The Tony Awards, postponed from June because of the Covid-19 pandemic, will be produced virtually on an unspecified date this year.
In an email to members of the Broadway League, President Charlotte St. Martin said the ceremony will be presented “late this fall” to honor a season abbreviated by the shutdown of the industry’s 41 theaters. Only shows that opened by Feb. 19, 2020, will be eligible for competition, she said.
The cutoff date precludes the new Bob Dylan musical Girl from the North Country and Ivo van Hove’s video-heavy revival of West Side Story. Both will be considered as part of the 2020-21 season, as will Six, which was shut down hours before its opening night.
The League oversees and co-produces the Tony Awards with the American Theatre Wing. The date and platform of the awards — broadcast TV, cable or online — have yet to be determined.
“Very few details are known at this time as we have to have several Tony meetings including a Tony Rules Committee and a Tony Administration Committee to finalize eligibility and voting rules,” St. Martin wrote. “We will certainly keep you posted as details are ironed out.”
With no firm re-opening date for Broadway amid the global pandemic, the Tonys may deliver a less impactful sales boost than in previous years. And an unusually large number of shows in the mix have closed permanently, including all of the play contenders, among them Slave Play, The Sound Inside, The Inheritance, and Sea Wall/A Life; and the play revivals, including Betrayal and The Rose Tattoo. No musical revivals are eligible.
Moulin Rouge!, the best reviewed musical of the season, which opened in July 2019, will likely be a favorite for best new musical. Other contenders are Jagged Little Pill, inspired by Alanis Morissette’s bestselling 1995 album and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, starring Adrienne Warren. Mrs. Doubtfire and Sing Street were both scheduled for 2019-20 and postponed.
League committees must decide whether to bend rules governing the roughly 800 voters. Under current rules, they are required to recuse themselves from any category in which they have not seen all of the nominees. Both West Side Story and Girl from the North Country had opened and their producers were in the process of inviting Tony voters when the industrywide shutdown began on March 12.