Tony Awards delay nominations and take swipe at Oscars with new policy
New York, New York - The show must go on – with minor scheduling changes.
Producers of the Tonys said Friday that nominations for the awards celebrating the best in Broadway theater have been delayed by nearly a week, so nominators can see all eligible productions.
According to the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing, the organizations that present the awards, the nominations will now be announced on May 9, instead of May 3.
However, the 75th annual edition of the prestigious ceremony is still set for June 12 at Radio City Music Hall, and it’ll be broadcast live on CBS and streamed on Paramount+.
"Due to the challenges that Broadway has faced in recent weeks, and in an effort to allow nominators to see Tony eligible shows, we have decided to extend the deadline for eligibility requirements," Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theatre Wing, said in a statement shared with the press.
Even though producers didn’t elaborate on the recent "challenges" faced by the theater industry in New York City, they are likely referring to a series of disruptions and cancellations caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Organizers also announced a "strict no violence policy" for the event, in a clear dig at this year's Academy Awards, during which Will Smith slapped Chris Rock.
Covid still wreaking havoc on productions
A number of shows that were set to open before the eligibility deadline, which was originally scheduled for April 28, had to change their plans due to cast outages and outright cancellations.
Among them, some high-profile names – including Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, stars of the much-buzzed-about revival of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite, as well as Macbeth star and former James Bond actor Daniel Craig – were forced to cancel several performances after testing positive for Covid-19.
Despite the recent challenges, however, stage lights seem to be shining brighter than ever, as Broadway recovers from its longest shutdown in history. All shows had to go dark in early May 2020 and the ones that survived began reopening only a year and a half later.
Nine new shows have already opened this month, with six more scheduled to open until the end of the month: Funny Girl, The Skin of Our Teeth, A Strange Loop, POTUS, Mr. Saturday Night, and Macbeth.
As every theater lover knows, nobody is going to rain on Broadway’s parade for too long.
Cover photo: IMAGO / Pacific Press Agency