Hugh Jackman will host the 68th annual Tony Awards tomorrow, much to the delight of CBS, which has broadcast the event since 1978. There’s no better superstar than Jackman to entice viewers to the telecast with his crossover, triple-threat appeal.
If the Tonys have retained their stature as the class act of televised awards events—since 1967, the show has won 27 Emmy awards—much of the credit of late goes to three-time host Jackman and his ability to convey the specialness of live theater to an audience whose actual experience of Broadway is bound to be limited.
Credit also goes to Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss, who have produced the show under their White Cherry Entertainment banner since 2003, with Weiss doubling as director. Together, they have 17 Emmy wins, including outstanding special class show for the past four years. Emmys also have gone to the writers and composers of special material for the Tonys, as well as to technical aspects of what has evolved into a three-hour broadcast.
The Broadway community loves the annual primetime opportunity to strut its stuff for a national viewership, and this year’s crop of nominated shows offers what is sure to be an audience-satisfying smorgasbord of musical acts. There’s the family-friendly Aladdin from Disney, the Boomer-friendly songs of Carole King from Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and the Boomer-grandparents-friendly jazz of Duke Ellington and others from After Midnight. You can be certain Jackman, himself an Emmy winner for a previous Tony hosting gig, will weave it all together into one entertaining package.