A first for the Tony Awards: United Palace, a grand old theater in Washington Heights, will be the site of the 76th annual awards ceremony, which is now scheduled to take place on June 11, 2023. The Broadway season will officially end on April 27, 2023, with nominations announced on May 2.
As of now, Broadway’s Spring 2023 Season is comprised of thirteen shows that have announced specific opening dates between February and the cut-off date in April, with at least three more planning to open before the end of the season. (The current Off-Broadway production of “Merrily We Roll Along” announced last week that it is joining “Back to the Future” in the 2023-2024 Broadway season.)
The United Palace Theater is not the traditional choice for the Tonys (That would be Radio City Music Hall.). Built as a vaudeville and movie house in 1930, (two years before Radio City), United Palace has up to 3,344 seats. (Radio City has 6,015.) Radio City Music Hall’s architecture is Art Deco. United Palace’s has been described as “Byzantine-Romanesque-Indo-Hindu-Sino-Moorish-Persian-Eclectic-Rococo-Deco” and a “kitchen sink masterpiece.” Bought by the televangelist Rev. Ike in 1969, it remains a church, called the United Palace of Spiritual Arts, but shares the space with the non-profit United Palace of Cultural Arts. Neighbor Lin-Manuel Miranda has long sponsored a film series there. It’s where I saw him interview (and dance with) Rita Moreno before a showing of “West Side Story” in 2014.
While United Palace is actually on Broadway, the address is 4140 Broadway, between West 175th and 176th Streets, nearly eight miles from the nearest Broadway theater. (Radio City is about three blocks from one.) Some wags have pointed out the location is surely closer to where many people who work on Broadway actually live.
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Funny Girl’s Julie Benko sings a traditional Yiddish song for Hanukkah.
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