We’ll see tonight if the fifth time is the charm for Oklahoma native Kelli O’Hara, who is taking her fifth nomination into tonight’s Tony Awards.
The Elk City native is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for playing Francesca in the Broadway adaptation of “The Bridges of Madison County.” O’Hara is one of Broadway’s most acclaimed musical theater performers, but she has yet to win a Tony.
Orlando Bloom, Barrett Foa, Jonathan Groff, T.I., LL COOL J, Samuel L. Jackson, Judith Light, Rosie O’Donnell and Patrick Wilson have been added in the past few days to the star-studded lineup on the 68th Annual Tony Awards, which will air live from Radio City Music Hall from 7 to 10 tonight on the CBS Television Network. Jennifer Hudson will also take the stage to perform a number from the upcoming new musical “Finding Neverland.”
Hosted by Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Hugh Jackman, Broadway’s biggest night will feature performances by 2014 Tony nominee Neil Patrick Harris and the cast of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” 2014 Tony nominee Sutton Foster with the cast of “Violet,” Alan Cumming reprising his Tony Award-winning role in a performance from the revival of “Cabaret,”and 2014 Tony nominee Idina Menzel performing a song from the new musical “If/Then.” The evening will also feature not-to-be missed performances by the casts of this year’s Best Musical and Best Musical Revival Nominees, as well as from the new musicals “Aladdin,” “Les Misérables,” “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” “Bullets Over Broadway” and “Rocky.”
The cast of “Wicked” – which included Oklahoma native Kristin Chenoweth and “Frozen” star Menzel – will return to Radio City Music Hall for the first time since 2004, when they won three Tony Awards. They will take the stage once again for a very special performance to celebrate the show’s10th anniversary.
Music legends Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight will join Fantasia for an unforgettable performance with the cast of “After Midnight.” Sting will perform a song from his upcoming musical, “The Last Ship.”
In addition, Kevin Bacon, Matt Bomer, Wayne Brady, Zach Braff, Kenneth Branagh, Patricia Clarkson, Bradley Cooper, Fran Drescher, Clint Eastwood, Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, Vera Farmiga, Will Ferrell, Tony Goldwyn, Anna Gunn, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Carole King, Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu, Kate Mara, Tony nominee Audra McDonald, Leighton Meester, Alessandro Nivola, Zachary Quinto, Emmy Rossum and Liev Schreiber will make appearances on the awards show, which honors theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway.
This year marks the 68th anniversary of the Tony Awards, which first took place on April 6, 1947 at the Waldorf Astoria’s Grand Ballroom. The ceremony is presented by Tony Award Productions (a joint venture of the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, which founded the Tonys).
The June 2012 broadcast of the 66th Annual Tony Awards was honored with four Primetime Emmy Awards in the categories of Outstanding Special Class Programs, Outstanding Music Direction, Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics (“If I Had Time”) and Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special. This marked the fourth consecutive year the telecast was awarded for Outstanding Special Class Programs.