Ariana DeBose will be heading back to the Tony Awards…
The 32-year-old half-Puerto Rican Oscar-winning actress/singer will return as host of this year’s Tony Awards ceremony.
DeBose, who earned a Tony nomination for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, hosted last year’s broadcast to general acclaim.
This year’s event, the 76th Annual Tony Awards, will air live from United Palace in New York City’s Washington Heights on Sunday, June 11, on CBS.
“I was honored to serve as host last year and even more so to be asked back,” DeBose said in a statement. “So looking forward to celebrating this incredible season and the people who make the work happen. Here’s to adding some uptown flavor to the magic of the Tony Awards.”
Heather Hitchens, President and CEO of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League said in a joint statement that DeBose is a “force both on and off the stage,” and that the event presenters and producers are “thrilled to welcome back one of Broadway’s brightest lights to dazzle, inspire and illuminate this year’s Tony Awards.”
“Ariana will host and dance and sing, we’re so thrilled she’s back to do the thing,” said Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner, Executive Producers, White Cherry Entertainment.
DeBose won an Oscar last year for her performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, and was Tony-nominated in 2018 for her role as “Disco Donna” in Broadway’s Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. Other stage credits include Hamilton, A Bronx Tale, PippinandMotown the Musical, among others.
Notable television and film credits include the Apple TV+ series Schmigadoon!and the Netflix adaptation of the Broadway musical The Prom. She’ll next be seen in the feature films Kraven the Hunter, Wish, House of Spoils, ArgylleandI.S.S.
The 76th Tonys celebration will recognize Broadway productions of the 2022-2023 season. The Tony Awards eligibility cut-off date for the season is Thursday, April 27; nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2.
The 76th Annual Tony Awards will air live Sunday, June 11, at 8:00 pm ET/ 5:00 pm PT on CBS, and stream live and in-demand on Paramount+.
The 30-year-old half-Afro-Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer will be a guest on the season finale of Brian Stokes Mitchell’s on demand streaming talk show Crossovers Live!.
DeBose will appear along side fellow Broadway star Audra McDonald.
Portions of ticket sales for the live show will benefit The Actors Fund.
The season holiday finale episode is set for Monday, December 20 at 8:00 pm ET.
A Stellar Original presentation in association with Atomic FocusEntertainment, Crossovers Live! was created and will be directed by Tom Wiggin, and is designed to showcase performers who have made the jump from stage to film, television or music.
Since the monthly series debuted last June, Crossovers Live!, hosted by Mitchell, has featured such guests as Vanessa Williams, Daniel J. Watts, Marc Shaiman, Megan Hilty, Bernadette Peters, Kristin Chenoweth and David Hyde Pierce.
Blending candid interviews, rare footage and various surprises, the series is livestreamed in New York City and also available on demand. Ticket info is available here, with a minimum of 10% of net proceeds benefiting The Actors Fund.
DeBose made her television debut competing on So You Think You Can Dance and her Broadway debut in the musical Bring It On. Other Broadway credits have includedMotown: The Musical, the revival of Pippin, A Bronx Taleand as Donna Summer in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, which earned her a Tony Award nomination.
On film and television, she appeared in the filmed version of Hamilton, Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Broadway musical The Prom, and most recently in Apple TV’s Schmigadoon!.
She’ll soon be seen on the big screen as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film adaptation of West Side Story.
The Dominican Tony Award-nominated costume and fashion designer has been elected the Chair of the American Theatre Wing. Sosa succeeds current co-chairs David Henry Hwang and Ted Chapin.
Sosa, who joined the Wing’s board in 2015, said in a statement, “I could not be more honored to step into this role at this crucial time, or more humbled to be succeeding two such accomplished leaders. I look forward to continue building the Wing’s ongoing, long-term equity work, expanding and deepening our education work, building bridges between all parts of the theatre ecology, and cultivating conversation and action across every region of the country to ensure all voices and occupations in our industry are heard.”
Sosa will be joined by newly named Vice-Chairs Dale Cendali, Patricia Crown, James Higgins, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Lee Perlman, and Nadine Wong.
Trustees Pam Zilly and Natasha Katz will also join Board leadership as treasurer and secretary, respectively.
Both Hwang and Chapin will maintain active roles for the Wing as they take on responsibilities as its Immediate Past Chairs.
