arranger Jason Michael Webb and the late actress and advocate Marin Mazzie.

Each year, the Tony Awards Administration Committee presents a Tony Award to a regional theatre on the recommendation of the American Theatre Critics Association. The 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award will be presented to the TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, in Palo Alto, California.

The 2018-2019 Tony Award Nominating Committee consists of Emily Altman, Bob Alwine, Milly Barranger, Suzy Benzinger, Brenda Braxton, Luis Castro, Dawn Chiang, Patricia Cruz, Eisa Davis, Jerry Dixon, Edgar Dobie, Judith Dolan, Scott Elliott, John Erman, Scott Frankel, Maija Garcia, Mason Granger, Ann Harada, Peter Hedges, JoAnn Hunter, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Michael Kantor, Anne Keefe, Michael John LaChiusa, Priscilla Lopez, Martyna Majok, John Mauceri, Tony Meola, Jessica Molaskey, Sheila Nevins Peter Parnell, Rosalba Rolón, Daphne Ruben-Vega, Paul Rudnick, Don Scardino, Kimberly Senior, Mikki Shepard, Randy Skinner, Ellen Sorrin, Jessica Stone, Mark Wendland and Evan Yionoulis.

The Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards are bestowed annually on theatre professionals for distinguished achievement. The Tony is one of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry and the annual telecast is considered one of the most prestigious programs on television.

The 2019 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Thomas Schumacher is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is President. At the American Theater Wing, David Henry Hwang is Chairman and Heather A. Hitchens is President & CEO.

For the CBS broadcast, Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss/White Cherry Entertainment are Executive Producers. Weiss also serves as Director.

Tickets for the 2019 Tony Awards will go on sale on April 30th at 9:00 AM ET through TonyAwards.com and TicketMaster.com.

Sponsors for the 2019 Tony Awards include: Carnegie Mellon University – the first-ever, exclusive higher education partner; City National – official bank of the Tony Awards and presenting sponsor of the Creative Arts Awards; Sofitel New York – the official hotel of the Tony Awards; Rainbow Room – official partner of the Tony Nominee Luncheon; United Airlines – the official airline of the Tony Awards for the last 19 years and People/Entertainment Weekly – official magazine partners of the Tony Awards.

Nominations for the 2019 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards®

Presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing

Best Musical
Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations
Beetlejuice
Hadestown
The Prom
Tootsie

Best Play
Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney
The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus by Taylor Mac
Ink by James Graham
What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck

Best Revival of a Musical
Kiss Me, Kate
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
The Boys in the Band by Mart Crowley
Burn This
Torch Song by Harvey Fierstein
The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
Derrick Baskin, Ain’t Too Proud
Alex Brightman, Beetlejuice
Damon Daunno, Oklahoma!
Santino Fontana, Tootsie

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
Caitlin Kinnunen, The Prom
Beth Leavel, The Prom
Eva Noblezada, Hadestown
Kelli O’Hara, Kiss Me, Kate

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
Bryan Cranston, Network
Jeff Daniels, To Kill a Mockingbird
Adam Driver, Burn This
Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Annette Bening, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman
Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
Janet McTeer, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Laurie Metcalf, Hillary and Clinton
Heidi Schreck, What the Constitution Means to Me

Best Book of a Musical
Ain’t Too Proud, Dominique Morisseau
Beetlejuice, Scott Brown and Anthony King
Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell
The Prom, Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin
Tootsie, Robert Horn

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Be More Chill, Joe Iconis
Beetlejuice, Eddie Perfect
Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell
The Prom, Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin
To Kill a Mockingbird, Adam Guettel
Tootsie, David Yazbek

Best Direction of a Musical
Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown
Scott Ellis, Tootsie
Daniel Fish, Oklahoma!
Des McAnuff, Ain’t Too Proud
Casey Nicholaw, The Prom

Best Direction of a Play
Rupert Goold, Ink
Sam Mendes, The Ferryman
Bartlett Sher, To Kill a Mockingbird
Ivo van Hove, Network
George C. Wolfe, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Andre De Shields, Hadestown
Andy Grotelueschen, Tootsie
Patrick Page, Hadestown
Jeremy Pope, Ain’t Too Proud
Ephraim Sykes, Ain’t Too Proud

