Tony Awards Tickets

What is popularly called the Tony Award (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theater, including musical theater. Awarded by a panel of approximately 700 judges from various areas of the industry and press, it is generally regarded as the theatre's equivalent to the Oscars, Grammys and Emmys. The award was founded in 1947 by a committee of theatrical producers headed by Brock Pemberton, but not until the third awards ceremony in 1949 was the first Tony medallion actually given to award winners.

The award ceremony is broadcast on television, and includes songs from the nominated musicals, as well as video clips of or presentations about nominated plays.

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Tony Awards Tickets

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Winning a Tony award in a major category (Best Play, Best Musical, Best Play Revival, Best Musical Revival, Best Actor, Best Actress) can dramatically increase a show's ticket sales. A shortlist for the award is published several weeks before the award ceremony; between then and the announcement of the winners, plays advertise how many Tonys they have been nominated for. Often this advertisement is disingenuous, as many shows are nominated by default in years where there are few new plays and musicals.

The awards were named after Antoinette Perry, a founder of the American Theatre Wing. Eligibility for the awards is restricted to shows playing on Broadway during the season in question. (Having closed does not make a show ineligible, though the voters generally favor shows that are still running when the awards are given.) For the purposes of the award, a "new" play or musical is one that has not previously been produced on Broadway and is not part of the "historical or popular repertoire." This phrase has been the subject of some controversy, as some shows have been ruled ineligible for the "new" categories, meaning that their authors did not have a chance to win the marquee awards of Best Play or Best Musical (or Best Score or Best Book for musicals). On the other hand, some people feel that allowing plays and musicals which are commonly produced to be eligible as new gives them an unfair advantage, because they will have benefited from additional development time as well as additional familiarity with the Tony voters. Shows recently transferred from Off-Broadway or London theater are eligible as new; so are productions based closely on movies.