Benanti, Finneran to hand out awards

Tony winners Laura Benanti and Katie Finneran have been tapped to host the Creative Arts portion of the Tony Awards, which in past years have included almost a dozen kudos handed out in the hour prior to start of the annual telecast.

The pre-broadcast Tony seg is this year skedded to begin just a half-hour before the 8 p.m. start of the CBS broadcast, live Sunday from Gotham’s Beacon Theater. This year, though, Benanti and Finneran will serve as hosts of the Creative Arts awards — which in past years have encompassed trophies including directing, choreography, score and book of a musical, as well as design laurels — throughout the entirety of the show, according to the producers of the Tonys. Precise details remain scare.

Traditionally, recorded snippets from the pre-telecast Creative Arts ceremony are later incorporated into the night’s Tony telecast.

Unlike Neil Patrick Harris, who is the main host of the three-hour televised portion of the Tonys, neither Benanti nor Finneran has much of a TV profile, but that could change next season. Benanti is among the cast of upcoming NBC skein “Playboy,” while Finneran appears on new Fox sitcom “I Hate My Teenage Daughter.”

Benanti, nommed for her perf in “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” scored a 2008 Tony for “Gypsy.” Finneran, a winner for “Noises Off” in 2002, nabbed her second statue last year for her stint in “Promises, Promises.”

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