Kevin Spacey has signed on to host the 2017 Tony Awards on June 11 at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. Famous for his Oscar-winning movie roles in The Usual Suspects and American Beauty, Spacey has more recently been starring on the small screen, in Netflix’s political thriller House of Cards, which returns for its fifth season on May 30. But his ties to theater are also strong: He won a Tony in 1991 for his role in the play Lost in Yonkers and served for a decade as the artistic director of the Old Vic theater in London.
Spacey follows in the footsteps of last year’s host, James Corden, and 2015’s Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth, all of whom brought their musical chops to the gig. Last year’s ceremony, amid the hype around smash hit Hamilton, brought the show’s highest ratings in 15 years, according to Variety.
“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,” Spacey quipped in a statement. “Maybe I can get shortlisted to host the Oscars if everyone else turns it down.”
Nominations for the 71st Annual Tony Awards will be released on May 2. Frontrunners include the musical Dear Evan Hansen, from the lyricists behind La La Land, and Natasha, Pierre and The Comet of 1812, a musical inspired by Tolstoy’s War and Peace. But with Hamilton no longer dominating the field, there’s plenty of room for surprises.
The awards will be broadcast live on CBS on June 11.
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