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Lilli Cooper, Tootsie
Amber Gray, Hadestown
Sarah Stiles, Tootsie
Ali Stroker, Oklahoma!
Mary Testa, Oklahoma!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Bertie Carvel, Ink
Robin De Jesús, The Boys in the Band
Gideon Glick, To Kill a Mockingbird
Brandon Uranowitz, Burn This
Benjamin Walker, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Fionnula Flanagan, The Ferryman
Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
Kristine Nielsen, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Julie White, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ruth Wilson, King Lear

Best Choreography
Camille A. Brown, Choir Boy
Warren Carlyle, Kiss Me, Kate
Denis Jones, Tootsie
David Neumann, Hadestown
Sergio Trujillo, Ain’t Too Proud

Best Orchestrations
Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, Hadestown
Larry Hochman, Kiss Me, Kate
Daniel Kluger, Oklahoma!
Simon Hale, Tootsie
Harold Wheeler, Ain’t Too Proud

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini, Ain’t Too Proud
Peter England, King Kong
Rachel Hauck, Hadestown*
Laura Jellinek, Oklahoma!
David Korins, Beetlejuice

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Miriam Buether, To Kill a Mockingbird
Bunny Christie, Ink
Rob Howell, The Ferryman*
Santo Loquasto, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Jan Versweyveld, Network

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Michael Krass, Hadestown
William Ivey Long, Beetlejuice
William Ivey Long, Tootsie
Bob Mackie, The Cher Show*
Paul Tazewell, Ain’t Too Proud

Best Costume Design of a Play
Rob Howell, The Ferryman*
Toni-Leslie James, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Clint Ramos, Torch Song
Ann Roth, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ann Roth, To Kill a Mockingbird

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Beetlejuice
Peter Hylenski, King Kong
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Ain’t Too Proud
Drew Levy, Oklahoma!
Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Hadestown

Best Sound Design of a Play
Adam Cork, Ink
Scott Lehrer, To Kill a Mockingbird
Fitz Patton, Choir Boy
Nick Powell, The Ferryman
Eric Sleichim, Network

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, The Cher Show
Howell Binkley, Ain’t Too Proud
Bradley King, Hadestown
Peter Mumford, King Kong
Kenneth Posner and Peter Nigrini, Beetlejuice

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Neil Austin, Ink
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Peter Mumford, The Ferryman
Jennifer Tipton, To Kill a Mockingbird
Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden, Network

Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

Rosemary Harris

Terrence McNally

Harold Wheeler

Special Tony Awards

Marin Mazzie

Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company

Jason Michael Webb

Regional Theatre Tony Award

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

Palo Alto, CA

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Judith Light

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre

Broadway Inspirational Voices – Michael McElroy, Founder

Peter Entin

FDNY Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9

Joseph Blakely Forbes

Tony Nominations by Production

Hadestown – 14

Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations – 12

Tootsie – 11

The Ferryman – 9

To Kill a Mockingbird – 9

Beetlejuice – 8

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! – 8

Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus – 7

The Prom – 7

Ink – 6

Network – 5

Choir Boy – 4

Kiss Me, Kate – 4

Arthur Miller’s All My Sons – 3

Burn This – 3

The Cher Show – 3

King Kong – 3

Bernhardt/Hamlet – 2

The Boys in the Band – 2

Torch Song – 2

The Waverly Gallery – 2

What the Constitution Means to Me – 2

Be More Chill – 1

Hillary and Clinton – 1

King Lear – 1

2019 Tony Awards: James Corden named host of the show

March 19, 2019

Tony Awards logo

James Corden
James Corden (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

The following is a press release from the Tony Awards:

The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards have announced that Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor, and host of CBS’ “The Late Late Show,” James Corden, will host the 73rd Annual Tony® Awards, airing LIVE on Sunday, June 9, 2019 (8:00PM ET / delayed PT) from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on CBS. This marks Corden’s second time hosting The Tony Awards.  Corden previously hosted the 70thAnnual Tony Awards, which won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Program.  Corden also won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his 2012 performance in “One Man. Two Guvnors.”

