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West Side Story star Ariana DeBose to host Tony Awards

Ariana DeBose (Evan Agostini/AP/PA)
Ariana DeBose (Evan Agostini/AP/PA)

West Side Story star Ariana DeBose has said it is a “dream come true” to be named the host of the 75th Tony Awards this year.

The actress, who won a Bafta and Academy Award for her turn as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of the musical, will host the ceremony at Radio City Music Hall in New York on June 12.

The US star joins the ranks of famous faces who have previously hosted the event honouring Broadway productions – including British actor James Corden, who took to the stage in 2016 and 2019.

DeBose said: “I’m coming home!

Ariana DeBose
Ariana DeBose will host the 75th Tony Awards ceremony (Tony/PA)

“I’m so honoured to celebrate 75 years of excellence in theatre, but more importantly every member of this community who poured themselves into making sure the lights of Broadway have the opportunity to shine brightly once again.

“This is a dream come true, and I’m excited to see you all on June 12.”

DeBose found fame following her performance in West Side Story, winning an Oscar 60 years after her predecessor in the role, Rita Moreno, earned an Academy Award herself.

The 94th Academy Awards
Ariana DeBose at the 94th Academy Awards (Doug Peters/PA)

The star also earned a Tony Award nomination in 2018 for her role in The Donna Summer Musical and will next appear in Apple TV+ spy thriller Argylle.

The Tony Awards show’s executive producers, Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss, said: “There’s a reason Ariana has been nominated and won so many awards, and you’ll see why on June 12  when she is back ‘home’ on a Broadway stage.”

Jack Sussman, executive vice president, specials, music and live events for CBS Entertainment, said: “We are thrilled to have Ariana DeBose, who has captivated audiences with her inspirational roles on stage and in film and television, host this year’s Tony Awards.

British Academy Film Awards 2022 – Press Room – London
Ariana DeBose after winning the supporting actress award for West Side Story at the Bafta awards (Ian West/PA)

“After the last challenging two years there is no-one better to bring the theatre community together on this important night honouring the best of Broadway, and share the joys of live performing once again than this extraordinarily talented artist.”

Last year, the ceremony was co-hosted by Audra McDonald and Leslie Odom Jr.

The nominations for this year’s Tony Awards will be announced on Monday.

The 75th annual Tony Awards will take place on June 12 in New York.

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