Broadway's Tony Awards to be Rated 'X'

05/20/2003 at 03:24 PM EDT

"X2: X-Men United" star Hugh Jackman is getting a jump start on the Great White Way.

The hunk from Down Under, who's set to make his Broadway debut this fall as Peter Allen in the musical bio "The Boy From Oz," will first trod the New York boards on June 8 at Radio City Music Hall as host of Broadway's Tony Awards.

Organizers also have announced that presenters on the three-hour show (to be broadcast live on CBS) will include Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Joey Fatone, Christopher Reeve, Laurence Fishburne, Barbara Walters, Tyne Daly, Danny Glover and the Redgrave sisters, Vanessa and Lynn.

Jackman, 34, is no theatrical neophyte, having appeared in the 1998 London revival of "Oklahoma!" as well as the Australian productions of "Sunset Boulevard" and "Beauty and the Beast." "Oz" is due to open Oct. 16, after starting previews a month before.

As far as the 57th annual Tony race is concerned, the revival of Eugene O'Neill's classic epic "Long Day's Journey Into Night," starring Vanessa Redgrave and Brian Dennehy, leads the dramatic field with seven nominations.

With 13 nominations, the big musical to beat is "Hairspray," starring Harvey Fierstein in a maternal role made famous by the late Divine in the campy 1988 John Waters movie. "Movin' Out," choreographer Twyla Tharp's stringing together of Billy Joel songs, is nominated for 10 Tonys.

Fierstein's perceived rival for the musical actor award is Antonio Banderas in the revival of "Nine, The Musical." Sunday night, the two tied for the prize from the Drama Desk, with Fierstein trying to take home Banderas in addition to his award.

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