The award winning actor is a talented but unconventional host for the historic awards show.
There’s a new face leading this year’s Tony Awards ceremony, but he arrives with plenty of experience talking directly to camera. Academy Award winner and House of Cards star Kevin Spacey was announced yesterday to be taking the reins of the awards ceremony honoring the best of Broadway theater. Spacey, who’s now most known for being the leader of the free world on Netflix’s hit political drama, may not immediately seem like an obvious choice to host, but he does have an impressive track record in the theater. Nominated twice for Tony Awards and winning one for 1991’s Lost in Yonkers, Spacey has starred in major New York productions and was last seen in the title role of Shakespeare’s Richard III at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. More impressively he spent several years working in London as the Artistic Director of The Old Vic Theatre Company, helping to revitalize the company and bring big name talent to its productions.
That’s not to say he isn’t something of an outside the box choice for this year’s show. Reports suggested several other hosts had already been approached and turned down the gig for varying reasons. Spacey himself joked about the process, stating in the announcement, “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. Maybe I can get shortlisted to host the Oscars if everyone else turns it down.”
Spacey does however stand as a change of pace from recent hosts who have typically been younger song and dance performers like Hugh Jackman, Neil Patrick Harris, and James Corden. While Spacey can sing as evidenced by his portrayal of Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea, no one is expecting him to pull of the show stopping opening numbers that those previous hosts were able to accomplish. Additionally while Spacey has the wit and timing to land jokes, it’s hard to know whether younger audiences will tune in to see him host. With the younger skewing hit musical Dear Evan Hansen likely to be a frontrunner, CBS might’ve preferred someone who would have more cache with those crowds.
Still we won’t know how Spacey will fare as host until June 11th when the show airs from Radio City Music Hall on CBS.