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2024 Tony Awards preview: How to watch, predictions and more

Evan Rosen, New York Daily News on

Published in Entertainment News

NEW YORK — The 77th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Lincoln Center on Sunday night, with the ceremony slated to feature some rising stars as well as acclaimed veteran actors.

Broadway newbie Brody Grant is nominated for his role as Ponyboy Curtis in the musical rendition of “The Outsiders,” while Brian d’Arcy James and Kelli O’Hara have received their fifth and eighth Tony nominations, respectively, for “Days of Wine and Roses.”

The ceremony is set to be hosted again this year by Ariana DeBose, who wowed viewers when she danced her way through a wordless opening at last year’s Tony Awards amidst the now-settled Hollywood writers’ strike.

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming awards show, as well as a few predictions on who might take home the hardware.

How to watch the Tony Awards

The ceremony will broadcast live on CBS from 8-11 p.m. ET, and also available to stream on Paramount+ and Pluto TV.

Ahead of that, a preshow titled “Act One” will begin at 6:30 p.m., streaming live and free on Pluto TV, with hosts Julianne Hough and Utkarsh Ambudkar.

Viewers can catch the preshow on streaming devices, mobile apps, or online by visiting Pluto TV and selecting the ET channel.

Performances

Nine different musical numbers were selected to highlight the shows nominated for best musical and best revival of a musical, featuring actors like Jonathan Groff, Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne.

After recent outcry that the play “Stereophonic” had been left off the set list, producers reportedly had a change of heart Wednesday, saying the show would be included. Here’s the full list of performances:

“Suffs” — A new musical produced by Hillary Clinton, with a performance featuring nominees Nikki M. James and Shaina Taub.

“Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club” — With nominees Gayle Rankin and Eddie Redmayne.

“Merrily We Roll Along” — A Stephen Sondheim classic with nominees Jonathan Groff, Lindsay Mendez, and Daniel Radcliffe.

“Illinoise” — With music by Sufjan Stevens, directed and choreographed by Justin Peck.

“Hell’s Kitchen” — Featuring the music of Alicia Keys, with performances by nominees Shoshana Bean, Brandon Victor Dixon, Kecia Lewis and Maleah Joi Moon.

“The Outsiders” — Based on the book and film, produced by Angelina Jolie, with nominees Joshua Boone, Brody Grant and Sky Lakota-Lynch.

“The Who’s Tommy” — With music by Pete Townshend and the Who.

“Water for Elephants” — Adapted from the bestselling book and film, with a performance featuring Grant Gustin and an acrobatic cast.

“Stereophonic” — Not considered a musical, but features a score by Arcade Fire’s Will Butler.

Top contenders

“Stereophonic” has become the most Tony nominated play of all time, with 13 total nods. The story of a fictional British rock band in the 1970s trying to record a hit album has now surpassed “Slave Play,” which earned 12 nominations in 2021.

The Keys-inspired musical “Hell’s Kitchen” also received 13 nominations this year, followed closely by “The Outsiders,” which holds 12 of its own.

The contenders for the night’s top awards are as follows:

Best play

“Jaja’s African Hair Braiding”

“Mary Jane”

“Mother Play”

“Prayer for the French Republic”

 

“Stereophonic”

Best musical

“Hell’s Kitchen”

“Illinoise”

“The Outsiders”

“Suffs”

“Water for Elephants”

The best actress in a musical category is highly competitive this year, with Kelli O’Hara’s portrayal of an alcoholic in “Days of Wine and Roses” and Moon’s Broadway debut in “Hell’s Kitchen” both drawing significant attention.

Jeremy Strong of “Succession” fame was a hit this season in “An Enemy of the People,” adapted from Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play of the same name. He’s currently vying with Leslie Odom Jr. (“Purlie Victorious”) and Liev Schreiber (“Doubt: A Parable”) for best actor in a play.

For the title of best actress in a play, the competition includes prominent stars such as Sarah Paulson in “Appropriate,” Jessica Lange in “Mother Play” and Rachel McAdams in “Mary Jane.”

Other notable nominations

William Jackson Harper has received his first Tony nomination for best actor in a play for his work in “Uncle Vanya.”

The former star of NBC’s “The Good Place” is having quite the year, having previously led Eboni Booth’s play “Primary Trust,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in early May.

The revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s “Merrily We Roll Along,” which famously flopped when it premiered in 1981, is anticipated to win best revival of a musical.

Predictions

Best play — “Stereophonic”

Written by David Adjmi and featuring a score by Butler, the historically nominated play is the clear front-runner for its category — but the project almost didn’t happen. Adjmi had originally sworn off playwriting after a high-stakes collaboration fell apart, but landed on the idea of “Stereophonic” when he opted to fulfill one last playwriting grant obligation.

Best musical — “Hell’s Kitchen”

This jukebox musical is semi-autobiographical, following the story of Keys’ own upbringing in the artists’ haven of Manhattan Plaza in Hell’s Kitchen. Aramide Tinubu of Variety called it “a sparkling story paying homage to New York, to that beautiful and heartbreaking transition between girlhood and womanhood, and to the women who hold our hands through it all.”

Best actor in a musical — Jonathan Groff

Portraying a Broadway composer-turned-film producer in “Merrily We Roll Along,” Groff, now a three-time Tony nominee, is the top pick for best actor in a musical. His co-stars Radcliffe and Mendez are also strong contenders in their supporting actor categories.

Best actress in a musical — Kelli O’Hara

In “Days of Wine and Roses,” O’Hara gives a stirring performance as Kirsten, a young woman whose social drinking eventually grows into something far more serious. The play follows her marriage to Joe, and how their mutual addiction plunges their lives into turmoil.

Best actor in a play — Leslie Odom Jr.

“Purlie Victorious,” Ossie Davis’ 1961 comedic play about a Black preacher in the 1950s South, has been overlooked for many years. But Odom’s portrayal, alongside co-star Kara Young, has brought new life to the play and placed it at the forefront of this year’s ceremony.

Best actress in a play — Sarah Paulson

At the center of crowd-favorite “Appropriate,” Paulson plays one of three siblings unpacking the literal and metaphorical baggage of their deceased father. The 49-year-old actress is probably best-known for the Ryan Murphy anthology series “American Horror Story” and “American Crime Story,” but largely carries this ensemble cast.


©2024 New York Daily News. Visit nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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