Ariana DeBose opened the 75th Tony Awards with a rousing mashup performance of songs from classic Tony-winning musicals such as Cabaret, Company, The Phantom of the Opera, and Hair. According to The Hollywood Reporter, in her introductory monologue, DeBose said of the past two years, “Let’s just say, for many of you, it’s been a rollercoaster,” emphasising that she was presiding over the first large-scale, in-person Tony Awards ceremony since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Tony Awards 2022: Jennifer Hudson Achieves EGOT Status After She Wins Best Musical Title For ‘A Strange Loop’.
“I am so proud that the theatre is becoming more reflective of the community who adores it, and in doing so, has gained new performers, new creatives, new fans. It has shown us stories that have broadened our world and opened our hearts and our minds. And while we have not solved all of our problems, I feel like the phrase Great White Way is becoming more of a nickname as opposed to a how-to guide”, she added.
She was dressed in a sequined outfit inspired by Michael Jackson, the subject of the 10-time Tony-nominated musical MJ. DeBose remarked that seven plays created by Black playwrights were performed on Broadway last season, demonstrating the variety of the stage. Lynn Nottage received a double nomination for both the play Clyde’s and the book for MJ, making her the only writer to receive nods in both categories in the same year. Rae Allen Dies at 95; Tony Award-Winning Actress Was Known for Playing Quintina Blundetto in The Sopranos.
She also praised L. Morgan Lee of A Strange Loop, the first transgender person to be nominated for a Tony, and Toby Marlow of Six, the first nonbinary winner in Tony history, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. “My friends, those are steps toward inclusion,” DeBose said.