If watching a live performance of “Hamilton” is not enough to lure you into viewing the Tony Awards on Sunday night, would the prospect of seeing Barbra Streisand perform karaoke with host James Corden up the ante?
That’s not likely to happen unless you are seated in the live audience of the Beacon Theatre on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Any sing-along sessions will be limited to off-camera commercial breaks as a way to keep the restive audience entertained during the three-hour show, Corden told Seth Meyers on the Late Show Wednesday. Streisand, who will make an appearance for the first time since 1970 as a presenter, could be a prime target.
The rest of us will have to make do with watching history in the making as “Hamilton” vies for the chance to score 13 Tonys and beat the record of “The Producers”, which won 12 trophies in 2001. “Hamilton” has received a record 16 nominations. “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda could become the first to win Tonys for best-actor in a musical, book and score. Miranda is nominated for his portrayal of Alexander Hamilton.
Numbers from all of the best-musical nominees will be performed. TV audiences will sample new shows Shuffle Along, School of Rock, Bright Star and Waitress as well as nominated revivals of Spring Awakening, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof and The Color Purple.
Fans of Gloria Estefan will see her sing with the cast of On Your Feet, the musical that recounts her rise with husband and collaborator Emilio Estefan.
But the undeniable prime draw will watching to see, as The Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks wrote, whether the theater community acknowledges “with outsize emphasis what this work and its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, have done: made seeing this musical a national obsession, and musical theater a vital link, again, at last, in the American cultural chain.”
Corden has done his bit to tease potential Tony viewers with Monday night’s “Carpool Karaoke” segment featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Audra McDonald, Jane Krakowski and Jesse Tyler Ferguson on “The Late, Late Show.” This is the man who won more than 100 million YouTube views for his “Carpool Karaoke” bit with pop singer Adele.
The British actor, who has reinvented “The Late, Late Show,” has performed on Broadway in “The History Boys.” Corden scored his own Tony in 2012 for best leading actor in a play in “One Man, Two Guvnors.”
So come for the karaoke and stay for the historical moment in American musical theater. The Tony Awards will air live Sunday on CBS at 8 p.m. ET and delayed PT.