Everything to Know About the 2021 Tony Awards

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Broadway’s biggest night is almost here.

More than two years since its last ceremony, the 74th annual Tony Awards is scheduled to take place in a two-part broadcast on Sunday. The awards show was initially scheduled for June 7, 2020, but had to be postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This year’s ceremony will recognize the achievements in Broadway production from the 2019-20 season, which was cut short due to the pandemic, with shows halting beginning March 12, 2020, at the onset of the pandemic.

Broadway shows are also finally returning, with Sept. 14 as the unofficial reopening date set by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo last May. Those working in production and audience members are required to be either fully vaccinated or present negative COVID-19 test results. Guests are also required to wear masks throughout the performances.

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming 2021 Tony Awards.

When and where are the Tony Awards?

The 74th annual Tony Awards are set to take place on Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. EST at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City. In the past, the ceremony has usually been held at Radio City Music Hall.

Who’s hosting?

Audra McDonald and Leslie Odom Jr. - Credit: AP
Audra McDonald and Leslie Odom Jr. - Credit: AP


Last week, it was revealed that Audra McDonald and Leslie Odom Jr. are set to host the four-hour presentation.

McDonald, known for her award-winning work in shows like “Carousel” and “Ragtime,” will kick off the live awards ceremony on Paramount+ at 7 p.m. ET. The two-hour “Broadway’s Back!” concert will kick off immediately after, airing on CBS at 9 p.m., which will be hosted by Odom Jr., best known for playing Aaron Burr in “Hamilton.”

McDonald is also nominated in the best performance by a leading actress in a play for her role as Frankie in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.”

Will there be an in-person ceremony?

This year’s awards show will have an in-person attendance, with audience members consisting of cast members and production crew of the Broadway shows. Additionally, the ceremony can also be open to the public so long as they purchase tickets, which are available online on the official Tony Awards website. Each ticket is $1,500, which also supposedly includes entrance to the after party.

However, it’s been reported that the biggest after party has been canceled due to concerns from the pandemic as no one wants to risk their cast members potentially getting sick.

Who are the nominees?

The pool of nominees is a little smaller this year since the 2019-20 Broadway season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Some shows, including a revival of “West Side Story” and the new musical “Girl From the North Country,” were ineligible since not enough nominators and voters watched them in time.

Alanis Morissette, center, appears on stage during the “Jagged Little Pill” Broadway opening night curtain call at the Broadhurst Theatre on Dec. 5, 2019, in New York. - Credit: Greg Allen/Invision/AP
Alanis Morissette, center, appears on stage during the “Jagged Little Pill” Broadway opening night curtain call at the Broadhurst Theatre on Dec. 5, 2019, in New York. - Credit: Greg Allen/Invision/AP

Greg Allen/Invision/AP

The official eligibility cut-off date to qualify for the 2019-20 season was originally April 23, 2020. Due to the pandemic, it was decided in August 2020 only 18 shows that premiered before Feb. 19, 2020, would be considered eligible for awards that season.

“Jagged Little Pill” leads the pack, with 15 nominations, while “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” follows behind with 14. The “Slave Play” and “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” each received 12 nominations.

See the full list of Tony nominees here.

Will there be performances?

“The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” will feature performances from the best musical contenders, which are “Jagged Little Pill,” “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” and “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.”

The three top Tony Awards, which include best play, best revival of a play and best musical, will also be presented during the special.

Will there be honorary awards?

Honorary awards will be given out to veteran press agent Irene Gandy, stage manager Beverly Jenkins, Fred Gallo, president of PRG Scenic Technologies, and the New Federal Theatre, which was founded by Woodie King Jr.

How can I watch the show?

The ceremony will first be broadcast live at 7 p.m. ET on Paramount+ exclusively, then 9 p.m. on CBS right after.


2021 Tony Awards Nominations: See the Full List Here

Behind the Scenes With ‘Jagged Little Pill” Cast’s Return to Broadway For One Night Concert

Broadway’s Best Turn Out for the 2019 Tony Awards Red Carpet

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