“I’m thrilled to be returning to host the Tony Awards, the Broadway community is very dear to my heart and I’m beyond proud to be part of this incredibly special night,” said James Corden.

“James is not only a beloved talent, he is also a veteran of the stage and has a true passion for Broadway,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing. “We cannot wait to see what he has in store for us this year at the Tony Awards!”

“Hilarious. Insanely talented.  Musical savant. Brilliantly unpredictable. James Corden!” exclaimed executive producers Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss.

“We are thrilled to have the one and only James Corden return to host his second Tony Awards,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events, CBS Entertainment. “James is the ultimate master of ceremonies to lead a night of live event television, celebrating live theater. He is an incredibly charming host, brilliant performer and fearless on stage – with James, anything can happen, and probably will!”

James Corden is an Emmy Award-winning, multifaceted performer, host, writer and producer with accomplishments that span television, theater, film and comedy. Individually, Corden has won seven Emmy Awards, for his work on “The Late Late Show,” the “Carpool Karaoke” series for Apple Music, and “The 70th Annual Tony Awards.” Since he took over as host of “The Late Late Show” on March 23, 2015, the show itself has won five Emmys, a Critic’s Choice Award for Best Talk Show, has achieved its highest ratings since the show’s inception in 1995, and has become known for Corden’s groundbreaking videos and sketches, including the viral segments “Carpool Karaoke,” “Crosswalk the Musical,” “Drop the Mic” and “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts.” Additionally, Corden hosted the Grammy Awards in 2017 and 2018. Also, he won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his performance in “One Man, Two Guvnors” in 2012.

Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment will return as executive producers. Weiss will also serve as director for the 20th consecutive year.  Ben Winston is a producer.

Nominations for the 2019 Tony Awards will be announced live from The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center on April 30, 2019.

For more information on the Tony Awards, visit TonyAwards.com and Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards and follow @TheTonyAwards on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

# # #

About the Tony Awards

The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Thomas Schumacher is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is President. At the American Theatre Wing, David Henry Hwang is Chair and Heather A. Hitchens is President & CEO. Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment are the Executive Producers of the 2019 Tony Awards. Mr. Weiss will also serve as Director of the 2019 Tony Awards.

Sponsors for Tony Awards include: Carnegie Mellon University – the first-ever, exclusive higher education partner; City National – official bank of the Tony Awards and presenting sponsor of the Creative Arts Awards; Sofitel New York – the official hotel of the Tony Awards; Rainbow Room – official partner of the Tony Nominee Luncheon; United Airlines – the official airline of the Tony Awards for the last 18 years and People/Entertainment Weekly – official magazine partners of the Tony Awards.

Neil Simon dead at 91; legendary writer and producer had award-winning Broadway classics, movies and TV shows

August 26, 2018

by John Larson

Tony-winning Broadway legend Neil Simon, 91, died of complications from pneumonia at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan on August 26, 2018, according to the Associated Press.

Simon’s numerous hit plays included “The Odd Couple,” “Barefoot in the Park,”  “The Sunshine Boys,” “Lost in Yonkers,” “The Goodbye Girl” and “Laughter on the 23rd Floor.” His musicals included “Sweet Charity,” “Little Me” and “They’re Playing Our Song.” His “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “Biloxi Blues” and “Broadway Bound” were a trilogy of connected plays. Several of Broadway productions were adapted into movies and TV shows.

Simon won many awards in his lifetime, including three Tonys, a Pulitzer Prize (for “Lost in Yonkers”), a Golden Globe (for “The Goodbye Girl”) and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He was a Kennedy Center honoree in 1995.

Tony-winning actors Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane and Harvey Fierstein issued statements after Simon’s death.

Broderick made his Broadway debut in “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” did his movie debut in 1983’s “Max Dugan Returns” (which was written by Simon), and starred in the 1988 film adaptation of “Biloxi Blues.” He commented, “It was my great good fortune that my very first Broadway play was written by Neil Simon. He also wrote my first film. I owe him a career. The theater has lost a brilliantly funny, unthinkably wonderful writer and even after all this time I feel I have lost a mentor, a father figure, a deep influence in my life and work.”

