Kristin Chenoweth and Kelli O’Hara nominated for Tony Awards, setting up …

29 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

4 reasons why Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming are perfect Tony Awards hosts.

Theater geeks had cause to rejoice Tuesday morning, because it was announced that Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming would be the hosts of the Tony Awards. Tony Awards season is underway, but red carpets and tuxes aren’t the only reason to get excited about spring on Broadway: it’s cast album time, and one of the first albums of the new year is arriving fast on a luxury liner from Chicago.As the theatrical awards season heats up, the hottest contest of them all is a showdown between two Oklahoma natives and Oklahoma City University graduates who have become belles of Broadway. The two Broadway stars will take over the award show that has mostly been hosted by Neil Patrick Harris of late, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

Both tread the boards this Broadway season as well; Chenoweth is currently starring in the Roundabout Theatre’s critically-acclaimed revival of On the Twentieth Century, while Cumming stepped back into his iconic suspenders to play the Emcee once more in Studio 54’s latest revival of Cabaret. Cumming has just finished a sold-out run at Studio 54 as the emcee in “Cabaret,” and Chenoweth may well win a Tony for her acclaimed turn in the hit musical “On the Twentieth Century.” And yet, Broadway is uneasy tonight. Written by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Cy Coleman, the screwball comedy chronicles a madcap train journey and the tumultuous romance between a shady producer (Gallagher) and a glamorous film star (Chenoweth) onboard. The expansive two-disc album, available from PS Classics, clocks in at nearly 95 minutes, with a street date for digital and in-store release on May 19. The other nominees in the best leading actress in a musical category are Broadway legend Chita Rivera (who is seeking her third Tony) for “The Visit,” Beth Malone for “Fun Home” and Leanne Cope for “An American in Paris.” “An American in Paris” and “Fun Home” each received a leading 12 Tony Award nominations.

Unlike in seasons past, this year’s announcement of Chenoweth and Cumming as hosts comes particularly late in the game, with just six weeks remaining until the ceremony (for comparison, Jackman was announced as host last year on Feb. 11). EW has an exclusive first listen to five standout tracks from the show, including Chenoweth’s showstopping dance numbers “Veronique” and “Babette,” and her dreamy ballad with Gallagher, “Our Private World.” Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, April 28, in an event co-hosted by Tony winner Mary-Louise Parker and Bruce Willis (who makes his Broadway debut this fall in Misery).

What a day this must be for their legendary OCU music professor Florence Birdwell. “I certainly don’t want to win because of something left over from years past. No “Phantom,” no “Book of Mormon,” no “Wicked.” And without a major star hosting the Tonys on CBS, there is great concern that the ratings may fall below the root cellar. You probably will not find any other first rate professional training program in the country who will have that,” said Donald Jordan, a fellow OCU alumnus and founding artistic director of Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre, in an email. With Chenoweth also co-hosting this year’s Tony Awards with Alan Cumming, there will be plenty of drama for Oklahomans to tune in to see when Broadway’s biggest night broadcasts live from Radio City Music Hall Sunday, June 7 on CBS.

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