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.