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(***)(**)The Tony Awards land hosts Leslie Odom Jr. & Audra McDonald

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(***)(**)The Tony Awards land hosts Leslie Odom Jr. & Audra McDonald

NEW YORK, AP] — The long-awaited Tony Awards have landed two remarkable master of ceremonies: Tony and Grammy-winning actor and singer Leslie Odom Jr. will host a TV special and Audra McDonald will host the awards.

Producers of the telecast announced Monday that Odom will host the two-hour celebration of Broadway’s return on Sept. 26 from 9 p.m.-11p.m. ET/PT, and McDonald will host the award ceremony from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. ET/PT

Early Newspaper

The four-hour event will be broadcast live from Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre. The evening will close with the presentation of the three highest awards: best play (revival), and best musical.

Broadway theatres were forced to close on March 12, 2020,, effectively closing all Broadway shows, even those 16 still scheduled to open in spring. The four-hour awards and special celebrate live theater and are a splashy advertisement for Broadway’s return to normalcy.

“While it is difficult to look back, my greatest hope for Broadway is that this event will mark a new era — one with renewed commitments to inclusion and belonging as well an appreciation for the sacred experience in live theater.” McDonald’s said in a statement.

This season’s nominations were based on 18 eligible plays, musicals, and a fraction from 34 shows. Most years, there are 26 competition categories. There are 25 this year, along with several depleted.

Not everyone is happy about the way CBS handles the awards this year. The majority of the Tonys, including the technical, acting and directing ones, will be restricted to Paramount+ customers. Odom’s special will then air on CBS.

Odom won the Tony for her performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton, but McDonald’s is nominated this time. She’s hoping to break her own record for the most Tony Awards won by a performer for her work in a revival of the Terrence McNally play “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.”

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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Tony Awards hosts Leslie Odom Jr., and Audra McDonald