Lane starred in “Broadway Bound,” “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” and the 2005 revival of “The Odd Couple.” He commented, “Neil Simon will always be one of my theatrical heroes and I am so proud to have played a small part in his unparalleled career and remarkable legacy. My heartfelt condolences to his wife Elaine and the entire Simon family.”

Fierstein, who is best known for his Tony-winning play “Torch Song Trilogy,” had this to say about Simon: “He could write a joke that would make you laugh, define the character, the situation, and even the world’s problems. First time I met him he looked at me and said, ‘Where the hell did they find you?’ What a gent.”

Marsha Mason, who was married to Simon from 1973 to 1983 and starred in several movies written by him, issued this statement: “I am deeply sad and hurting with the news of Neil’s passing. He was a great talent and man, husband and father. With his passing his plays and work live on and will be enjoyed by many generations to come. I will miss him deeply and always.”

Simon was married five times to four women. His first marriage to dancer Joan Baim was from 1953 to 1973, when she died of cancer. Mason was his second wife. Simon then married and divorced actress Diane Lander twice, with their first marriage lasting from 1987–1988, and their second marriage lasting from 1990 to 1998. Simon’s widow is actress Elaine Joyce, whom he married in 1999. Simon is survived by Joyce; his biological daughters Ellen and Nancy (from his marriage to Baim); his adopted daughter Bryn (from his marriage to Lander); three grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

2018 Tony Awards: Bruce Springsteen to perform; more presenters announced

June 5, 2018

Tony Awards logo

The following is a press release from the American Theatre Wing:

Bruce Springsteen will make a rare television appearance at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards, when he takes the stage to perform live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS on Sunday, June 10th, 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.(ET/PT time delay).

Springsteen will also receive a Special Tony Award for his ongoing engagement “Springsteen on Broadway,” a once-in-a-lifetime theater going experience for the Broadway stage.

Hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, the evening will feature appearances by: Uzo Aduba, Christine Baranski, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Melissa Benoist, Erich Bergen, Rachel Bloom, Matt Bomer, Rachel Brosnahan, Tituss Burgess, Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels, Robert De Niro, Brandon Victor Dixon, Christopher Jackson, Billy Joel, Patti LuPone, Tatiana Maslany, Katharine McPhee, Matthew Morrison, Leslie Odom, Jr., Kelli O’Hara, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Bernadette Peters, Andrew Rannells, Kerry Washington, Ming-Na Wen, Marisa Jaret Winokur; Tony Nominees Tina Fey, John Leguizamo and Amy Schumer as well as Tony Award Lifetime Achievement recipients Andrew Lloyd Webber and Chita Rivera.

The American Theatre Wing’s 72nd Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, will air live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 10, 2018 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT). The Tony Awards, which honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

Tickets for the 2018 Tony Awards are now available at TonyAwards.com and TicketMaster.com.

For more information on the Tony Awards, visit TonyAwards.com and Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards and follow @TheTonyAwards on Instagram and Twitter.

June 7, 2018 UPDATE: The high-energy evening will feature performances by the casts of the 2018 Tony Award-nominated shows “The Band’s Visit,” “Carousel,” “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “My Fair Lady,” “Once on This Island,” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical” and “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical.” Also, the show will feature a special performance from the 2017 Tony Award-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen.”

2018 Tony Awards: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Chita Rivera get Lifetime Achievement Awards

April 23, 2018

Tony Awards logo

The following is a press release from the Tony Awards:

The Tony Awards Administration Committee announced today that Tony Award winning actress Chita Rivera and Tony Award winning composer and producer Andrew Lloyd Webber will be the 2018 recipients of the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

“The cultural impact that Chita and Andrew have had on the international theatre community and on theatre education, has been immeasurable,” said Heather Hitchens, President & CEO of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “They are groundbreakers, they are inspirations and we are truly honored to recognize these two incredible legends with the Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement.”

“My performing aspirations began with ballet training as a child in Washington, DC. When I came to New York and auditioned for George Balanchine, who gave me a scholarship to the School of American Ballet, I could never have imagined the amazing journey I have had in the theatre,” said Chita Rivera.  “I would not trade my life in the theatre for anything as the theatre IS life.  I am deeply honored to be recognized with the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre this year.”

