Out Film and Stage Star Ariana DeBose to Host Tony Awards

by Mark Kennedy

Associated Press

Wednesday May 4, 2022

Ariana DeBose arrives at the 94th Academy Awards nominees luncheon.
Ariana DeBose arrives at the 94th Academy Awards nominees luncheon.  (Source:Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

New Academy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Ariana DeBose will host this year's Tony Awards.

The "West Side Story" star will lead the presentation June 12 at New York City's famed Radio City Music Hall live on CBS and on Paramount+ starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. An hour-long pre-show will stream 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.

DeBose is a theater veteran, with roles in "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical," "Hamilton," "A Bronx Tale," "Pippin," "Motown the Musical," "Bring It On: The Musical" and "Company."

The ceremony will he held nine months after "Moulin Rouge! The Musical" took the best new musical crown at the last Tony Awards, one postponed because of the pandemic. That show also expanded from its typical three hours to four, with host Audra McDonald handing out Tonys for the first two hours and Leslie Odom Jr. hosting a "Broadway's Back!" celebration for the second half with performances from the three top musicals.

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