What is popularly called the Tony Award (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theater, including musical theater. Awarded by a panel of approximately 700 judges from various areas of the industry and press, it is generally regarded as the theatre's equivalent to the Oscars, Grammys and Emmys. The award was founded in 1947 by a committee of theatrical producers headed by Brock Pemberton, but not until the third awards ceremony in 1949 was the first Tony medallion actually given to award winners.
The award ceremony is broadcast on television, and includes songs from the nominated musicals, as well as video clips of or presentations about nominated plays.
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