We’re in the middle of the craziness that is awards season, and it seems that the Tony Awards are no exception. While the prestigious ceremony for theatre doesn’t air until the summer, the American Theatre Wing has just announced the host for this summer’s show. In a stroke of brilliance, the Tony’s will have late night host and actor James Corden host the 70th annual Tony Awards.
The Tony Awards have a habit of selecting high-profile former winners of the award as future hosts, and this year will be no exception. While James Corden is best known to American audiences for his work on The Late Late Show With James Corden, he is also an accomplished actor who won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Actor In A Play during his run of One Man, Two Guvnors. Who better to host the Tony’s than a winner who works regularly as a talk show host?
This seems like a rather smart choice for the American Theatre Wing. The Tony Awards have pretty dismal viewership since the experience isn’t nearly as universal at the Emmy or Oscars. Only people from the New York area, or those who have made the trip as a tourist, have actually seen the plays and musicals that are nominated, so it’s a pretty hard sell to get the typical American TV watcher to tune in. Of course, there are great musical numbers by the shows that are nominated for Best Musical, but in between each showstopper you have to see the plain old award show business of winners and speeches.
James Corden has proven himself able to essentially break the internet with his antics. His show is successful in it’s own right, but the carpool karaoke sketch that he produces gets insane hits on youtube. In addition to showcasing his musical sensibility, he has a way of bringing out celeb’s true nature and break down their walls as they sing their hearts out from the safety of a moving vehicle. How else would we have known that Adele can spit some serious Nicki Minaj when the time calls for it?
The host of the Tony Awards usually has at least two musical numbers, which James Corden will surely be able to pull off. While he won his Tony in a play, he has quite the lovely voice for theater. He was able to prove himself as a vocalist during the film version of Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods, to which he had the leading role as the Baker.
Since James Corden has such a gift with comedy, I’m hoping he’ll be able to make his musical numbers and hosting segments a bit less squeaky clean than some of his predecessors like Hugh Jackman. If Ricky Gervais can curse at Mel Gibson during the Golden Globes, I think the theatre community might be able to loosen their ties a bit and let Corden do his thing.
Check out James Corden’s duet with Emily Blunt in Into the Woods to get you pumped. The Tony Award nominations will be announced May 3rd.