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How to watch the Tonys — and what to expect

The long-delayed ceremony is finally here.
73rd Annual Tony Awards - Show
James Corden performs onstage during the 2019 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall.Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

The coronavirus pandemic brought Broadway to a standstill for more than a year, but as everyone in theater knows, the show must go on.

At last, the theater industry is celebrating the shows that opened in 2020, before the pandemic hit the United States. While many shows that planned to open had to delay their first bows, several plays and musicals were able to start performances.

Since early 2020, the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League, the two organizations involved in presenting the awards, have been planning for a virtual ceremony. The now-announced ceremony is meant to coincide with the reopening of Broadway.

What are the Tony Awards?

The Tony Awards, officially known as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, honor the year's plays and musicals. This year, 18 productions were eligible for nomination.

Almost all aspects of a production, including set design, costumes, lighting and direction can be nominated for a Tony Award. There are also acting awards and awards for the script or music of a production.

The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League.

Where and when can I watch the Tony Awards?

The Tony Awards will air on Sunday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. ET.

The 74th Annual Tony Awards ceremony will air on Paramount+, CBS' digital streaming platform.

The awards ceremony will be followed by a two-hour prime-time special, "The Tony Awards Present: Broadway's Back," a concert event that will celebrate audiences being able to return to live theater. This special will air on CBS. The concert will also celebrate some winners and include the announcement of best play, best revival of a play and best musical.

Who is hosting?

There has yet to be a host announced for the 74th Annual Tony Awards. In the past, hosts have included musical theater stars like Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming and Neil Patrick Harris.

Who will perform at the Tony Awards?

The 74th Annual Tony Awards show has yet to announce a list of performances. Typically, the ceremony includes a musical number from each of the musicals nominated for best musical, and also incorporates a scene from or description of the nominated plays. Some other productions may also perform, and there is typically an in memoriam segment accompanied by a musical performance.

There have not been details announced about who will perform at the "Broadway's Back" live concert, but the Tony Awards website promises performances from "beloved classics" as well as the three musicals nominated for best musical.

Who is expected to win?

Fewer shows may have been eligible for nomination this year, but that doesn't mean the Tonys won't still celebrate Broadway's best and brightest. Some shows, like Jeremy O'Harris' "Slave Play" have racked up an impressive number of nominations ("Slave Play" has 12 nominations, the most for a play since "Angels in America" was revived in 2018). "Jagged Little Pill," a musical featuring the songs of Alanis Morisette, earned 15 nominations.

Despite the strange nature of this year's awards, there are still some frontrunners. Adrienne Warren is expected to take home the prize for best actress in a musical in her star turn as Tina Turner in "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical." Others are facing less competition: "Moulin Rouge!" star Aaron Tveit is the only performer nominated for best actor in a musical, and so is essentially a lock for the award.