NEW YORK CITY: The new streaming service Broadway On Demand, with support from the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League, has announced plans to host a specially created event to celebrate the Broadway community, the Tony Awards, and the global impact of Broadway. The event will take place on June 7 at 6 p.m., the night that had been set aside for the annual Tony Awards broadcast before CBS pulled the plug in favor of Grease Sing-a-Long. (This is not to be confused with Broadway.com’s Show of Shows: Broadway.com Salutesthe Tonys, which will air at 7 p.m. on would-be Tony night.)
The event, which will be streamed for free exclusively on TonyAwards.com and BroadwayOnDemand.com, will be a one-hour event that will serve as a fundraiser for the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League. Specifically, the funds will support the American Theatre Wing’s education and professional development initiatives and The Broadway League Foundation’s efforts to train young artists and introduce them to careers in theatre.
“While the level of need within out community right now is overwhelming,” said American Theatre Wing president and CEO Heather Hitchens in a statement, “so too is the generosity we continue to see every day. We are very grateful for Broadway On Demand for designing this wonderful opportunity for fans to celebrate Broadway and the Tony Awards while supporting the work we are doing to help those affected by the crisis.”
Though no details about the event’s content have yet been released—will the show celebrate the 2019-20 season that was cut short, and/or feature performances from its shows?—the producers have announced that Tony nominee Lonny Price will direct the proceedings, and Karey Kirkpatrick, Steve Rosen, David Rossmer, Kate Wetherhead, and Lauren Yee have been hired to write it. Music direction and supervision is by Grammy winner Jason Howland and Sarah O’Gleby will choreograph.
“Given all the devastating ways that this pandemic has affected our educational system,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, in a statement, “providing educational and training opportunities to those who otherwise might not have access feels more vital than ever before. In these uncertain times, helping the next generation of artists flourish is the best way I can think of to remain optimistic about the future of Broadway. Thank you to everyone at Broadway On Demand for helping us realize our mission, and helping to celebrate our industry’s biggest night—the Tony Awards.”