'Promises,' 'Fly Away' among first-confirmed showcases

The lineup of performances for the 64th annual Tony Awards has begun to take shape, with “Promises, Promises” and “Come Fly Away” joining the top tuner nominees for showcases on the kudocast.

Those televised performance segs are always a topic of interest among legiters, since a showcase on the Tony telecast is considered one of the biggest national marketing boons a production can get.

As has been the tradition, each of the four new musical contenders — “American Idiot,” “Fela!,” “Memphis” and “Million Dollar Quartet” will perform. So will three of the four tuner revival nominees, “A Little Night Music,” “La Cage aux Folles” and the now-closed “Ragtime.” (“Finian’s Rainbow,” another revival no longer playing, didn’t sign on for a Tony spot.)

In the play sequences — always a tricky endeavor, since nonmusicals rarely play well on screen — a slew of thesps are on tap for a “special presentation” of the nominated new plays and play revivals in which they appear. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, for instance, will talk up “Fences,” while Justin Bartha, Anthony LaPaglia and Tony Shalhoub discuss “Lend Me a Tenor,” Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson talk about “A View from the Bridge” and Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne appear for “Red.”

The exact nature of the presentation has not been confirmed, although it’s looking like the sequences will resemble the 2008 ceremony, in which host Whoopi Goldberg talked about each play while the production’s set was recreated behind her. This year, it’s said the actors (rather than the host) will talk about their respective plays; they will not perform.

Green Day, the band behind the album on which “American Idiot” is based, also has been confirmed to appear in the ceremony, joining a roster of talent that also includes Antonio Banderas, Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren, among others.

The 2010 Tonys are set for June 13 at Radio City Music Hall.

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