Sure, the 2017 Tony Awards aren’t until Sunday June 11 but by this time last year, we already knew who would host Broadway’s biggest night: James Corden was announced on February 2, 2016. So anticipation is high for an announcement on this year’s emcee. Take a look at our picks for the top contenders for the job, and voice your opinion in our poll below.
As they say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Corden proved to be a charming host last year so it makes sense for CBS to invite him back. His musical theater background makes him an entertaining showman, who can sing, dance, and make the audience laugh. And his Carpool Karaoke segement is a perfect fit for the Tony awards, and can easily be expanded upon from last year’s star studded video. The Tony telecast has certainly found its groove with showboating hosts like Hugh Jackman and Neil Patrick Harris, and Corden continues that trend.
CBS may want to push Stephen Colbert, their other late night host even more this year; the Tiffany net has already tapped him to host the Emmys in September. He has no Broadway credits of his own, but was featured in “Company” at the New York Philharmonic with Neil Patrick Harris and Patti LuPone. Colbert has a long standing love for Broadway and has a history of inviting musical theater stars like Mandy Patinkin and Audra McDonald to perform on his shows. A crooning voice, brilliant comedy, and guest appearances by famous friends? Sounds like a winning combination.
My greatest wish in life is to one day see the fiendishly funny Laura Benanti host the Tonys. After winning a Tony herself for “Gypsy”, Benanti has cultivated a hysterical social media presence and delivered one knockout stage performance after another. She had great success hosting the Drama Desk awards 2 years in a row, and has recently enjoyed a heightened profile thanks to roles on “Nashville”, “Supergirl”, and spoofing Melania Trump on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” The low budget nature of the Drama Desks allows Benanti some great opportunities for self deprecation, but it’s time for her to have a shot at the main event.
Nick Kroll & John Mulaney
Nick Kroll and John Mulaney won rave reviews for bringing their cranky alter egos Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland to Broadway. Since the limited run of “Oh, Hello” will have been closed long before the Tonys, it would be a treat to see the duo return to the stage host the telecast as the fictional duo. Gil and George, two grumpy and opinionated 70 year olds, feel distinctly “New York” and would help make the Tonys feel unique. If Kroll and Mulaney aren’t nominated for Lead Actor, it’s easy to see them going after the actual nominees to hysterical results.
Jake Gyllenhaal & Annaleigh Ashford
The producers of the upcoming revival of “Sunday in the Park with George” recently announced that the show would not be submitting itself for awards consideration. So with star Jake Gyllenhaal suddenly out of the Tony race, why not let him host the ceremony? He would bring some A-List star power and has a surprisingly robust singing voice. Even better, pair Gyllenhaal with his dynamite “Sunday” co-star Annaleigh Ashford. This Tony winner and “Masters of Sex” star is a brilliant physical comedienne who could bring some wacky energy to bounce off Gyllenhaal.