1st Tony Awards

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1st Tony Awards
Date April 6, 1947
Location Waldorf-Astoria Hotel,
New York City, New York
Host Brock Pemberton
Television/Radio coverage
Network WOR (radio),
Mutual Network (radio)
< j Tony Awards 2nd >

The First Tony Awards, more formally known as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre, were held on April 6, 1947, in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.[1] Presented by the American Theatre Wing, they celebrated "outstanding contributions to the current American theatre season."[2] According to The New York Times, these awards "do not designate their recipients as 'best' or 'first' but the classifications in which they are given will be elastic from year to year."[2] The ceremony, hosted by Brock Pemberton, was broadcast on radio station WOR and the Mutual Network.

The awards got their nickname, "Tonys", during the ceremony itself when Pemberton handed out an award and called it a "Toni", referring to the nickname of Antoinette Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.[3]

Musicals represented were Street Scene, Brigadoon and Finian's Rainbow. Oklahoma! and Carousel could not be nominated because, while although still playing their original runs at the time of the awards, they had opened too soon to qualify for the awards (Oklahoma! had opened in 1943, and Carousel in 1945).

The award itself was a scroll, an initialed sterling silver compact case for the women, and an engraved gold bill clip or cigarette lighter for the men. Tickets to the first Tony event cost $7.00 each.[4] More than 1,000 guests attended.[1]

Winners[edit]

Note: nominees are not shown

Performance[edit]

Award Winner (s)
Actors-Play José Ferrer in Cyrano de Bergerac
Fredric March in Years Ago
Actresses-Play Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Lorraine
Helen Hayes in Happy Birthday
Supporting or Featured Actress-Play Patricia Neal in Another Part of the Forest
Supporting or Featured Actor-Musical David Wayne in Finian's Rainbow

Craft[edit]

Award Winner
Director Elia Kazan for All My Sons
Costume Designer Lucinda Ballard for Happy Birthday, Another Part of the Forest, Street Scene, John Loves Mary, The Chocolate Soldier
Choreographers Agnes de Mille for Brigadoon
Michael Kidd for Finian's Rainbow
Composer Kurt Weill

Special awards[edit]

Source: The New York Times[2]

  • Dora Chamberlain - "unfailing courtesy as treasurer of the Martin Beck Theatre"
  • Mr. and Mrs. Ira Katzenberg - "for enthusiasm as inveterate first-nighters"
  • Jules Leventhal - "the season's most prolific backer and producer"
  • P.A. MacDonald - "intricate construction for the production of 'If the Show Fits'"
  • Burns Mantle - "for his annual publication"
  • Arthur Miller - author of All My Sons
  • Vincent Sardi, Sr. - "for providing a transient home and comfort station for theatre folk at Sardi's for twenty years."

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "History - The Story of the Tonys" tonyawards.com, retrieved June 7, 2010
  2. ^ a b c "20 Stage Notables Get Perry Awards", The New York Times, April 7, 1947, p.40
  3. ^ Newsroom - How the Tonys Got Their Name, tonyawards.com
  4. ^ History - Trivia, tonyawards.com

External links[edit]