Five Tips for Hosting Your Tony Awards Viewing Party


By: Gwendolyn Y. McNutt, CSEP (@gmcnuttplans)

Since 1947, Tony awards have been presented to celebrate excellence in theatre, and have been a joint venture of The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing since 1967. Any Broadway nerd will tell you the best thing about the Tonys is, well, everything! It’s the dancing, the singing, the costumes, the sets, you name it. It’s a great show jam-packed with entertainment. It’s also an opportunity for live theatre fans to get a taste of the best of the best in current Broadway shows all in one night. Last year’s awards celebration was historic, entertaining, and dominated by the unstoppable cast of Hamilton. This year, the competition is again stiff, and the show promises to delight audiences with epic show samplings and nonstop entertainment.

Hosting a Tony Awards viewing party is a great way to celebrate the occasion with friends. So, even if you can’t garner one of the coveted tickets to the live show, you can still celebrate at home with your own festivities and watch the live broadcast. Here are five tips to assist you in hosting a memorable viewing party for Broadway’s biggest night.

1. Set the mood

The star of the evening is the show itself; however, to get your guests in the mood for an evening of singing and dancing, kick off your celebration with music from this year and previously nominated shows. Host sing-a-longs or have some karaoke fun before and during commercial breaks of the broadcast. Also, make sure you transform your space with Broadway inspired décor including comedy and tragedy masks, posters, playbills, ticket stubs, and marquee and New York Street signs. Your guests will feel like they just stepped off of the streets of New York City and into a Broadway theatre.

2. Don’t forget the costumes

No Tonys viewing party would be complete without a few costumes. It is also a great time to showcase your cosplaying skills. Ask your guests to put on their thinking caps and come dressed as their favorite current or classic Broadway character. You will undoubtedly be surprised at their creativity. There is also no better time to bring out the craft table than a theme party, and to give your guests an additional opportunity to create costumes on the spot to join in on the fun. Having some props such as masks, feather boas, hats, and glasses will also give your guests a chance to play dress up.

3. Bring on the ballots.

Get your guests involved in the festivities with some friendly competition. Give them the chance to make their educated guesses about who will take home the much sought-after awards. Pass out your ballots, ask your guests to make their winner predictions, and turn their ballots before the show starts. The guest with the highest number of correct predictions wins a prize. You can find the printable Tonys ballot on the official Tony Awards website.

4. Serve up some Broadway-themed food.

There is nothing more fun than a cleverly themed party, and that includes your dinner menu. Theme your food and drinks around some of your favorite Broadway shows or musicals, the Great White Way, or Broadway theatre in general. Your guests will be thrilled that you went the extra mile to create some fun and interesting cuisine. A really fun and easy addition to your menu are cupcakes honoring the award nominees with mini Playbills.

5. Tune in on June 11.

Immediately following the Tony Awards red carpet arrivals, it’s time for you and your guests to settle in for the show. The 71st Tony Awards celebration will be held on Sunday, June 11, and broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS at 8pm EST. This year’s ceremony will be hosted for the first time by Kevin Spacey, and it is sure to be an evening filled with high-energy musical numbers, comedy, entertaining performances, and a group of viewers passionate about live theatre.

With these five tips, you are well on your way to hosting a memorable Tonys viewing party. Use them to transport your guests to Broadway and pay homage to the bright lights, the big city, and an unforgettable evening at the theatre.

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