Read on for the answers to all of your burning questions about Broadway's biggest night

By Mary Sollosi
June 02, 2017 05:12 PM
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Credit: Julieta Cervantes

Hello, Broadway babies! The 2017 Tony Awards are fast approaching — are you ready?

If not, that’s okay. Whether you’re a major stage fan desperate for details about each race or you have no idea what any of these shows are and just want to tune in for the musical numbers, we’ve got you covered. Read on for the answers to all of your burning questions about Broadway’s Biggest Night, below.

What time are the Tonys?

The 71st annual Tony Awards will take place Sunday, June 11, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, the ceremony will be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and broadcast live on CBS at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT. Those of you watching from the left coast, however, will have to avoid social media for three hours: It will air on tape delay, at 8:00 p.m., in the Pacific time zone. You can also catch the show live across streaming platforms with the CBS All Access subscription service, in select markets.

Who’s hosting?

Frank Underwood will be leaving the White House for the Great White Way on Tony night, as Kevin Spacey will follow in James Corden’s footsteps to preside over this year’s ceremony. It’ll be Spacey’s first time hosting an awards show, but he’s no stranger to the Tonys: He took home the statuette for Best Featured Actor in a Play in 1991 for his performance in Lost in Yonkers.

Who’s performing?

The Tony Awards have not yet announced who will be performing during the show, but viewers can expect to see selections from the musicals nominated in the top categories. Speculation that Bette Midler might perform (she’s up for an award for starring in the hit revival of Hello, Dolly!) has been cautiously shot down, but hey, might as well hold out hope.

Who’s presenting?

Again, the Tony Awards haven’t released all the names yet, but we do know that the star-studded slate of presenters includes Orlando Bloom, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Josh Gad, Taraji P. Henson, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Keegan-Michael Key, and Olivia Wilde. Nominees Josh Groban, Ben Platt, and, yes, the Divine Miss M herself will also make appearances.

Who’s nominated?

The Tonys have gone Tolstoyan this year, as the War and Peace-inspired musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 collected the most nominations of any production, with a dozen. Among them is a nod for Best Musical, in which category it will compete with Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, and Groundhog Day The Musical. The revival of Hello, Dolly! ranks next in the lineup of most-nominated shows, with 10 (including for Best Musical Revival), and Dear Evan Hansen picked up nine. The play with the most nods is, like The Great Comet, another takeoff on a 19th century masterpiece: A Doll’s House, Part 2, the new sequel to Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, snagged eight nominations.

In the performance categories, this year’s crop of nominees includes stage icons and big-screen stars. Midler got a nod but will be up against fellow Broadway divas Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole (both nominated for War Paint). The race for Leading Actress in a Play is stacked with screen stars, with Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Ehle, Sally Field, Laura Linney, and Laurie Metcalf competing; across the male categories, notable nominees include Kevin Kline, Chris Cooper, Danny DeVito, Josh Groban, and Andrew Rannells.

The nominees in the most high-profile categories are listed below; check out the full list here. And once you’ve done that, if you’re shocked and appalled not to find some of your favorites, then head to our breakdown of the snubs and surprises and take some comfort in the knowledge that we felt the same way.

Best Revival of a Musical
Hello, Dolly!
Miss Saigon

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Christian Borle, Falsettos
Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day The Musical
David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly!
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Christine Ebersole, War Paint
Patti LuPone, War Paint
Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!
Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Denis Arndt, Heisenberg
Chris Cooper, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Corey Hawkins, Six Degrees of Separation
Kevin Kline, Present Laughter
Jefferson Mays, Oslo

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Cate Blanchett, The Present
Jennifer Ehle, Oslo
Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie
Laura Linney, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Laurie Metcalf, A Doll’s House, Part 2

How can I catch up in time?!

If you lack the time, the means, and/or the inclination to see a whole slew of Broadway shows in the next few days, worry not! You can still watch the Tonys without being completely ignorant as to what’s going on. The quickest way to do so is with the upcoming 2017 Tony Award Season compilationalbum, which comes out on June 9 (but is available for preorder now) and will include 15 songs from the biggest musicals of the year, both nominated and snubbed. Other than that, you can read up on all of these shows — and all things Tonys — with EW’s theater coverage, right here.

The Tonys are set for June 11.

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