Tony Awards has stars — and those usually far from spotlight

NEW YORK (AP) — Darren Criss’ favorite night of the year has arrived.

It’s the Tony Awards. “I’ll never shut up about the Tonys. I love the Tonys,” he says.

Criss will not only be watching the Tonys on Sunday, he'll also be working.

He's co-host with Julianne Hough of a one-hour pre-Tony celebration at Radio City Music Hall,

and he's even written an original song about the show that he'll perform, revealing “a bit of my nerdy proclivities.”

Criss and Hough will be handing out creative arts Tonys on Paramount+ and

then pass hosting duties to Ariana DeBose for the main three-hour telecast on CBS from

the same stage, live coast to coast for the first time.

The season — with 34 new productions — represents a full return to theaters after nearly two years of a pandemic-mandated shutdown.