BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Kevin Spacey was announced earlier today by CBS as the host of the 71st annual Tony Awards, which will air on June 11 at 8 p.m.(live ET/delayed PT) from the stage of Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Spacey, a former Tony Award winner himself, was announced to great enthusiasm from many in the theater community.
“We are thrilled to have Kevin, who has mastered the Broadway stage, the big and small screens and the West End, host this year’s Tony Awards! His spirit and passion for live theatre makes him the perfect host, and we can’t wait to see the energy he brings to Radio City on Tony night!” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing.
Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner, executive producers of the Tony Awards, are also high on Spacey as this year’s host.
“We’re excited to be working with a witty and charming host who is not only a Tony-winning actor and fan of live theater, he’s also a president who is a true champion of the arts,” said Weiss and Kirshner.
Spacey, who won Oscars for the movies “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty,” won a Tony Award in 1991 in Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers” and starred in the Broadway and West End productions of “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” With a foot in both Broadway and Hollywood — and a career singing onscreen and in concert to boot — Spacey brings glamour and acting chops to the job.
In a statement, he alluded to the telecast producers scrambling for a host after other celebrities dropped out. “I was their second choice for ‘Usual Suspects,’ fourth choice for ‘American Beauty’ and 15th choice to host this year’s Tony Awards. I think my career is definitely going in the right direction,” he said. “Maybe I can get shortlisted to host the Oscars if everyone else turns it down.”
Producers hope Spacey will limit the audience erosion likely from the numbers last year when “Hamilton” and host James Corden drew 8.73 million viewers, up 35 percent from 2015 and its largest audience since 2001. Previous hosts include Hugh Jackman, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes.
Be sure to tune in to the 71st annual Tony Awards, June 11th, on WJZ.
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