Stars Steal Tony Awards

The 71st annual Tony Awards is sure to be a star-studded event. Hosted by actor Kevin Spacey, the list of  celebrity attendees and surprise performances is seemingly endless. Celebrities Mark Hamill, John Legend, John Lithgow, David Oyelowo, Tina Fey, Orlando Bloom, Stephen Colbert, Anna Kendrick, Josh Gad, Taraji P. Henson, Scarlett Johansson, Rachel Bloom, Keegan-Michael Key, Whoopi Goldberg, and Sarah Paulson are set to perform, along with Broadway actors Olivia Wilde (1984), Sara Bareilles (Waitress), Allison Janney (Six Degrees of Separation), Nick Kroll (Oh Hello), Glenn Close (Sunset Boulevard), and Sally Field (The Glass Menagerie). 

Performances for the evening also include 2016 Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda and the current cast of hit production Hamilton. 

Yet the star power doesn’t stop there; the nominations list is crowded with film stars who brought their acting chops to Broadway. Josh Groan and David Hyde Pierce are both nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, for Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and Hello, Dolly!, respectively. Bette Midler is also up for her role in Hello, Dolly! in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category. Pivoting to plays, Kevin Kline is nominated for his turn in Present Laughter as Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play. For the actress counter-part, Cate Blanchett (The Present), Sally Field (The Glass Menagerie), and Laura Linney (Little Foxes) are all vying for a win. Furthermore, the Best Performance in a Featured Role in a Play consists of Danny DeVito (Arthur Miller’s The Price) and Nathan Lane (The Front Page) for the actor category, and Cynthia Nixon (Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes) for the actress category.

The leading nominations are held by musicals, with Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 with 12 nominations including Best Musical, Best Direction, and Best Original Score, as well as nominations for the two leads, singer Josh Groban and Denee Benton– both in their Broadway debut roles. Hello Dolly! trails with 10 nominations, ranging from Best Revival of a Musical and all four performance categories nominated: Bette Midler for Lead Actress, David Hyde Pierce for Lead Actor, Kate Baldwin for Featured Actress, and Gavin Creel for Featured Actor.

Other awards for the evening include the Special Tony Award for Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin to honor their unique sound design for The Encounter. The duo incorporated the use of headphones to provide the audience with a stronger sense of the depiction of the Amazon rainforest on stage.

Additional honorary Tony recipients include James Earl Jones, Baayork Lee, Nina LAnnan, and Alan Wasser.

Watch your favorite stars at the 71st Annual Tony Awards on CBS at 8 PM ET on June 11th.