This year’s Tony Awards are going online: here’s how to watch the ceremony

28 August 2020, 13:23

The Tony Awards 2020 will be hosted online – here’s all you need to know.
The Tony Awards 2020 will be hosted online – here’s all you need to know. Picture: Getty / The Tony Awards

By Sian Hamer

The 74th Tony Awards ceremony is going digital this year. Here’s everything you need to know...

The coronavirus pandemic may have cut this year’s Broadway season short, but the organisers of the Tony Awards still want to recognise the shows that opened before lockdown restrictions were enforced.

Instead of combining the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons for one televised ceremony next year, they’ve decided to go ahead with the 74th annual ceremony this year – albeit digitally.

The 18 shows that opened before 19 February, and that are eligible for Tony Awards, will be celebrated with an online ceremony.

Here’s everything you need to know...

How can I watch this year’s Tony Awards?

Last year the ceremony took place at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall.

But this year, it’s all going digital – and the annual awards will be streamed online.

The date, and the platform the event will be hosted on, hasn’t yet been announced – but organisers have promised details will be released soon.

Read more: Hamilton to Oklahoma! – how to watch Broadway and West End shows from home >

What will this year’s Tony Awards look like?

So far, the organiser’s of the ceremony have released very few details.

But looking at how the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) were hosted, we can get an idea of what it could look like.

This year’s BAFTA TV Awards were hosted from a closed studio, and winners had to accept their awards via video link from their homes. So, there was no red carpet or a live audience, but many did don their finest and get dressed up for the occasion.

It’s probable that the stars of Broadway could also virtually attend the Tony Awards in a similar style.

BAFTA winners had to wait to receive their awards in the post this year, so some actually made their own versions. Maybe we’ll see some of the musical theatre stars clutching their own home-made trophies...

Read more: Tony-winning Broadway star sings for healthcare workers from his apartment window >

When will the Tony Awards happen?

No concrete date has been confirmed for this year’s award ceremony, but the award administrators are hoping to be able to stream the event in late October.

Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President & CEO of the American Theatre Wing (the two organisations that present the show), said:

“We are thrilled not only to have found a way to properly celebrate our artists’ incredible achievements this season, but also to be able to uplift the entire theatre community and show the world what makes our Broadway family so special at this difficult time.

“The show must go on, no matter what – and it will.”

Read more: West Side Story orchestra plays virtual ‘Something’s Coming’ with Broadway’s Tony >

Who’s nominated for an award? And what will happen to the categories?

The list of nominations will be unveiled soon, after the Tony Awards Administration Committee have determined their final eligibility for the awards.

But it seems the categories may be different to previous years.

‘Original Score’ and ‘Leading Actor in a Musical’ – categories which both have few eligible competitors this year – are being discussed by the administrators, as officials want ensure they are recognising merit, The New York Times reports.