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Jonathan Groff and Lucy Liu to announce 2014 Tony Award nominations -- EXCLUSIVE

Looking star Jonathan Groff and Elementary actress Lucy Liu will announce the nominees for the 68th annual Tony Awards on Tuesday, April 29.

Both stars have a certified theater pedigree: Groff is well-known to theater fans for roles in Spring Awakening (which earned him a Tony nomination) and Hair, as well as on screen in Glee and Frozen (that little Disney indie you might have heard about). Meanwhile, Liu made her Broadway debut in 2010 replacing Hope Davis in the Tony-winning comedy God of Carnage.

The duo will appear live from the Paramount Hotel’s Diamond Horseshoe — current home of the stylish immersive theater show Queen of the Night — to announce the nominees on the morning of April 29.

The 68th Tony Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman, will air June 8 on CBS, and if this season’s spectacular lineup is any indication, there will be plenty of packed categories to make for a genuinely heated awards race.

'Waitress' becoming a musical with music by Sara Bareilles

One of the next movie to musical transfers? The 2007 indie dramedy Waitress, which starred Keri Russell.

Backstage at the Tony Awards, award-winning Pippin producers Barry and Fran Weissler announced that one of their next projects would be mounting a musical version of the quirky romantic film. Diane Paulus — who just won a Tony for Best Director for Pippin — will direct, and Paula Vogel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright is writing the script. “We’re expecting a really, really great show,” Barry Weissler said.

The most exciting part of the news might be the announcement that Sara Bareilles will be composing the music. This will be the first musical score for the “Love Song” singer and Sing-Off judge.

Read more:
Tony Awards 2013: 10 Big Moments
Tony Award winners list: ‘Kinky Boots’ and ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ take home top prizes
2013 Tony Awards: Cyndi Lauper talks about big winner ‘Kinky Boots’

On-the-scene at 2013 Tony Awards: Cyndi Lauper talks about big winner 'Kinky Boots'

One of the biggest surprises on the Tony Award red carpet may have been that Cyndi Lauper – who won for her score in the musical Kinky Boots – wasn’t even wearing a pair of stiletto boots: “Just some kinky shoes,” she explained with a laugh to reporters.

Despite her choice of footwear, the show’s story – along with its uplifting message – was clearly on her mind in the press room after her big win. “Harvey [Fierstein] called me, and…he said, ‘I’m working on a book for a big Broadway musical. How would you like to write the music?’ And I said, ‘Fine.’ I had always wanted to work with Harvey. And he walked me through it. And maybe ignorance is bliss because I didn’t think about it. I just thought of the opportunity of what kind of music I could do for these two characters because they were so different. And you know, no one sings the same song in the shower –everyone has got their own jam, right? So that means these two different characters were going to have their own different style of singing. So as a musician that is a lot of fun! And so I just started to think of the whole thing like that. When they start singing, “Yeah, Yeah,” I just thought, ‘They’re going to the church of shoes!” READ FULL STORY

Tony Award winners list: 'Kinky Boots' and 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' take home top prizes

The feel-good musical Kinky Boots, with songs by pop star and Broadway newcomer Cyndi Lauper, strutted away with a leading six 2013 Tony Awards on Sunday, including best musical, best original score and best leading man.

Christopher Durang’s comical Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the best play Tony. Matilda the Musical and Pippin won four awards each and two other shows — Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Nance — shared three awards each. Tom Hanks left empty-handed, a Broadway newcomer not fated to be a Lucky Guy.

Neil Patrick Harris was back for his fourth turn as host and was once again crucial to keeping the show funny and smart. He opened with a razzle-dazzle bang amid dozens of dancers and singers — even getting boxer Mike Tyson to hoof — and closed it three hours later by rapping with Audra McDonald to a reworked “Empire State of Mind.”

The big, opening number started with Harris simply holding a guitar in a pub like Once but quickly morphed into a flashy number that showcased performers from almost a dozen musicals. Harris sang “It’s bigger! Tonight it’s bigger,” jumped through a hoop, vanished from a box and promised a “truly legendary show” before glitter guns went off.

