The Tony Awards this year may need some help from The Boss

NEW YORK — The Tony Awards kick off on Sunday night with a pair of first-time hosts and no clear show juggernaut like “Hamilton” to watch vacuum up statuettes, but the production will get a likely assist by The Boss — Bruce Springsteen.

Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles face their biggest audience yet and a careful political balancing act when they co-host the CBS telecast from the massive 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall.

Getting buzz from appearing on the telecast can dictate a show’s future, both on Broadway and on tour. Broadway producers will be thankful this year that the telecast won’t have to compete with any NBA Finals or Stanley Cup playoff games.

A-list talent expected to be on hand this year includes Robert De Niro, Claire Danes, Billy Joel, Carey Mulligan, Jim Parsons and Kerry Washington. Springsteen will make a rare TV appearance, performing live on the show and receive a Special Tony Award for his one-man show “Springsteen on Broadway.”

Others expected to participate include Uzo Aduba, Christine Baranski, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Melissa Benoist, Matt Bomer, Tituss Burgess, Jeff Daniels, Brandon Victor Dixon, James Monroe Iglehart, Christopher Jackson, Patti LuPone, Tatiana Maslany, Katharine McPhee, Matthew Morrison, Leslie Odom, Jr., Kelli O’Hara, Zachary Quinto, Bernadette Peters and Andrew Rannells.

Two new musicals lead the nominations for the top Tony Award crown, with Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” receiving 12 nods each. A revival of “Angels in America” has 11 and the two-part play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” has 10. Many critics have tapped “The Band’s Visit” as their odds-on favourite to be crowned best new musical.

Viewers will see performances from “The Band’s Visit,” ”Carousel,” ”Frozen,” ”Mean Girls,” ”My Fair Lady,” ”Once on This Island,” ”SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.” The cast of “Dear Evan Hansen” will also return for a performance.

For most of the previous awards season, shows like the Oscars and Golden Globes have acknowledged the issue of sexual misconduct and abuse of power. Bareilles and Groban will try to do that while also eviscerating any memory of last year’s Tony host, Kevin Spacey, who since then has been accused by at least 24 men of sexual misconduct or assault.

The pair will also hope to end a ratings slide following the 2016 edition that was led by “Hamilton,” which drew 8.73 million viewers. Spacey’s ceremony last year drew 6 million viewers, which represented a drop of approximately 31 per cent in total viewers from the previous year.

The show will be a sort of victory lap for a Broadway season that saw grosses hit another record high by pulling in $1.7 billion — up 17.1 per cent over last season’s $1.45 billion. Attendance was also up, coming in a 13.79 million, an increase of 3.9 per cent at last season’s 13.27 million.

Just Posted

Central Alberta school divisions to support rural students through agreement

Wolf Creek to bring Enhanced Learning Model courses to Clearview schools

WATCH: Red Deer Catholic students re-envision a local wetland for school project

Father Henri Voisin Grade 3 teacher introduces ‘real-life’-based education

Manslaughter charge stayed against Maskwacis man

Man was accused of manslaughter in connection with the death of his mother in 2015

Red Deer Mounties make numerous arrests over the past two weeks

Over the past two weeks, Red Deer RCMP have made a number… Continue reading

Leslieville Elks’ new hall rising from the ashes

Leslieville Elks Lodge grateful for outpouring of support

WATCH: Red Deer Catholic students re-envision a local wetland for school project

Father Henri Voisin Grade 3 teacher introduces ‘real-life’-based education

Charges dropped against Alberta property owner in rural shooting

OKOTOKS, Alta. — All charges have been dropped against a man accused… Continue reading

China blocks John Oliver on social media after scathing show

BEIJING — A popular Chinese social media site is censoring discussion of… Continue reading

Most Red Deer Advocate readers would call police when witnessing a crime

An overwhelming number of Advocate readers would call the police if they… Continue reading

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES — The fall television season is months away but that’s… Continue reading

BlackBerry Q1 revenue, adjusted earnings beat estimates but stock falls

TORONTO — BlackBerry Ltd. shares sank almost 10 per cent to their… Continue reading

OPEC countries to pump more oil to contain price increase

VIENNA — The countries of the OPEC cartel agreed on Friday to… Continue reading

Man sentenced for Edson triple murder

EDMONTON — An Alberta man who fatally shot three people has been… Continue reading

‘Hot Dog Water’ seller in Vancouver gets laughs, sales with savvy marketing

VANCOUVER — A Vancouver man who sold bottles of “Hot Dog Water”… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month