And the Tony Award for Best Viewing Party Goes To…

Sunday, June 7th is a big night for fans of the Broadway musical: it’s the 69th Annual Tony Awards! For one night only, Broadway’s brightest gather together to celebrate all that New York City theater has to offer, bringing with them show-stopping fashion, emotional acceptance speeches, and, of course, unforgettable performances. If your invitation seems to have gotten lost in the mail, fear not: the NMT Green Room is here to save the day, with our guide to throwing the best Tony Awards viewing party on the block.

Step One: The Atmosphere

If you want it to feel like a party, then first it’s got to look like a party! Let’s start with the dress code. If you’re looking to add some class to your Tonys soiree, encourage your guests to dress in their evening best. That’s right: dust off those tuxes and let that old prom dress make a fierce comeback…you might even begin to feel as if you’re sitting in the audience! Of course, a low-key evening is also perfectly fine; encouraging street clothes (or pajamas, if you want to extend your Tonys high into a sleepover) is the best way to ensure that your guests are at their most comfortable.

To spruce up your party space, deck those walls with memorabilia from this season’s nominated shows. Print out photos and posters from your favorite plays and musicals and hang them with pride. And if you’re still looking for something else to decorate the room and don’t mind spending a bit of money, set up your own red carpet for your guests to walk as they enter—an especially appealing addition if you’ve opted for the formal dress code.

Of course, no party is complete without music! Craft your own Broadway playlist featuring music from this season’s musicals (cast recordings for On the Town, The Last Ship, Honeymoon in Vegas, and more are now available to stream on Spotify), or simply put on your favorite cast recordings of all time. Don’t stress about your playlist too much, as pretty much any showtune at a Tony Awards party is sure to be a hit.

Step Two: The Menu

Once you’ve transformed your kitchen/living room/basement/studio apartment into a space rivaling Radio City Music Hall, it’s time to focus on the food. My friends and I have a long-standing tradition of crafting a pun-filled Tonys menu, titling our dishes after our favorite shows of the season. Here are a few that you and your guests can snack on this year:

  • The Last Chip/The Last Dip
  • Honeymoon in Veggies
  • The Curious Incident of the Hot Dog in the Night-Time
  • Fun Ham
  • Hand to Cod
  • You Can’t Cake it With You
  • It’s Only a Pie
  • The King and I(ce Cream)

And to drink:

  • It Soda Been You (or, for a more adult beverage, It Shoulda Gin You)
  • On the Twentieth Cider-y
  • Ale-line Highway

Step Three: The Activities

Yes, the awards broadcast is certain to be the star of the show this evening (it’s the reason you’re gathering everyone together, after all), but why not invite your guests over for a few rounds of fun prior to the show’s official start time? Include any of these games in your itinerary, and your party is bound to be the talk of the town:

Don’t Rain on My Charade: Play charades using your favorite musicals, characters, song titles, or lyrics as prompts!

Making Things Up Again, Arnold: In this Tony Awards-twist on “Two Truths and a Lie,” write down some Tonys trivia on a series of notecards—but include one made-up tidbit in each group. Take turns reading the cards aloud, and guessing which piece of trivia isn’t so award-worthy.

Prediction of Predictions: Print out the 2015 Tonys Ballot on the official Tony Awards website and have your guests make their guesses for who will take home the trophies…and maybe even have your own prize (such as Jennifer Ashley Tepper’s awesome Untold Stories of Broadway) for the guest with the highest number of correct predictions.

Step Four: The Show

By this time, it should be nearing 8PM…meaning the Tonys are about to begin! So grab your friends (and whatever snacks are leftover), gather around your nearest TV, and share in Broadway’s biggest night—and fall in love with musical theater all over again.

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