“I am completely overwhelmed as a Brit to be honoured by the Broadway community at the Tonys, particularly at the time when musicals are flying higher in their spiritual home New York than they have for two generations,” said Andrew Lloyd Webber.

An accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received eight additional Tony nominations for an exceptional 10 Tony nominations. She recently starred in The Visit on Broadway and in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life, and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas.

Ms. Rivera trained as a ballerina, from the age of 11, before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from legendary choreographer George Balanchine. At 17-years-old Chita made her first appearance as a principal dancer in the national tour of Call Me Madam.  Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry’s Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, Can-Can with The Rockettes.  

Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009 and received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002.  In November, 2016 she headlined at Carnegie Hall and in 2015, Great Performances aired their special Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ To Do, a retrospective of her extraordinary life and career nationally on PBS. Her current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of some of the world’s best-known musicals including Cats, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard.  When Sunset Boulevard joined School of Rock – The Musical, Cats and Phantom of the Opera on Broadway in February 2017 he became the only person to equal the record set in 1953 by Rodgers and Hammerstein with four shows running concurrently.

He is currently represented on Broadway by Phantom of the Opera, which recently celebrated its historic 30th anniversary, and School of Rock. On the road, he is represented by touring productions of Love Never Dies, Phantom of the Opera and School of Rock with an upcoming national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar to launch next year.

His awards, both as composer and producer, include seven Tonys, seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, a BASCA Fellowship, the Kennedy Center Honor and a Grammy Award.    He owns seven London theatres including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the London Palladium.    He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1992.

He is passionate about the importance of music in education and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has become one of Britain’s leading charities supporting the arts and music.   In 2016 the Foundation funded a major new national initiative which endowed the American Theatre Wing with a $1.3 million, three-year grant to support theatre education opportunities for underserved young people and public schools across the United States.

The American Theatre Wing’s 72nd Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, will air on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 10, 2018 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Tony Awards, which honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

The official eligibility cut-off date will be Thursday, April 26, 2018, for all Broadway productions opening in the 2017-2018 season. Productions which meet all other eligibility requirements and open on or before the eligibility date are considered eligible for 2018 Tony Award nominations.

The Nominations for the 2018 Tony Awards will be announced live, by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Katharine McPhee on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, from the New York City Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

Follow the Tony Awards on Twitter and Instagram for real-time updates on the nominees as they are announced (@TheTonyAwards). The entire announcement will also be available on TonyAwards.com after the event.

# # #

About the Tony Awards

The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Thomas Schumacher is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is President. At the American Theatre Wing, David Henry Hwang is Chair and Heather A. Hitchens is President & CEO. Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment are the Executive Producers of the 2018 Tony Awards. Mr. Weiss will also serve as Director of the 2018 Tony Awards.

Sponsors for the 2018 Tony Awards include: IBM – develops, designs, and hosts the official Tony Awards digital experience anchored by TonyAwards.com; Carnegie Mellon University – the first-ever, exclusive higher education partner; Grant Thornton LLP – official accounting services partner; City National – official bank of the Tony Awards and presenting sponsor of the Creative Arts Awards; Nordstrom – official sponsor of the Red Carpet; Sofitel New York – the official hotel of the Tony Awards; Rainbow Room – official partner of the Tony Nominee Luncheon; United Airlines – the official airline of the Tony Awards for the last 18 years and People/Entertainment Weekly – official magazine partners of the Tony Awards.

2018 Tony Awards: Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban named co-hosts

April 18, 2018

Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban
Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban

The following is a press release from CBS:

CBS announced today that Tony Award nominees Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban will host THE 72nd ANNUAL TONY AWARDS®, live from the historic Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Sunday, June 10 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.

This will be both Bareilles’ and Groban’s first time hosting the show. They each starred in Broadway shows last year – Bareilles in the hit show “Waitress,” for which she received a 2016 Tony Award nomination for Best Score, and Groban in “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

The nominations for the 2018 Tony Awards will be announced live Tuesday, May 1 on CBS THIS MORNING by Tony Award-winning actor Leslie Odom, Jr. and actress Katharine McPhee (“Waitress”).

