Academy Award winner and Tony nominee Ariana DeBose will return to host the 2023 Tony Awards, Broadway's top honors. The West Side Story star is becoming a frequent awards show presence, having headed the 2022 Tony Awards and famously opening the 2023 BAFTA Awards.
DeBose will become one of only 20 people to host the Tonys more than once over its 76 years, joining fellow two-time hosts Eddie Albert, Richard Burton, Glenn Close, James Corden, Henry Fonda, Helen Hayes, Gregory Hines, Brock Pemberton, Bernadette Peters, and Peter Ustinov; three-time hosts Julie Andrews, Bud Collyer, Rosie O'Donnell, and James Sauter; four-time hosts Neil Patrick Harris, Hugh Jackman, Nathan Lane, and Robert Preston; and five-time host Angela Lansbury.
As announced earlier this year, the 76th Annual Tony Awards will be handed out June 11 at the United Palace in New York City's Washington Heights for the first time in the awards' history. The ceremony will be broadcast live on CBS and stream live (for premium-level subscribers) and on demand (for all subscribers beginning June 12) via Paramount+. Details on an accompanying special honoring the 2022-2023 Broadway season will be announced in the coming weeks.
"I was honored to serve as host last year and even more so to be asked back!" says DeBose 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!"
Along with her multi award-winning performance as Anita in the recent Steven Spielberg-directed film adaptation of Broadway's West Side Story, DeBose starred in the Netflix film version of Broadway's The Prom and Apple TV+'s Golden Age musical theatre satire Schmigadoon! "Action star" seems to be next up for the Broadway favorite, with upcoming appearances in Sony Pictures' Kraven the Hunter, Apple's Argylle, and the space thriller ISS. DeBose's film career followed a meteoric rise on stage, making her Broadway debut in Bring It On and going on to appear on Broadway in Motown the Musical, Pippin, Hamilton, A Bronx Tale, and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. She earned a Tony nomination for her performance as Disco Donna in the latter.
"A force both on and off the stage, Ariana DeBose is unstoppable—an award-winning actress, powerhouse vocalist, and commanding dancer—she is the true definition of ‘triple-threat,’” add American Theatre Wing President and CEO Heather Hitchens and Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin in a joint statement. "We 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 of Tony Awards production company White Cherry Entertainment, calling back to DeBose's viral performance hosting the BAFTAs.
Broadway is busy preparing for the 76th annual Tony Awards. Productions have until April 27 to open and be eligible for this year's honors.