54th Tony Awards

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54th Tony Awards
Official poster for the 54th annual Tony Awards
Date June 4, 2000
Location Radio City Music Hall, New York City, New York
Host Rosie O'Donnell,
Nathan Lane (special guest)
Television/Radio coverage
Network CBS

The 54th Annual Tony Awards was held at Radio City Music Hall on June 4, 2000 and broadcast by CBS. "The First Ten" awards ceremony was telecast on PBS television. The event was hosted by Rosie O'Donnell, with special guest Nathan Lane. O'Donnell has hosted a total of three times: 1997, 1998, and 2000.

The Ceremony[edit]

The opening number was "A Tony Opening", performed by Rosie O'Donnell, Jane Krakowski, Jesse L. Martin, and Megan Mullally.[1]

Production numbers from musicals included Contact, Boyd Gaines and the Girl in the Yellow Dress, Deborah Yates; Kiss Me, Kate, "Too Darn Hot"; Jesus Christ Superstar, "Superstar" and "Gethsemane"; The Music Man, Craig Bierko in "Seventy-Six Trombones" ; The Wild Party, medley from Mandy Patinkin, Eartha Kitt and Toni Collette; Swing!, medley from company and Ann Hampton Callaway and Laura Benanti; and James Joyce's The Dead, "Parnell's Plight."[2]

Ten awards were presented prior to the main ceremony and were broadcast on Public Television in a show titled "The First 10 Awards: Tonys 2000." The show had interviews and showed clips from the season's productions, and presented the awards: Direction (Play and Musical), Choreography, Original Score, Book of a Musical, Costume Design, Scenic Design, Orchestration, Lighting Design and Regional Theater.[2] Michael Blakemore is the only director to win Tony Awards as Best Director of a Play and Best Director of a Musical in the same year. He won this year for Copenhagen (play) and Kiss Me, Kate (musical).

The television ratings for this broadcast were 7.2, down from the 1999 Tony Award broadcast of 7.9. In prior years in which O'Donnell hosted, the program had ratings of 11.2 (1997) and 10.3 (1998).[3]

Contact controversy[edit]

The winner of the award for Best Musical, Contact, raised controversy about what constitutes a musical, as it is a dance musical with no singing and minimal dialogue; and instead of original music, it uses pre-recorded music and songs. As a result of the controversy, a new category was created for the Tony Awards: Best Special Theatrical Event.[4]

Winners and nominees[edit]

Winners are in bold

Best Play Best Musical
Best Revival of a Play Best Revival of a Musical
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Best Book of a Musical Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Best Scenic Design Best Costume Design
Best Lighting Design Best Orchestrations
Best Direction of a Play Best Direction of a Musical
Best Choreography

Special awards[edit]

Regional Theatre Award

Special Lifetime Achievement Tony Award

  • T. Edward Hambleton

Special Tony Award For a Live Theatrical Presentation

Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre


  1. ^ Lefkowitz, David."1999-2000 Tony Awards" playbill.com, June 5, 2000
  2. ^ a b Lefkowitz, David."Putting It Together For PBS: How the First Tony Hour Is Created" playbill.com, June 2, 2000
  3. ^ Lefkowitz, David.Tony Award TV Ratings Down Again; Overnights Bested by Regis and B-Ball" playbill.com, June 5, 2000
  4. ^ Hofler, Robert. "Legit lightning strikes twice". Variety.com, May. 1, 2006, accessed April 27, 2011

External links[edit]