No Tony Awards? Here Are the 2020 Centurion Theater Awards

By Anna Breuer on 7 June 2020
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The 74th Tony Awards were slated to take place Sunday evening at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, but the pandemic had other plans for it.

In what seems a lifetime ago, Broadway theaters along with several of New York City’s major cultural institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, and the Metropolitan Opera closed “temporarily” as part of an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.  Several announced reopening dates have come and gone and it appears theaters may be the last institutions to reopen, given how the coronavirus outbreak developed into a global pandemic.

As a result, the most prominent among Broadway award programs, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, commonly referred as the Tonys, have yet to take place and whether they will remains a great uncertainty, even though other major Broadway awards program such as the Outer Critics Awards took step to honor the best of the Great White Way without actually bestowing awards.

We asked our theater co-critics, Jonathan Spira and Blaise Buckley, to honor the best of the truncated Broadway and off-Broadway season with Centurion Awards for the best plays and musicals.  Our Centurion Awards are typically bestowed upon, as the headline usually puts it, “The 10 Best Hotels in the World,“ but we are now extending it to theater to recognize truly great works of theater.

For best musical, the Centurion Award honorees are “A Strange Loop,” “Jagged Little Pill,” “Moulin Rouge,” and “Six.” For best play, the honorees are “Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune,” “Grand Horizons,” and “The Inheritance.”

The Tony Awards are a joint venture of the American Theater Wing and the Broadway League, the trade association that represents Broadway theater owners and operators as well as show producers. Over 800 actors, writers, producers, designers, and critics are eligible to vote.

The first Tony Awards were given out in 1947 and the 1956 Tony Awards were the first to be televised, albeit only in New York on the DuMont Television Network’s Channel 5 there. The broadcast went national in 1967.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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