NEW YORK — Kevin Spacey has been picked to host this year’s Tony Awards, putting the award-winning star of “House of Cards” in the unenviable position of steering a telecast surely facing a post-”Hamilton” hangover.
The telecast on June 11 will originate from the 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall, and producers are sure to be keeping their fingers crossed that they avoid any technical or human snafus that have marred previous awards shows this year, including the wrong winner announced at the Oscars and sound issues at the Grammys.
Spacey, who won Oscars for the movies “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty,” won a Tony Award in 1991 in Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers” and starred in the Broadway and West End productions of “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” With a foot in both Broadway and Hollywood — and a career singing onscreen and in concert to boot — Spacey brings glamour and acting chops to the job.
In a statement, he alluded to the telecast producers scrambling for a host after other celebrities dropped out. “I was their second choice for ‘Usual Suspects,’ fourth choice for ‘American Beauty’ and 15th choice to host this year’s Tony Awards. I think my career is definitely going in the right direction,” he said. “Maybe I can get shortlisted to host the Oscars if everyone else turns it down.”
Producers hope Spacey will limit the audience erosion likely from the numbers last year when “Hamilton” and host James Corden drew 8.73 million viewers, up 35 per cent from 2015 and its largest audience since 2001. Previous hosts include Hugh Jackman, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes.