I was wrong and the Tony’s were right!

Tony Awards Countdown: 4 days

I originally had a different idea for the course of today’s Tony Awards article, but at late notice I have been forced to change it due to some BREAKING NEWS.

Well, this breaking news isn’t on the level of ‘Broadway has shut down’. But it is still very important!

The news? The final list of Tony Awards presenters has been released and it has solved the quandary that led me to write an article about whether stars who weren’t in the current or recent seasons of Broadway shows should be presenting at the Tony’s. As it turns out, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’.

If you are curious, the list contains many famous faces including:

  • Megan Hilty (SMASH)
  • Matthew Morrison (Glee)
  • Audra McDonald (4-time Tony Winner and ex-Private Practice)
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
  • Andrew Rannells (The New Normal)
  • Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Barrett Foa (NCIS: Los Angeles)

. . . and even Mike Tyson

After looking at this list, it becomes clear what the Tony Awards producers are trying to do. While the performances by the Broadway shows nominated for Best Musical and Best Play will attract the audiences with an interest in theatre, that still leaves a large segment of society without any incentives to watch the broadcast.

While these stellar performances are useful to convert the non-theatre audiences into ticket buyers, they also do not attract this non-theatre audience. So the options dwindle down to the presenters.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the presenters make up a huge portion of the broadcast (all the segments left outside Neil Patrick Harris’ skits and the performances). And if these mainstream celebrity presenters, who all have some Broadway background, can use their social media networks to promote their involvement and encourage people to watch the Tony Awards, then the audience will be filled with non-theatre people as well as theatre lovers.

It is important to ensure that these hosts have developed themselves outside the theatre world, because otherwise these viewers would be alienated. But since they all have their own successful television shows, movies or sporting brands, they provide something for non-theatre audiences to cling to until they realise that the theatre world isn’t really that scary!

So I admit it. I was wrong to question their choice of Martha Plimpton as a host and their overall strategy has come clear with the complete list. Let the berating start below!

Who would you like to see present a Tony Award? Let me know in the comments below.