TONY AWARDS - 6/06/2000

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TONY AWARDS - 6/06/2000

The 54th Annual Tony Awards was held at Radio City Music Hall on June 4, 2000 and broadcast by CBS. "The First Ten" awards ceremony was telecast on PBS television. The event was hosted by Rosie O'Donnell, with special guest Nathan Lane. O'Donnell has hosted a total of three times: 1997, 1998, and 2000.

The opening number was "A Tony Opening", performed by Rosie O'Donnell, Jane Krakowski, Jesse L. Martin, and Megan Mullally.

Production numbers from musicals included Contact, Boyd Gaines and the Girl in the Yellow Dress, Deborah Yates; Kiss Me, Kate, "Too Darn Hot"; Jesus Christ Superstar, "Superstar" and "Gethsemane"; The Music Man, Craig Bierko in "Seventy-Six Trombones" ; The Wild Party, medley from Mandy Patinkin, Eartha Kitt and Toni Collette; Swing!, medley from company and Ann Hampton Callaway and Laura Benanti; and James Joyce's The Dead, "Parnell's Plight."

Ten awards were presented prior to the main ceremony and were broadcast on Public Television in a show titled "The First 10 Awards: Tonys 2000." The show had interviews and showed clips from the season's productions, and presented the awards: Direction (Play and Musical), Choreography, Original Score, Book of a Musical, Costume Design, Scenic Design, Orchestration, Lighting Design and Regional Theater. Michael Blakemore is the only director to win Tony Awards as Best Director of a Play and Best Director of a Musical in the same year. He won this year for Copenhagen (play) and Kiss Me, Kate (musical).

The television ratings for this broadcast were 7.2, down from the 1999 Tony Award broadcast of 7.9. In prior years in which O'Donnell hosted, the program had ratings of 11.2 (1997) and 10.3 (1998)