Sunday, May 26, 2024

Comedian Jim Gaffigan’s Mostly Unsold Radio City Shows Blocking Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall


Well, this is weird.

The special Tony Awards event set for September 26th won’t be in its usual home, Radio City Music Hall.

The Tonys instead will be held at the cavernous but much smaller Winter Garden Theater. Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster will bring the very high priced ticket “Music Man” revival there in December.

The Tonys are usually in June. But the pandemic postponed the last two Junes. The Broadway League has never given out the 2019-2020 Tonys, so they chose September 26th for a return. The show will be live on CBS from 9 to 11pm after a two hour special on Paramount Plus.

But the reason the awards can’t be at Radio City on the 26th is the weird part. Comedian Jim Gaffigan is book for four nights in a row at the fabled theater. Gaffigan is very funny, but four nights at Radio City? Really?

Indeed, except for the final show on September 25th, Gaffigan’s shows are mostly unsold. According to Ticketmaster, there are hundreds of seats at every price level.

But the Tonys could never load in for the Sunday show or have rehearsals in that situation. Also this way they don’t have to deal with 5,000 people and COVID restrictions. The Winter Garden seats 1,500, meaning two thirds of the regular Tony audience will have to wait until June 2022 for the next Tony show at Radio City.

This round of Tony Awards is unusual anyway. The only actor nominated for lead in a Musical is Aaron Tveit, of “Moulin Rouge.” Presumably, he’ll win since he has no competition. Adrienne Warren, who plays the title role in “Tina: The Musical,” would seem the likely winner of Best Actress. Most of the other nominations are for shows that closed long ago.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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