“The theater has completely transformed my life in every way possible. I have never felt more embraced and encouraged by a professional community, and I am so grateful for that,” said Sara Bareilles. “I feel incredibly lucky to get to spend an evening celebrating and applauding this outstanding collective of artists, friends, collaborators and creatives. It is my great honor to join my friend Josh Groban in hosting the Tonys this year, and use the opportunity to simply say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to this wonderful community…in high heels, with jokes.”

“I am humbled and ecstatic to be co-hosting the Tony Awards this year with such a brilliant artist and wonderful friend, Sara Bareilles. The dedication and inspiration surrounding live theater gave me my life path as a young kid, and the warmth and support of the Broadway community has been the highlight of my career,” said Josh Groban. “So to be at the helm of a night celebrating the best of that theater with a person I just laugh way too much with, is beyond words. But I will have words on Tony night! The best words! I look forward to flailing about in front of my peers. It will be with all the love and respect in the world for the room we’re lucky enough to be in.”

“Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban electrified and inspired audiences last year when they brought their incredible talents to Broadway,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events, CBS Entertainment. “These two have great chemistry together, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store as hosts for this year’s Tony Awards.”

“Sara and Josh have been taking the music industry by storm for years. Then just last year, they both made their Broadway debuts, bringing audiences to their feet, night after night. And now, we can’t wait to see what they will do, together, on Sunday, June 10, when they take the stage at Radio City Music Hall to host the Tony Awards,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing.

“Love that these two good friends, musicians, actors, singers, songwriters, Tony nominees and just darn nice humans agreed to host the Tonys!” said executive producers Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner.

Sara Bareilles first achieved mainstream critical praise in 2007 with her successful hit “Love Song,” which reached #1 in 22 countries around the world, from her debut album, Little Voice. Since then, Sara has gone on to receive six GRAMMY® nominations throughout her career, which include Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Love Song” and Album of the Year for her highly acclaimed third studio album, The Blessed Unrest. Her book, Sounds like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song, was released in the fall of 2015 by Simon & Schuster and is a New York Times bestseller. Making her Broadway debut, Sara composed the music and lyrics for “Waitress,” for which she received her first Tony® Award nomination for Best Score and a 2017 GRAMMY Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. Also, she made her Broadway acting debut by stepping into the lead role in “Waitress.” What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress, her most recent solo studio album, is currently available on Epic Records. Recently, Bareilles appeared on television as Mary Magdalene alongside John Legend in “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Possessing one of the most outstanding and instantly recognizable voices in music, GRAMMY®-nominated singer, songwriter and actor Josh Groban has entertained fans across the globe with his multi-platinum albums and DVDs (over 30 million sold worldwide), electrifying live performances, and comedic film and television appearances. The 36-year-old Los Angeles native is the only artist who has had two albums appear on the Top 20 Best-Selling Albums list in the past decade, according to Billboard. Groban has appeared in the feature films “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “The Hollars,” “Coffee Town” and “Muppets Most Wanted,” as well as on the television series “The Office,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “The Crazy Ones.” He has released seven studio albums: his 2001 self-titled 5x-platinum debut; 2003’s 6x-platinum Closer; 2006’s double-platinum Awake; 2007’s 6x platinum GRAMMY-nominated Noel; 2010’s gold-certified Illuminations; and 2013’s gold-certified All That Echoes, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, giving Groban his first #1 debut and third chart-topper. In 2017 Groban concluded his Broadway run in “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” which Time Out New York called “one of the best musicals of the decade.” Also, he released his first coffee table book, Stage to Stage: My Journey to Broadway, which documented the past two years of his life on Broadway. Groban remains an active arts education philanthropist and advocate as a member of the Americans for the Arts Artists Committee and Groban’s Find Your Light Foundation, which helps enrich the lives of young people through arts, education and cultural awareness. Currently, Groban is filming the television series “The Good Cop,” starring opposite Tony Danza, and working on his eighth studio album, which is due out later this year.

This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the Tony Awards, which were first held on April 6, 1947 at the Waldorf Astoria’s Grand Ballroom. The ceremony is presented by Tony Award Productions, which is a joint venture of the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, which founded the Tonys.

Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment will return as executive producers. Weiss will also serve as director for the 19th consecutive year.

RATING: To Be Announced

On the web: http://www.cbs.com/shows/tony_awards/

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