• Broadway Beat

This Year’s Tonys Ceremony to Feature Sondheim Tribute and, Time Permitting, a Couple of Awards

by Brian Matuszak. @rchickentheater.

NEW YORK, NY - Producers for this year’s Tonys announced plans to pay tribute to Stephen Sondheim during the award ceremony on Sunday, June 12, with Executive Producer Rudy Kirlehn noting that the program will recognize the innovative genius who single-handedly transformed the art of musical theatre and, if there’s any time left, they’ll try their best to hand out an award or two.


“They don’t get any bigger than Steve,” claimed Kirlehn, who was already finishing the hat in preparation for the night’s festivities.“Sunday in the Park with George? Sweeney Todd? West Side Story? We keep discussing how to showcase those magnificent shows and brilliant songs, and then remember, oops, Billy Crystal might want to win something.”


Show director Gary Hurtz agreed with Kirlehn's assessment.


“We were gonna try to keep things short, but then we remembered about A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” noted Hurtz, wriggling into a nicotine-stained toga. “We're really gonna have to take our time to honor him. But, man, there are So. Many. Songs. Fingers crossed we get to Best Play.”


Hugh Jackman, star of The Music Man and nominee for Best Actor in a Musical, expressed support for the direction of the evening’s program.


“Oh, I definitely want to win, but three hours of straight Sondin' sounds pretty good too,” stated Jackman while getting fitted for a Rapunzel wig. “How often do you get to perform every reprise of ‘Rapunzel’s Song’ on national television? There’s like, twelve of them! That’s a deep well of wonderful spotlight to be slurped up.”


At press time, Kirlehn also shared that only Sondheim-related commercials would air during the telecast to honor the theatrical titan, including ads for Everything’s Comin’ Up Roses toilet spray and Ladies Who Punch security systems, with spokesperson Patti Lupone.