Lauper, who wrote the hit “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” was part of an impressive group of women who took top honors. Diane Paulus and Pam MacKinnon both won for directing — a rare time women have won directing Tonys for both a musical and a play in the same year. (It happened most recently at the 1998 Tonys.)

Click below for all the night’s winners: READ FULL STORY

Tonys: Neil Patrick Harris captures 'Empire State of Mind' in closing number -- VIDEO

You really didn’t think that Neil Patrick Harris was going to say goodnight at the Tonys with a quick, courtesy sign-off? S-H-I-can’t-help-myself.

After a quick tease, Harris started spitting Broadway-inspired rhymes tuned to “Empire State of Mind,” and was soon joined by Audra McDonald. I believe there was even a LeBron James reference… you know, for the sports fans who didn’t tune in in the first place.

Way to finish strong, NPH! READ FULL STORY

Stars of canceled NBC shows join Neil Patrick Harris on Tony stage for number -- VIDEO

If NBC cancels your TV show, you know you’ll always have a home on the Tony Awards stage.

Andrew Rannells, Megan Hilty, and Laura Benanti — who starred in NBC’s now-defunct  The New Normal, Smash, and Go On respectively — appeared with Neil Patrick Harris at the ceremony to perform their ode to working in television. Watch it below. READ FULL STORY

Tony Awards 2013: We're live-blogging them!

Will Tom Hanks win a Tony Award for his Broadway debut in the late Nora Ephron’s drama Lucky Guy? Will 88-year-old Cicely Tyson also pick up her first for the revival A Trip to Bountiful? And which buzzy new musical featuring a cross-dressing lead actor — Matilda or Kinky Boots — will emerge victorious? Will Bette Midler make an appearance despite being snubbed for Broadway’s biggest honor? And will Bette or Shia LaBeouf become the favored punchline target for four-time host Neil Patrick Harris? READ FULL STORY

This Week On Stage: It's Tony weekend!


It’s finally here — Broadway’s version of the Super Bowl — and EW’s own Melissa Rose Bernardo and Thom Geier have already firmed up who they think are going to win the big trophies at the Tonys on Sunday evening. It’s one of the most unpredictable years on record, so that, plus fourth time host Neil Patrick Harris (click here for our recent interview with Harris) and the promise of a boatload of show performances should make for one good time. (See below on how you can join us for the Tonys live).

In the land of Off Broadway, however, there are still quite a few new openings this week, including a quite-pregnant and lovely-as-ever Kelli O’Hara returning to the stage for the first time since her Tony-nommed performance in Nice Work If You Can Get It and Glee’s Jane Lynch takes on the Great White Way  for the very first time (click on the links below for the full reviews): READ FULL STORY

Tony nominees participate in the Six-Word Memoir Project


Smith Magazine’s Six-Word Memoir Project has creeped its way into Tony Awards land, with some hilarious results. Nominees for this Sunday night’s Tony Awards (airing on CBS beginning at 8 p.m. ET) had to express their gratitude, best wishes, and other emotions in six words, and the magazine’s Facebook page has them in a gallery for perusal. Most amusing of all is how many nominees either exceed or don’t quite reach six words. (Ahem, Courtney B. Vance, Hal Luftig, and Bertie Carvel- — though the latter freely admits his rascally deed). And Holland Taylor slips one last word in, copy-style=gold.

Our top three faves from amongst the nominees:

Neil Patrick Harris on his fourth time at bat as Tony Awards host

The phrase “Hardest Working Man in Show Business” gets bandied about in almost constant force these days, but hardly anyone earns it quite like Neil Patrick Harris. Not only did he just agree to host this September’s Emmy Awards, but he will be returning for a fourth stint as host to the Tony Awards, airing this Sunday on CBS. (“I can finally get it right,” he says.) And this is a guy who already stars on a hit TV series, has The Smurfs 2 in theaters next month, and is raising twin 2-year-olds (with partner David Burtka), yet still has time for a little soft-shoe and showtunes. Harris is undaunted and “hoping it’s the supersized Tonys — lots of children and animals,” he says. “What could possibly go wrong?” READ FULL STORY

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