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Ariana DeBose Brings a Fabulous, Super Queer Opening Number to Tonys

Ariana DeBose
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The number included same-sex kisses and nods to many of Broadway's LGBTQ+ luminaries.

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Queer actress-singer-dancer Ariana DeBose, hosting this year's Tony Awards, kicked off the ceremony Sunday night with a magnificent opening number featuring song, dance, same-sex kisses, and salutes to many of Broadway's hits.

The number honored shows including Hamilton, A Chorus Line, Hadestown, Cabaret, Chicago, and West Side Story. DeBose appeared in Hamilton on Broadway and won an Oscar for her performance in the latest film version of West Side Story, becoming the first out queer woman of color Oscar-winner. It also featured nods to some of Broadway's great gay talents, such as Hadestown actor Andre De Shields and A Chorus Line director Michael Bennett. And DeBose repeatedly said "gay," a protest of a new Florida law.

The evening will see awards bestowed on Broadway's best. A Strange Loop,the groundbreaking musical about a gay Black man trying to create a musical and being tormented by his thoughts, has the most nominations of any show this year, with 11.

Watch the opener below.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.