Who’ll host the Tonys this year?
Nobody. Or, depending on how you look at it, everybody.
The 2006 Tony Awards will not have a single emcee, but instead 60 celeb presenters in honor of the kudofest’s 60th anniversary.
Biggest names on the list are Oprah Winfrey, a producer of the nominated tuner “The Color Purple,” and Julia Roberts, appearing on the broadcast despite being passed over for a nom for her perf in “Three Days of Rain.” Also among the presenters are Glenn Close, Bernadette Peters, Mark Ruffalo, Ralph Fiennes, Cynthia Nixon and Martin Short.
Tony ceremony more often has a single host, or sometimes a duo such as Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane. Last time the event ditched a host in favor of a large group was in 1999, when Julie Andrews and Kevin Spacey were among the presenters.
Hugh Jackman served as the ceremony’s popular host for the past three years. Although some legiters were hoping Winfrey would take over the duties this year, she nixed the possibility months ago.
Tony broadcast on CBS is considered a long national ad for Broadway, and especially for the nominated tuners that perform segments during the show.
But no matter who hosts, viewership tends to be low. Last year’s average of 6.6 million viewers was only a slight improvement over the record low logged in 2004.