Judith Light receives special honor during CBS telecast
For a couple of familiar faces, The 73rd Annual Tony Awards will mean another big night, but for different reasons.
Late-late-night television star James Corden – a Tony winner himself in 2012 for “One Man, Two Guvnors” – has his second stint hosting the yearly salute to the best of Broadway’s theater season as CBS airs the event Sunday, June 9, from New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Stage and television veteran Judith Light (“Transparent,” “Who’s the Boss?”) will receive the honorary Isabelle Stevenson Award for her dedication to the theater community through her related activism.
“I’m so happy to be doing it again, no matter how nervous I feel about the prospect,” Corden says of reprising his 2016 Tony Awards job (which helped that special win an Emmy Award). “It’s a community of people that means a great deal to me, and I’m incredibly proud to be there just as a representative ushering the night along.”
The top Tony nominee this year is the musical “Hadestown,” with 14 bids. Among talents in the running are Bryan Cranston (for “Network”), Annette Bening (“Arthur Miller’s All My Sons”), Jeff Daniels (“To Kill a Mockingbird”), Laurie Metcalf (“Hillary and Clinton”), Santino Fontana (“Tootsie”) and Broadway staples Kelli O’Hara (“Kiss Me, Kate”) and Stephanie J. Block (“The Cher Show”).
“Lots of award shows essentially are just groups of millionaires giving each other gold statues,” Corden reasons, “and here is something where you see all of these unbelievable performers doing excerpts from shows they do eight times a week. And it’s such a supportive community, so open and loving, I loved doing this the last time. It was one of the best nights of my career, so I just hope I don’t let anybody down.”
Light surely won’t, having already proven her extensive service to the theater world not only through consecutive Tony wins in 2012 (for “Other Desert Cities”) and 2013 (“The Assembled Parties”), but also by her efforts toward supporting human and LGBTQ+ rights and ending HIV/AIDS.
“I remember when I was very young and I was in a theater camp in New Hope, Pa.,” reflects Light (also a two-time Daytime Emmy winner). “I didn’t realize it until later, but gay men came from the city and were there for the summer to teach dance and drama. And I thought, ’Oh. It was that community that watched out for me.’ ”
Light says she “marvels” that many of her professional ventures echo her personal concerns: “I don’t understand at all how that has happened, but I don’t care that I don’t. We’re talking about people taking risks, or people who are infinitely curious about something, and that’s part and parcel of this.”