The 64th Annual Tony Awards took place on Sunday, June 13, 2010, held again at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The host was Sean Hayes. These awards recognize Broadway productions during the 2009–2010 season. The cut off-date for Tony eligibility was April 29, 2010, and the nominations were announced on May 4.
The play Red won six awards, including Best Play. The musical Memphis won four awards, including Best Musical. Fences won three awards, including Best Revival of a Play. La Cage aux Folles also won three awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.
The CBS television network broadcast the event, which was also simulcast live to the Clear Channel Spectacolor HD Screen in Times Square as well as on the official Tony Awards website. The director of the telecast, Glenn Weiss, won the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety.
Among the highlights was presenter Kristin Chenoweth and Hayes poking fun at a recent Newsweek article questioning the openly gay Hayes' believability at playing heterosexual by passionately kissing.
The show opened with a medley from most of the musicals that opened during the season, and included, as described by The New York Times, punk music, Frank Sinatra songs, Afrobeat rhythms, and early rock ’n’ roll.
There were performances by the casts of the musicals nominated for both Best Musical and Revival: American Idiot, Fela!, Memphis, Million Dollar Quartet, La Cage aux Folles, A Little Night Music, Everyday Rapture and Ragtime. Other performers were Lea Michele, who sang "Don't Rain On My Parade" and Matthew Morrison, who sang "All I Need Is the Girl", and punk rock band Green Day who performed "Know Your Enemy/Holiday". The casts of Come Fly Away and Promises, Promises were included in a presentation of choreography. Additionally, the nominees for Best Play and Best Play Revival were presented by the performers from their respective plays.
Some of the Tony Awards, dubbed "The Creative Arts Tony Awards" were awarded prior to the CBS telecast. The presentation was shown on a live webcast. Hosts for this portion of the ceremony were Karen Olivo and Gregory Jbara. Awards presented at this special ceremony included Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations, Special Tony Awards and the eight design prizes.
The Tony Administration Committee decided on April 30, 2010 that the scores of American Idiot and Fela! were ineligible for Tony Award nominations because fewer than 50% of their scores were written for the stage productions.
On May 14, 2010, the Tony Award committee announced a withdrawal of nomination for Best Costume Design for Ragtime, stating that "...Santo Loquasto's designs for the revival of Ragtime are predominantly those from the original 1998 production, and therefore do not meet the Tony rule which states, work that 'substantially duplicate(s)' work from a prior production is ineligible."
Source: Tony Awards
Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.
Most of the non-competitive awards were announced on April 21, 2010. They are:Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre to Sir Alan Ayckbourn and Marian Seldes.
Isabelle Stevenson Award to David Hyde Pierce. Pierce is receiving the Isabelle Stevenson Award "for his work in the fight against Alzheimer's disease."
Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre to:
The Alliance of Resident Theatres New York.
B.H. Barry, who "pioneered the teaching of stage combat as part of the curriculum in US Drama Programs at the University and Graduate level."
Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA).
The Midtown North and South New York City Police Precincts.
The Regional Theatre Tony Award to The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Waterford, Connecticut.
The musical Fela! and the revival of La Cage aux Folles, each received eleven nominations, the most of any production, with each winning three awards. The musical Memphis won four awards, including Best Musical. The revival of Fences earned ten nominations, the most nominations ever received by a play revival, and won three awards. The new play Red received seven nominations and won six awards, the most of any play or musical this season.
Film actors won an unusual number of awards this season, with Denzel Washington, Scarlett Johansson, Viola Davis and Catherine Zeta-Jones among the winners. So many film actors appeared on Broadway last year that theatre actor Hunter Fosteracreated Facebook page called "Give the Tonys Back to Broadway". The New York Times critic Charles Isherwood wrote, "I share to a certain extent Mr. Foster’s dismay at this year’s star-glutted Tony awards. ... It’s possible that if the Tony administrators had not kicked the journalists out of the voting pool, there might have been a few more worthy winners." Isherwood called the proliferation of Hollywood stars on Broadway "ominous", claiming that projects from last season featuring film actors such as Jude Law's Hamlet and A Steady Rain monopolized the box office, causing "superior" plays to fail. On the other hand, Isherwood felt, it is possible that "welcoming [film] stars on Broadway – the talented ones, anyway – [could help] New York theater to reassert its importance to the culture, and maybe even to tilt the balance of the entertainment business at least a little back toward the East Coast".
The count of winners: