History was made in all kinds of ways this past weekend at Broadways main event! The 76th Tony Awards pulled up for the very first time to Washington Heights at the grand United Palace uptown! Shifting from its typical downtown Radio City Music Hall venue and we may be biased but we loved the switch up for the culture!
The ceremony was hosted for a second time by Academy Award winner, Ariana Debose, opening the show as only she can doing the thing, with a fierce dance number. Go, Ari!
Ariana Debose, 76th Tony Awards Host
After a potential cancellation due to the current Writers Guild strike (#WeSupportWGA), the Broadway community, as it has for these past few years with the pandemic, persevered and made this particular show work unscripted! It truly gave the show must go on, okay?!
And here at REALEMN, we are so glad that it did because there were so many incredible Broadway shows to celebrate this past year!
First and foremost, Black, Queer history was made this past weekend as both J Harrison Ghee and Alex Newell, two non-binary and gender non conforming actors won in their respective categories for Best Performance as an Actor in a Musical and Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical.
Phew. Both wins had me all up in my feels, ok?! As we say at REALEMN time and time again, representation matters, and it was so validating and affirming to see these two talented and Blickity Black Queer folks win big! For the culture! Congrats to them! And during Pride?! I know that’s right!
Alex Newell, Tony Award Winner, Shucked
Other big winners included Suzan Lori-Parks for Best Revival of a Play for Topdog/Underdog, Beowulf Boritt for Best Scene Design for New York, New York, Casey Nicholas for Best Choreography for Some Like It Hot, and of course the multiple Tony Award winning Kimberly Akimbo for Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book!
Suzan-Lori Parks, Tony Award Winner, Topdog/Underdog
To honor the entire Broadway season, the Tonys had some notable fierce performances including Lorna Courtney and the cast of &Juliet performing ‘Roar’, Alex Newell and the cast of Shucked performing a medley of songs from the show (they did that!), The beautiful cast of “A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical” performing Sweet Caroline and Tony Award winner, Joaquina Kalukango performing “Wishing You Were Here” from “Phantom of the Opera” to pay respect to those in memoriam. Truly a heartfelt moment.
LaChanze, Tony Award winning actress from the original Color Purple Broadway became a 2023 Tony winner on Sunday night earning a Tony award as one of the Producers on TopDog Under Dog along with TISG Co-Founder Rashad Chambers and she also earned a Tony being on the Producing team for Best Musical
LaChanze, Tony Award Winner, TopDog | Underdog Rashad Chambers, Tony Award Winner ,TopDog | Underdog
All in all, it was a beautiful show with some history made and performances that slayed! We, of course wish to see our people win all the time, and in all the categories!! And a few honorable mentions go to Ain’t No Mo, Fat Ham and New York, New York! We love y’all!!
We at REALEMN loved watching the awards ceremony and are so happy for all of the winners and all those nominated!! Congrats to all on a historic Broadway season! Until next awards season, y’all! Go and check out one of these newly Tony Award winning shows! “