The Tony Awards, a longtime pinnacle for Broadway achievement, have been postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that shuttered the Great White Way.
The show was originally set to take place June 7 at Radio City Music Hall and broadcast live on CBS. Its presenters are now working towards rescheduling the ceremony following Broadway’s ongoing shutdown.
“The health and safety of the Broadway community, artists and fans are of the utmost importance to us,” organizers shared in a statement. “We will announce new dates and additional information once Broadway opens again. We are looking forward to celebrating Broadway and our industry when it is safe to do so.”
Broadway theaters abruptly halted operations earlier this month in accordance with a ban of large public gatherings ordered by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. They are currently closed until April 12, however, operations could be shut down for another month as the Broadway League weighs recommendations by the CDC that suggested gatherings be avoided until mid-May. As a result of the uncertainty, the status of the Tonys came into question.
Keeping the 2020 ceremony on schedule was in doubt simply because of nomination deadlines and delayed openings for new productions. Under its initial schedule, the Tonys required all new productions to debut before April 23, allowing only a ten-day grace period even under the best circumstances that Broadway reopens April 13.
Among the productions that were forced to postpone their anticipated openers are musicals Six, a Mrs. Doubtfire adaptation and the royal bio Diana based on the life of the late Princess of Wales. A crop of plays with star-studded casts are also delayed, including Plaza Suite with Broadway couple Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker and the Sam Rockwell and Darren Criss-led American Buffalo.
The pandemic’s effect on Broadway has translated directly to the stars on stage, with actors like Aaron Tveit and Gavin Creel announcing they’ve tested positive for COVID-19. Famed playwright Terrence McNally, who received a lifetime achievement award at last year’s Tony Awards, died this week as a result of complications from the virus.