2014 Tony Awards: How To Watch, What To Watch For. The Week in New York Theater

Tonys2014rehearsalWill Audra McDonald win her record-breaking sixth Tony? Will Bryan Cranston’s Broadway debut performance, as LBJ, break good for him?  Will more people watch Neil Patrick Harris perform as the transgendered Hedwig than watched him last year as the tuxedoed host?

Did the Tony voters pick the right winners?

These are some of the questions that theater fans might be asking as they await the 68th annual Tony Awards show, with Hugh Jackman as host, which will be presented at Radio City Music Hall today, Sunday, June 8th, and broadcast on CBS, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time.

Last year’s broadcast drew 7.2 million viewers – which was 20 percent more than the previous year, but 1.6 million fewer people than follow Harris on Twitter – and five million fewer than attend a Broadway show in any given year.

Perhaps to prop up the ratings – or maybe due to actual excitement – there’s been an avalanche of pre-Tony promotion and publicity…more than I remember from past years. Let’s hope it doesn’t backfire. (Will Tony overkill kill the ratings?)

The 110 Tony Award nominees in 26 categories were chosen from 44 eligible shows in the 2013-14 Broadway season. Not all are household names. To beef up the allure, there will be performances by both the cast of Wicked, celebrating its 10th anniversary, and Sting’s The Last Ship, which is scheduled for Broadway next season. Patti LaBelle who joins the cast of After Midnight on Tuesday, and Fantasia, who is leaving the cast, are both scheduled to perform. The presenters will include Clint Eastwood, whose clearest connection to Broadway is that he is the director of the film adaptation of “Jersey Boys.”

Want to see the Tonys outdoors in a crowd? Come to the 6th annual Times Square “simulcast,” with hosts Justin Guarini and Kerry Butler.

The Week in New York Theater

In this month's quiz questions: Julie Andrews, Danny Burstein, Raul Esparza top row; Jan Maxwell, Kelli O'Hara, Maya Angelou

In this month’s quiz questions: Julie Andrews, Danny Burstein, Raul Esparza top row; Jan Maxwell, Kelli O’Hara, Maya Angelou

May Quiz

 June 1, 2014

Drama Desk Award Winners: All The Way, Gentleman’s Guide, Hedwig.

 Jesus Christ Superstar cast aghast after producer Michael Cohl (Spider-Man) pulls plug due to ticket sales


New digital music store wants to be the Colony Records of the Internet (but survive!)


Jared Grimes

Jared Grimes

After Midnight sweeps Astaire Awards


Broadway revival of Terrence McNally’s It’s Only A Play with Matthew Broderick,Stockard Channing,Nathan Lane,Megan Mullally et al opens October 9



Act OneVivian Beaumont Theater
Act One, the play based on Moss Hart’s celebrated memoir, will end June 15, but be broadcast on PBS’s show Live from Lincoln Center (date unknown)

Starting June 21, cast members of The Fantasticks will officiate at actual weddings ON THE STAGE of Snapple Theater Center

Interview with Muslim playwrght Ayad Akhtar in on his relationship to Jewish artists, etc.



Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner in the original Broadway production of The King and I

Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner in the original Broadway production of The King and I

Bartlett Sher (South Pacific) will direct the Broadway revival of The King and I, a production of Lincoln Center that is aiming for Spring 2015.

A look at the O’Neill Center on its 50th anniversary: series of articles in Howlround


Mark Rylance as Olivia in Twelfth Night on Broadway

Mark Rylance as Olivia in Twelfth Night on Broadway

Hedwig closeupThe Broadway season seen through its cross-dressing


Jonathan Mandell @NewYorkTheater · Jun 6

I hated the musical, but I just listened to cast recording — & I hate that too. Has an OCR ever changed your mind about a show?


About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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