(AP) — The Tony Awards
, which have been delayed for several years, have been given a fall air date and a four-hour streaming canvas to commemorate the pandemic-shortened Broadway
season that has upended the theater
The Tonys will be held on Sept. 26 and will air on CBS as well as Paramount+, according to the telecast's producers, who have added a fourth hour to compensate for lost time.
The award show will begin at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Paramount+ exclusively this year, then continue on CBS two hours later with a live concert event “featuring superstar Broadway entertainers and Tony Award winners re-uniting on stage to perform beloved classics and celebrate the joy and magic of live theater.”
“There is nothing like the magic of live theater — and we are thrilled to be able to share its celebratory return, as well as the incredible talent and artistry of the abbreviated 2019-2020 season, with theater fans everywhere,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theatre Wing, in a joint statement.
There had been no word on whether or not a host would be present.
was met with excitement from theater fans, but with complaints that the majority of the awards — the acting, directing, and technical ones — would only be accessible to Paramount+ customers, similar to how the Grammys
are streamed — the majority of those awards are streamed in a pre-show event, which is free.
Broadway theaters abruptly closed on March 12, 2020, canceling all shows, including 16 that were still scheduled to open in the spring. Broadway shows have been given the green
light to resume, with the first being "Hadestown" on September 2.
Organizers are looking for a Broadway theater to serve as the venue for the in-person event, but the Tonys' September 26 date implies that the nominated shows will be able to perform on the telecast from their respective home theaters, reducing overcrowding.
This season's nominations were drawn from only 18 eligible plays and musicals
, a fraction of the 34 shows nominated the previous season; normally, there are 26 competitive categories; this year, there are 25, with several depleted.
The somber musical "Jagged Little Pill," which draws on Alanis Morissette's 1995 breakthrough
album to tell the story of an American family spiraling out of control, has the most nominations (15).
There are three best musical nominees: "Jagged Little Pill," "Moulin Rouge: The Musical," and "Tina — The Tina Turner Musical," as well as five best play nominees: "Grand Horizons," "The Inheritance," "Sea Wall/A Life," "Slave Play," and "The Sound Inside."
“Moulin Rouge!”, a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 film about the goings-on in a turn-of-the-century Parisian nightclub, received 14 nominations, trailing only “Jagged Little Pill” in terms of overall nominations.
“Tina — The Tina Turner Musical,” which tells the rock
icon’s life with songs like “Let’s Stay Together” and “Proud Mary,” and “Slave Play,” Jeremy O. Harris’ ground-breaking, bracing work
that mixes race, sex, taboo desires, and class, are tied with 12 nods.