“Curtains up, light the lights!”
After delays, postponements and even more delays, the 2021 Tony Awards are finally happening this Sunday, Sept. 26.
It’s been nearly two years since the COVID-19 pandemic caused what would become the longest Broadway blackout in history, pulling beloved stars and characters off the stages and into unemployment. During that time, the industry lost beloved members to the coronavirus, including Nick Cordero, Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally and many more.
But after almost a year and a half, Broadway reopened last week to massive fanfare and many happy tears.
So, after multiple postponements — and a brief consideration to do the entire ceremony online — the Tonys are back and will take this weekend to celebrate the best and the brightest of Broadway, finally paying recognition to the amazing shows that are now returning to the Great White Way.
Thanks to the, albeit understandably, confusing back and forth that has surrounded the 74th annual Tonys, there is still much confusion about how this awards ceremony is going to go.
So, without further ado, here is all you need to know about the 2021 Tony Awards:
When and where will the show take place?
The 2021 Tonys will be staged at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City on Sunday, Sept. 26.
Unlike the previous awards, this gala will be spread across two separate televised events: the usual awards ceremony will first air exclusively on Paramount+ starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Following that is a bigger special airing on CBS and Paramount+ starting at 9 p.m. ET called “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” The special will be a live concert event celebrating the return to Broadway and will feature performances from the nominated musicals “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” “Jagged Little Pill” and “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.” It will end with the biggest prizes of the evening: Best Musical, Best Play and Best Revival of a Play.
Where will it be livestreamed?
The Tonys will be streamed on Paramount+, the official CBS streaming service. If you don’t already have a subscription, Paramount+ offers a free weeklong trial or you can sign up for the subscription. which starts at $4.99 per month with ads and at $9.99 a month for the premium subscription with no ads. Access it via web browser, smartphones, smart TVs, Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Samsung, Playstation 4, and Xbox One and Series X.
You can also use the Paramount+ subscription to watch the second half of the festivities, “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!”
Who’s hosting the show?
The first segment of the Tony Awards will be hosted by Tony Award-winner and Broadway legend Audra McDonald.
The following live concert event will be hosted by Tony Award-winner and “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr.
Who’s nominated this year?
The nominations for the 2020 Tony Awards were initially announced on Oct. 15, 2020, by James Monroe Iglehart. You can check out the full list of nominations here.
Since the Broadway season was sadly cut short by the pandemic, the list is also very small — and slightly sad — in comparison to previous years. Only three out of the four musicals that opened before the eligibility cutoff date were nominated: “Jagged Little Pill,” “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” and “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.” In the same, strange vein, only Aaron Tveit of “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, while Karen Olivo, “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”; Elizabeth Stanley, “Jagged Little Pill”; and Adrienne Warren, “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” were all nominated for Best Actress in the same category.
In addition to those musical nominations, plays such as “Sea Wall/A Life,” “The Inheritance,” “Slave Play” and more received multiple nods from the American Theatre Wing.
For our picks of who we thought would have won the Tonys had they happened last year, click here.
According to the Tony Awards Web site, the impressive list of Tony presenters includes Andrew Lloyd Webber, Idina Menzel, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Ben Platt, Beanie Feldstein, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jordan Fisher, Santino Fontana, Andrew Garfield, Annaleigh Ashford, Kristin Chenoweth, André De Shields, Jake Gyllenhaal and many more.
Between the awards ceremony and the following “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!,” you can expect to see performances by nominated musicals “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” “Jagged Little Pill” and “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.”
In addition, the telecast will feature amazing performances by John Legend and the cast of “Ain’t Too Proud,” David Byrne and “American Utopia,” the original cast of “Hairspray” including Marissa Jaret Winokur and Matthew Morrison, and a special closing performance from “Freestyle Love Supreme” featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, James Monroe Iglehart, Christopher Jackson, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Wayne Brady and more.