“We all owe a giant debt of gratitude to our two exemplary co-chairs, David Henry Hwang and Ted Chapin, who have helped navigate the organization during our industry’s most trying time,” said American Theatre Wing President & CEO Heather Hitchens, adding, “Now, as we enter the post-pandemic era, our extensive agenda and growing portfolio has created a need for our most robust leadership team ever, including an unprecedented six vice chairs. I can’t think of anyone better suited to lead that team than Emilio as we continue to elevate and advance the Wing’s work and its programs to ensure that this artform and our industry come back better than ever before.”
Sosa’s Broadway credits include Topdog/Underdog, On Your Feet, Motown: The Musical, Porgy and Bess and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.
The 17-year-old Colombian American actress/singer,New Jersey High School studentand Hollywood newcomer has landed the lead role of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.
Zegler, who beat out more than 30,000 people from around the world, will make her film debut opposite Ansel Elgortas Tony.
Rounding out the principal Shark roles are Broadway veterans Ariana DeBose as Anita and David Alvarezas Bernardo. Theater performer Josh Andrés Rivera has been cast as Chino.
Spielberg and his team were committed to finding the best actors within the Puerto Rican as well as the broader Latinxcommunity. The team has been conducting research and having conversations with Hispanic heritage and advocacy groups. In December 2018, Spielberg and Tony Kushner, who is adapting West Side Story, sat with professors and students at the University of Puerto Rico(Universidad de Puerto Rico – Río Piedras) to learn more about performing arts on the island. The production team maintains a dialogue with the University and Puerto Rican filmmakers there.
The new castmembers join Rita Moreno, who won an Oscarfor her portrayal of Anita in the 1961 movie, who will play Valentina, a reconceived and expanded version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store in which Tony works. Moreno also serves as executive producer.
“When we began this process a year ago, we announced that we would cast the roles of Maria, Anita, Bernardo, Chino and the Sharks with Latina and Latino actors. I’m so happy that we’ve assembled a cast that reflects the astonishing depth of talent in America’s multifaceted Hispanic community,” said Spielberg. “I am in awe of the sheer force of the talent of these young performers, and I believe they’ll bring a new and electrifying energy to a magnificent musical that’s more relevant than ever.”
“I simply cannot wait to get on set to work with this group of young actors,” said Moreno. “What an ensemble, and I look forward to passing the baton to this next generation of Sharks!”
Zegler saw the notice on Twitterback in January 2018 for Latinx actors and submitted a video of herself singing “Tonight” and “Me Siento Hermosa” (“I Feel Pretty”).
“I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast,” said Zegler. “West Side Story was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character. As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community.”
DeBose, who was nominated for a Tony Award in 2018 for her portrayal of Donna Summerin Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, will play Anita, the role made famous on film by Moreno. DeBose’s other Broadway credits include the original cast of Hamilton, A Bronx Tale: The Musical, Pippin, Motown: The Musical and Bring It On: The Musical. Her screen debut came in 2009 as a competitor on So You Think You Can Dance.
“I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of the remarkable women who have played Anita – including Chita Rivera and, of course, the incomparable Rita Moreno,” said DeBose. “I relate so strongly to Anita – a strong Puerto Rican woman who came to New York in search of opportunity – and I feel so fortunate for the chance to work with this amazing cast and creative team.”
Alvarez, who won a Tony in 2009 for originating the title role in Billy Elliot: The Musical, will play Bernardo, Maria’s brother and the leader of the Sharks. Following his appearance in Billy Elliot, Alvarez served in the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division, before returning to Broadway in 2014 to join the company of On the Town.
“My parents emigrated from Cuba with no connections, knowing no English, driven only by the hope of a better life. I know how challenging the decision was for them, and I see a lot of that internal conflict in Bernardo,” said Alvarez. “I have dreamt of playing this part since I first saw the original film, and I am so grateful for the chance to bring my own perspective and journey to this role – as an artist, a Veteran and a Latino – and to work with this incredible cast to breathe new life into these characters’ experiences.”
Rivera – an actor, singer and dancer who most recently appeared in the first national tour of Hamilton – will play the role of Chino.
“West Side Story is the dream for any performer, and to tackle it with this creative team is truly a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” said Rivera. “I feel very fortunate to be able to portray the Nuyorican experience alongside these amazingly talented actors. I’m confident Puerto Ricans on and off the island will see ourselves reflected in this project.”
West Side Story will be produced and directed by Spielberg from a script by Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner. The film will be adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway musical, which was written by Arthur Laurentswith music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and concept, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Also leading the production are Tony Award-winning producer Kevin McCollumand Academy Award-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger.
West Side Story will be released by Twentieth Century Fox. Filming is slated to start in the summer of 2019.
Additional casting announcements will be made in the coming weeks, specifically in regards to The Sharksand The Jets.