Tony Awards 2023 has ‘no plan,’ going back to WGA for ‘Hail Mary’

It will be at least “one day more” before the fate of the Tony Awards is officially known.

An emergency meeting of the Tony Awards Management Committee took place Monday morning to decide what to do with the Broadway ceremony after the Writers Guild denied them a waiver last week.

That quick refusal on Friday effectively canceled the broadcast, which was set to air on CBS Sunday, June 11.

The Monday meeting was meant to pick an alternate route but came up with jack squat, sources told The Post.

“Big surprise: No plan or conclusion,” said one annoyed source familiar with the talks.

Instead, the Tonys will appeal to the WGA to again attempt (in vain, trust me) to squeeze a waiver out of the striking union and go forward with a normal telecast.

“They’re trying to exhaust that one,” the source added. “A Hail Mary.”

An incredulous insider pointed out, “There has not been a single waiver issued!”

The Post has reached out to the Tony Awards for comment.

While a script for the Tonys is said to have been written, other entertainment industry unions — the Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild, Actors’ Equity and more — are standing in solidarity with the WGA. A waiver would be required for their participation. And, of course, the writers of the nominated plays and musicals are members of the Writers Guild and would certainly not attend.

Ariana DeBose was set to host the Tony Awards on June 11.
Ariana DeBose was set to host the Tony Awards on June 11.
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

With all that in mind, the Broadway League has been said to be in favor of announcing the winners on-schedule at a podium. Meanwhile, the American Theatre Wing would like the Tonys to be delayed until the strike is over, which could be months, for the TV exposure. 

Neither option is perfect, but by the time the strike ends, many nominated productions that are struggling at the box office will have closed.

The 76th Annual Tony Awards were going to take place at the United Palace in Washington Heights.
The 76th Annual Tony Awards were going to take place at the United Palace in New York City’s Washington Heights.
Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

The committee seemed ready to acknowledge that sad reality. Last night, a source said that they were headed toward deciding to stage a press conference announcing the winners on June 11 at a hotel in Midtown. 

But that plan has been scuttled for now.

The dream stubbornly remains a business-as-usual Tonys broadcast. But to quote “Les Misérables,” again, “Now strike has killed the dream they dreamed.” 

All the Tonys turmoil comes at an awkward moment: the start of the annual road conference, in which hundreds of producers and theater owners from around the country descend on New York to see the shows and party with the stars.

Many of these out-of-towners, who present Broadway tours in their markets, are Tony voters being wined and dined by competitive productions. (Andrea Riseborough’s controversial Oscar nod was nothing compared to this.) Those fêtes, I’m told, will be as glamorous as ever, despite the Tony troubles.

Voting begins Tuesday at noon and lasts until June 9.

Twenty-seven days to go until the Tonys … whatever they may be.

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