The Latest: Josh Groban is promising “a really fun” Tonys
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the Tony Awards (all times local):
Josh Groban is promising “a really fun” Tony Awards.
Says the first-time co-host: “I feel really excited about the show we have ready for everybody tonight.” He says it’s been a fun season and he called co-host Sara Bareilles “brilliant.”
He says the chance to collaborate and bounce ideas off her has been “nothing less than a dream come true.”
He adds “We’re just going to go out and be ourselves.” Groban promises the show will be a combination of slick and two musical theater geeks being “total weirdos.”
For her part, Bareilles says she “just wants to stay present.” She added that her job is to make sure everyone else is having a good time, saying “that’s the goal — people pleasing.”
Cynthia Erivo and Brian Tyree Henry say the theater is a perfect place to deal with social issues.
Says Henry, who is nominated for his work in “Lobby Hero”: “It’s happening right in front of your face.” He adds that something about the stage encourages tough issues to be worked on by strangers.
He says the cast and audience of a show go on a ride together and hopefully it creates a platform for discussion.
Erivo, winner of the best actress in a musical award for her work in “The Color Purple” in 2016, agreed: “People can see themselves live.” She says theater gives people a chance to express themselves freely.
“Frozen” songwriters Robert Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, walked the red carpet at the Tony Awards on Sunday for the first time as equal nominees.
Robert Lopez co-conceived and co-wrote the smash-hit musicals “Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon,” both earning him Tony Awards. “Frozen” marks Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s first nomination.
“I’m so proud of her,” her husband said. “She’s been here before as my plus-one.” His advice to her was “enjoy this thing.” It might be scary, but he calls it like a “prom.”
Anderson-Lopez acknowledged she was going to be nervous for the cast of “Frozen” and suspected that she would share their butterflies. Joked her husband: “She’ll be mouthing every word along with them.”
The Tony Awards dress rehearsal — normally with few actual stars in attendance — got a shock of A-listers this year, including Tina Fey, Kelli O’Hara, Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Leguizamo, Tituss Burgess — and Bruce Springsteen.
The four-hour rehearsal at Radio City Music Hall allows producers to go through the show from start to finish before the Sunday telecast. Usually, stand-ins are used for Hollywood presenters, who prefer to hit the snooze button.
But the audience this time cheered loudly when Patti Lupone, Uzo Aduba, Ming-Na Wen, Melissa Benoist, Tatiana Maslany, Christopher Jackson, James Monroe Iglehart and Rachel Brosnahan showed up in the flesh.
The highlight was Springsteen, who walked onstage in a T-shirt and jeans, performed one song on the piano from his sold-out one-man show and departed to a standing ovation.
The Tony Awards kick off on Sunday night with a pair of first-time hosts, no clear juggernaut like “Hamilton” to cheer for, but a likely assist by 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 compete with any NBA Finals or Stanley Cup playoff games.