Best of Broadway on tonight’s Tony Awards


Staff report

An array of performance highlights will be featured on tonight’s 72nd annual Tony Awards ceremony, which will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York (8 p.m., CBS).

The evening will feature performances by the casts of the 2018 Tony Award-nominated shows “The Band’s Visit,” “Carousel,” “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “My Fair Lady,” “Once on This Island,” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical” and “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical.”

It will also include a special performance from the 2017 Tony Award-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen.”

Bruce Springsteen will also perform live on the show, and will receive a special Tony Award for his ongoing “Springsteen on Broadway” show.

Tony Award nominees Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban will host the show for the first time.

Bareilles and Groban both starred in Broadway shows last year – Bareilles in “Waitress,” for which she received a 2016 Tony Award nomination for Best Score, and Groban in “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” for which he received a nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

“The theater has completely transformed my life in every way possible,” said Bareilles, who recently appeared on television as Mary Magdalene alongside John Legend in “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

“I feel incredibly lucky to get to spend an evening celebrating and applauding this outstanding collective of artists, friends, collaborators and creatives.”

Groban echoed her remarks. “To be at the helm of a night celebrating the best of theater with a person I just laugh way too much with, is beyond words,” he said. “look forward to flailing about in front of my peers. It will be with all the love and respect in the world for the room we’re lucky enough to be in.”

Jack Sussman, executive vice president of CBS Entertainment, noted that the co-hosts have chemistry.

“Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban electrified and inspired audiences last year when they brought their incredible talents to Broadway,” he said. “We can’t wait to see what they have in store as hosts for this year’s Tony Awards.”

Also taking part in Broadway’s biggest night will be Uzo Aduba, Matt Bomer, Christine Baranski, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Melissa Benoist, Erich Bergen, Rachel Bloom, Rachel Brosnahan, Tituss Burgess, Claire Danes, Jeff Daniels, Robert De Niro, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tina Fey, James Monroe Iglehart, Christopher Jackson, Billy Joel, John Leguizamo, Patti LuPone, Tatiana Maslany, Katharine McPhee, Matthew Morrison, Leslie Odom Jr., Kelli O’Hara, Jim Parsons, Bernadette Peters, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Chita Rivera, Amy Schumer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ming-Na Wen, Kerry Washington and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

The musical adaptations “Mean Girls” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” lead the pack with 12 nominations apiece, tying as the most-nominated shows of the season.

“The Band’s Visit” received 11 nominations, as did the revivals of “Angels in America” and “Carousel.”

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and the Lincoln Center Theater revival of “My Fair Lady” each received 10 nominations.

“Angels in America” broke the record for most nominations for a play in Tony Awards history with 11 nominations, beating the record previously held by 2007’s “The Coast of Utopia” and the 2010 revival of “Fences.”

Tonight’s Tony Awards cap a big year for Broadway.

Total attendance for the 2017-18 season was about 13.8 million, and Broadway shows yielded almost $1.7 billion in grosses, making it the best-attended and highest-grossing season in Broadway’s recorded history.

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