Tony Awards 2013 date, time, TV channel, preview and more!

Tony Awards 2013
Sunday, June 9
CBS, 8pm ET

Tony Awards 2013 CBSAs has been the case in years past, there is a definite Hollywood feeling to the Tony Awards 2013, which honors the year’s best in theater. There’s A-list talent on display (Tom Hanks for Lucky Guy), as well as several other actors recognizable to movie and TV audiences, and it’s telling when three of the four Best Musical nominees saw fit to add “The Musical” to their title, in order to distinguish them from the films that came before them. (And the only other nominee could just as easily have  done the same.)

Neil Patrick Harris hosts, which I think officially makes him the host of at least half of every awards show in existence. Seriously, if you’re not sure who’s hosting an awards shindig, just guess NPH and your odds will be fair to even. He’s got the Emmys coming up later this year, no doubt sandwiched in between all of his bar mitzvah MC gigs and supermarket grand openings in North Dakota. But hey, if it has to be somebody, we could do a lot worse. NPH has no shame, and always keeps things moving.

As for the big categories, the tea-leaf readers seem to be sensing that Best Musical will be a dogfight between Kinky Boots and Matilda The Musical. Kinky Boots has more overall nominations — the most of any nominee, in fact —but Matilda has buzz and reviews going its way. If it proves to be a big night for Kinky Boots, though, we’ll get to see Cyndi Lauper take the stage. Cyndi Lauper and the Tonys … this just feels right, doesn’t it?

While Tom Hanks is expected to take home Best Actor – Play for his role in Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy, Best Play is expected to be duked out between Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike — Christopher Durang’s cheeky riff on Chekov — and The Assembled Parties, Richard Greenberg’s darkly comic meditation on time and family. Judith Light, who has come a long, long way from her days on Who’s the Boss? is a favorite to win Best Actress.

So who else is expected to make appearances? CBS released this impressive list of stars expected to drop by: Laura Benanti, Alan Cumming, Jon Cryer, Jesse Eisenberg, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sally Field, Barrett Foa, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hanks, Megan Hilty, Scarlett Johannson, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Cyndi Lauper, Audra McDonald, Matthew Morrison, Martha Plimpton, Hal Prince, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Mike Tyson, Sigourney Weaver, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Steven Van Zandt will make appearances on the awards show, which honors theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway.

For me, the Tonys is always a bittersweet occasion. While it’s great to see stage actors and productions get their time in the spotlight, it’s also a reminder of how difficult it is to get to actually see one of these shows. And not just because I don’t live in New York, but the cost of a ticket, not to mention the time to make it to the theater, is quite the commitment. I mean, I still haven’t seen The Book of Mormon, for crying out loud, and if there was every a show in my wheelhouse, that would be it. But that doesn’t mean the Tonys isn’t a spectacle worth checking out all its own, for no other reason than to see if maybe Kramer crashes one of the acceptance speeches.

Photo: © 2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.