2023 Tony Awards: Host, Stars, How To Watch and More

2023 Tony Awards: Host, Stars, How To Watch and More

The 76th Tony Awards ceremony is all about drama, and we’re not just talking about the Broadway performances being honored during a three-hour show that starts June 11 at 8 p.m. on CBS.  

The Awards are named for actress, director and producer, Antoinette Perry, who led the American Theatre Wing from 1940 to 1946. Her most famous work was directing the play Harvey, which later was turned into a Jimmy Stewart movie. 

This year’s Tony Awards started making headlines long before the red carpet was primped. The Writers Guild of America is on strike, which throws a wrench into the ceremony because it is a scripted event. The script was complete when the WGA went on strike on May 2 — the same day the Tony Award nominees were announced. Though the words were ready, the WGA asked producers to put on an unscripted show in deference to the strike. While the WGA reached a deal with producers to allow the event to continue, the WGA asked members not to attend the event in New York City. The WGA also asked nominated members to pre-record acceptance speeches or have a non-union member accept the award. 

This year’s nominees include popular names, Sara Bareilles (Into the Woods), Josh Groban (Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) and Ben Platt (Parade), as well as veteran choreographer, Susan Stroman (New York, New York). J. Harrison Ghee (Some Like It Hot) and Alex Newell (Shucked) became the first two non-binary nominees for performances in the same year. Notably, non-binary performer, Justin David Sullivan (& Juliet), asked to be excluded from consideration because the Tony Awards only have gendered categories. 

Anything could happen this year. It’s an unscripted show. There’s tension. There’s intrigue. What can you expect beyond the drama? Singing, dancing and spectacle only Broadway can deliver. 

How to Watch the Tony Awards on DIRECTV

Tune into the 76th annual Tony Awards on CBS on June 11 at 8 p.m.

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The Tony Awards Host — Ariana DeBose

DeBose will reprise her role as host of the awards from last year. DeBose is no stranger to the stage, with a Tony nomination for her work in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. The 32-year-old won an Oscar for her role as Anita in West Side Story in 2021. Her other Broadway credits include Hamilton, A Bronx Tale and Pippin.

Biggest Star — Jessica Chastain

As with anything at an awards show, the title of “biggest star” is debatable. Chastain is undoubtedly in the conversation, fresh off winning an Oscar for her role in 2022’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye. She also won a Golden Globe for her 2013 role in Zero Dark Thirty.

Chastain was nominated for a Tony for her star turn in A Doll’s House. The Sacramento native spends most of the play seated in a chair, including during the famous Tarantella dance scene. She told Variety that the decision to stay mostly seated was to echo the constrictions her character faced as a wife and a mother.

‘Some Like It Hot’ Stays Hot

Based on the number of nominees, this year’s top play was the musical version of Some Like It Hot, the 1959 film featuring Marilyn Monroe. The play scored 13 nominations to lead all Broadway shows. Ain’t No Mo‘ and Leopoldstadt both had six nominations, tying for the most this year by a play. KPOP, a musical about Korean pop music, had 24 newcomers to Broadway in its production, the most of any show this past season.

In Memoriam

The Tony Awards will honor a pair of legends who made it big in nearly every show business way. Angela Lansbury, who died last October, made her name as a host of the Tony Awards, taking the lead on five telecasts. Lansbury had one of the most-awarded careers in show business history, with one Oscar, six Tony Awards and six Golden Globes. The longtime Murder She Wrote star was also nominated a stunning 18 times for an Emmy Award and once for a Grammy. 

And, of course, the Tony Awards will remember Harry Belafonte, who died in April. He also had a varied show business career, winning three Grammy Awards, an Emmy and a Tony. He won a lifetime achievement Oscar statuette, giving him all major acting awards in the Western Hemisphere. Belafonte was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received a Kennedy Center honor in 1989.

Rare Honors

Among performers, only four have won all four major show business awards: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Helen Hayes and Rita Moreno were the first to complete the grand slam in 1977. Hayes’ last award was a Grammy, which she earned for her spoken word performance of Great American Documents. Moreno completed the slam with an Emmy for a guest appearance on The Muppet Show in 1977, and she won again in 1978 for an appearance on The Rockford Files.

Setting Records

The all-time record-holder for most Tony Awards for performances is Audra McDonald, who locked down six different awards in four different categories. Lansbury won five competitive awards and received a lifetime achievement Tony. Julie Harris also won five awards and a lifetime achievement nod.

Picking Favorites

Did you have some favorite Broadway shows from the past season? You can bet on your instincts. 

Josh Groban is a 4-1 bet to win a cluttered best actor category, according to some betting sites. Justin Cooley is a 7-2 favorite for singing in the musical Kimberly Akimbo. And Jodie Comer (Prima Facie) is a 49-20 favorite in the best actress in a play category, just ahead of Chastain’s 3-1 odds. 

But there are no dead-certain picks at the Tony Awards, except this: There will be singing, dancing and … flubbed lines. There’s still that writers’ strike to contend with, after all.

