Alex Newell and J Harrison Ghee became the first openly non-binary actors to win a Tony Award.
Broadway’s flashiest night comes on Sunday (June 12) with the theater’s biggest names making their way down to the Palace of Unity in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.
Among this year’s winners is Newell, who won Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for their performance in the 2022 musical. Shucked.
Follow along with Our live blog for all updates from 2023 Tony Award And See here for the full list of winners.
During their speech, Newell said that winning a Tony was something they’ve wanted all their lives.
Newell, 30 years old, thanks to the crew, cast and creative team behind Shucked and their mothers “for loving me unconditionally” and “for teaching me what strength is”.
They went on to speak of their historic victory, stating: “Thanks for meeting me, Broadway. I shouldn’t be here as a weird fat black baby from Massachusetts.
“For anyone who thinks they can’t do it, I’ll look you in the face. [and say] that you can do whatever you put your mind to.
Moments after Newell’s historic win, Ghee also won Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of a musician questioning gender in a musical. Some like it hot.
“For all the transgender, non-binary, gender nonconforming people who have been told you can’t be seen, this is for you,” Ghee, 33, said in a statement. tear
Both Newell and Ghee agreed to be considered eligible for the Best Actor category because the Tonys, like the Oscars, still use gender acting categories.
Another non-binary artist, Justin David Sullivan (& Juliet) chose not to be considered for awards instead of competing in the gender category.
Earlier in the ceremony, Parade Director Michael Arden gave a fiery speech after he won the award for best musical director.
However, Arden’s speech was briefly censored by CBS television after he responded with a homophobic slur.