By Florence Mafomemeh
Broadway star Ariana DeBose is returning to her roots to host the 75th Annual Tony Awards on June 12 at New York City’s famous Radio City Music Hall, the American Theater Wing announced Wednesday.
Ariana DeBose at the Academy Awards after her Oscar win earlier this year.
Fresh from the Academy Awards in March where she won an Oscar for her powerful role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” remake, DeBose will certainly bring her infectious energy to this year’s Tony’s. The Oscar Winner will lead the presentation that airs live on CBS and on Paramount.
“After the challenging last two years, there is no one better to bring the theater community together on this important night honoring the best of Broadway and share the joys of live performing once again than this extraordinarily talented artist,” said Jack Sussman, executive vice president of specials, music, live events and alternative programming at CBS.
This year’s ceremony will come nine months after Last year’s ceremony, co-hosted by Tony winners Audra McDonald and Leslie Odom Jr., and more than two years after the previous ceremony due to Covid-19. The pandemic forced Broadway to go dark from March 2020 to September 2021.
Before DeBose became a breakout star as Anita in Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story” remake, she was a Broadway veteran known for her roles in “The Bullet,” the smash-hit “Hamilton,” “A Bronx Tale,” “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” for which she earned a Tony nomination for her role as Disco Donna. She also played roles in “Pippin,” “Motown the Musical,” “Bring It On: The Musical” and “Company.” DeBose also appeared in Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of “The Prom” alongside Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.
The theater veteran gained critical acclaim in Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of West Side Story in 2021 for which she earned a British Academy Film Award, a Critics’ Choice Movie Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress.
She also won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first Afro-Latina and openly queer woman to receive this award. In all, DeBose has four awards and six nominations.
The Tony Award Nominations Postponed Because of Coronavirus Delays will now be announced on May 9, but the awards ceremony will remain, as scheduled, on June 12.
The Tony Awards are produced in collaboration with Tony Award Productions, a joint venture of the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing, and White Cherry Entertainment