Scarlett Johansson arrives at the 71st annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 11, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The Latest: Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg appear on Tonys

June 11, 2017 - 8:14 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the Tony Awards (all times local):

8:06 p.m.

Stephen Colbert joined host Kevin Spacey to riff on "Groundhog Day: The Musical" and other Broadway shows during the opening of the Tony Awards.

Colbert popped out of a huge groundhog head before Spacey donned a beard ala "Fiddler on the Roof," followed by a cameo for Whoopi Goldberg after she stepped out of a closet to offer hosting advice.

"Oh, if I could only be Billy Crystal. He'd know the answer to all of it," Spacey bemoaned from a bed, talking with Crystal as he appeared on a screen.

"If all else fails, put on a dress," Crystal advised.

Spacey was not the first choice as host.


7:50 p.m.

The Tony Awards telecast hasn't yet begun but there are already four people who have the prized statuettes.

Costume designer Jane Greenwood finally won one for her work on "Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes." She has been nominated 21 times and already taken home a lifetime achievement award. On the musical side, Santo Loquasto won for his designs for the revival of "Hello, Dolly!" starring Bette Midler.

Other winners included scenic designer Nigel Hook, for creating the complex and seemingly dangerous set for "The Play That Goes Wrong" and Mimi Lien for designing the set for "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812."

The Tonys are Sunday night.


4:20 p.m.

Kevin Spacey danced, sung and joked his way through a three-hour rehearsal of the Tony Awards with grace and self-depreciating wit.

Those who tune in Sunday will get to see Spacey do impersonations of Bill Clinton, Jack Lemmon and Johnny Carson. His Frank Underwood from "House of Cards" makes a late appearance. He and Patti LuPone close the show with a lovely duet of "The Curtain Falls."

Spacey emerged as Tony host after several other celebrities turned the job down. He laughs at himself in the 10-minute opening song, in which he grows comfortable with hosting duties as he connects all four best new musical nominees.

He sings he's "Broadway bound" before leading a line of high-kicking dancers in a top hat, a tuxedo and a cane.

The Tonys are Sunday night.


3:35 p.m.

Theater fans who got up early to see Tony Award rehearsals at Radio City Music Hall got to see some real-life celebrities practicing their lines. Some stars like Glenn Close, Sally Field and Lin-Manuel Miranda even got extended bursts of applause from the sleepy crowd.

While many celeb presenters didn't show up some got there at 10 a.m. Sunday for the start of rehearsals. Those who had musical numbers, like David Hyde Pierce and Josh Groban, were required to show up and be in costume. Producers used stand-ins for presenters who didn't show up.

Anna Kendrick, David Oyelowo, James Earl Jones, Tommy Tune, Sutton Foster, Scott Bakula and Mark Hamill were some of the stars on hand, some skipping makeup or designer clothes.

The Tonys are Sunday night.


12:15 a.m.

The Tony Awards kick off with Kevin Spacey as its first-time host hoping to shake the telecast's post-"Hamilton" hangover.

The leading musical nominees on Sunday are "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" with 12 nominations, "Dear Evan Hansen" with nine and "Hello, Dolly!" with 10. The top play nominees are "A Doll's House, Part 2," with eight, and "Oslo" with seven. Last year, all eyes were on how many statuettes "Hamilton" would capture.

The presenters are the regular mix of Broadway and Hollywood, including Orlando Bloom, Tina Fey, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Sara Bareilles, Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg, Mark Hamill, Allison Janney, John Legend, David Oyelowo and Sarah Paulson. But Bette Midler won't be singing anything after talks failed to land the "Hello, Dolly!" diva.

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