Most American moviegoers tune in every year for the most-watched event in movies, the Academy Awards. If someone’s a music buff, chances are they turn the TV set to the Grammys every year to see the biggest chart-toppers of the season. And for the Broadway nerds among us, the big event happens at the beginning of June with the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards. While the Tonys may be less popular than the other mainstream award shows, they recently celebrated their 72nd year of celebrating the finest live actors and actress in America. The broadcast involves not only speeches and cheesy jokes from the hosts but also fantastic live performances. Radio City Music Hall fills with the best Broadway has to offer in a celebration of the theatre community.
The history of the Tony Awards is an interesting one that starts with some fierce suffragettes. They are named after Antoinette Perry who worked as an actress, director, and producer. Shortly after she passed away, the American Theatre Wing hosted a great party to celebrate the amazing work in the theatre that year. What started out as gatherings of around 1,000 individuals at annual galas eventually grew into the large event we know today. The first televised event was in 1967 and it lasted an hour. Today CBS devotes 3 hours to the broadcast, and it is shown around the globe.