Full List of Tony Awards Nominees

Best New Play

Ain’t No Mo’

Between Riverside and Crazy

Cost of Living

Fat Ham


Best New Musical

& Juliet

Kimberly Akimbo

Continue reading the main story

New York, New York


Some Like It Hot

Best Play Revival

A Doll’s House

The Piano Lesson

The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window


Best Musical Revival


Into the Woods


Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Leading Actor in a Play

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Topdog/Underdog

Corey Hawkins, Topdog/Underdog

Sean Hayes, Good Night, Oscar

Stephen McKinley Henderson, Between Riverside and Crazy

Wendell Pierce, Death of a Salesman

Best Leading Actress in a Play

Jessica Chastain, A Doll’s House

Jodie Comer, Prima Facie

Jessica Hecht, Summer, 1976

Audra McDonald, Ohio State Murders

Best Leading Actress in a Musical

Annaleigh Ashford, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sara Bareilles, Into the Woods

Victoria Clark, Kimberly Akimbo

Lorna Courtney, & Juliet

Micaela Diamond, Parade

Best Leading Actor in a Musical

Christian Borle, Some Like It Hot

J. Harrison Ghee, Some Like It Hot

Josh Groban, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Brian d’Arcy James, Into the Woods

Ben Platt, Parade

Colton Ryan, New York, New York

Best Featured Actor in a Play

Jordan E. Cooper, Ain’t No Mo’

Samuel L. Jackson, The Piano Lesson

Arian Moayed, A Doll’s House

Brandon Uranowitz, Leopoldstadt

David Zayas, Cost of Living

Best Featured Actress in a Play

Nikki Crawford, Fat Ham

Crystal Lucas-Perry, Ain’t No Mo’

Miriam Silverman, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window

Katy Sullivan, Cost of Living

Kara Young, Cost of Living

Best Featured Actor in a Musical

Kevin Cahoon, Shucked

Justin Cooley, Kimberly Akimbo

Kevin Del Aguila, Some Like It Hot

Jordan Donica, Camelot

Alex Newell, Shucked

Best Featured Actress in a Musical

Julia Lester, Into the Woods

Ruthie Ann Miles, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Bonnie Milligan, Kimberly Akimbo

NaTasha Yvette Williams, Some Like It Hot

Betsy Wolfe, & Juliet

Best Direction of a Play

Saheem Ali, Fat Ham

Jo Bonney, Cost of Living

Jamie Lloyd, A Doll’s House

Patrick Marber, Leopoldstadt

Stevie Walker-Webb, Ain’t No Mo’

Max Webster, Life of Pi

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden, Parade

Lear deBessonet, Into the Woods

Casey Nicholaw, Some Like It Hot

Jack O’Brien, Shucked

Jessica Stone, Kimberly Akimbo

Best Book of a Musical

David Lindsay-Abaire, Kimberly Akimbo

Robert Horn, Shucked

Matthew López and Amber Ruffin,Some Like It Hot

David West Read, & Juliet

David Thompson and Sharon Washington, New York, New York

Best Original Score

Almost Famous, music by Tom Kitt; lyrics by Cameron Crowe and Tom Kitt

Kimberly Akimbo, music by Jeanine Tesori; lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire

KPOP, music and lyrics: Helen Park and Max Vernon

Shucked, music and lyrics: Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark

Some Like It Hot, music and lyrics: Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman

Best Choreography

Steven Hoggett, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Casey Nicholaw, Some Like It Hot

Susan Stroman, New York, New York

Jennifer Weber, & Juliet

Jennifer Weber, KPOP

Best Orchestrations

John Clancy, Kimberly Akimbo

Jason Howland, Shucked

Charlie Rosen and Bryan Carter, Some Like It Hot

Bill Sherman and Dominic Fallacaro, & Juliet

Daryl Waters and Sam Davis, New York, New York

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Miriam Buether, Prima Facie

Tim Hatley and Andrzej Goulding, Life of Pi

Rachel Hauck, Good Night, Oscar

Richard Hudson, Leopoldstadt

Dane Laffrey and Lucy Mackinnon, A Christmas Carol

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Beowulf Boritt, New York, New York

Mimi Lien, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Scott Pask, Shucked

Scott Pask, Some Like It Hot

Michael Yeargan and 59 Productions, Camelot

Best Costume Design of a Play

Tim Hatley, Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell, Life of Pi

Dominique Fawn Hill, Fat Ham

Brigitte Reiffensutel, Leopoldstadt

Emilio Sosa, Ain’t No Mo’

Emilio Sosa, Good Night, Oscar

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, Some Like It Hot

Susan Hilferty, Parade

Jennifer Moeller, Camelot

Clint Ramos and Sophia Choi, KPOP

Paloma Young, & Juliet

Donna Zakowska, New York, New York

Best Sound Design of a Play

Jonathan Deans and Taylor Williams, Ain’t No Mo’

Carolyn Downing, Life of Pi

Joshua D. Reid, A Christmas Carol

Ben and Max Ringham, A Doll’s House

Ben and Max Ringham, Prima Facie

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Kai Harada, New York, New York

John Shivers, Shucked

Scott Lehrer and Alex Neumann, Into the Woods

Gareth Owen, & Juliet

Nevin Steinberg, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Neil Austin, Leopoldstadt

Natasha Chivers, Prima Facie

Jon Clark, A Doll’s House

Bradley King, Fat Ham

Tim Lutkin, Life of Pi

Jen Schriever, Death of a Salesman

Ben Stanton, A Christmas Carol

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Ken Billington, New York, New York

Lap Chi Chu, Camelot

Heather Gilbert, Parade

Howard Hudson, & Juliet

Natasha Katz, Some Like It Hot

Natasha Katz, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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