Tonys Host Ariana DeBose Addresses Importance Of Live Theater Because “We Are In A Global Moment When Headlines Are Frankly Terrifying”

After singing and dancing in an opening number that she choreographed, Ariana DeBose kicked off the 77th Annual Tony Awards Sunday by calling out all the new productions this year — 36! — while also addressing how live theater is more important than ever these days.

“We are in a global moment when the headlines are, frankly, terrifying most of the time,” DeBose said to the crowd. “But the theater is a safe place for us. And in the most trying of times, art is imperative because art reflects society and provides context for the very real situations that we find ourselves in today. The collective experience can cross boundaries and unite people from all walks of life.”

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“Broadway has a lot to offer,” she continued. “No matter what you are looking for, I promise you, there is a play or a musical that will touch your heart, speak to how you are feeling, help you cope, give you courage. You might even feel motivated to go out into the world and create change because Lord knows we need some.”

DeBose also referenced this year’s “ambitious” Broadway season, which included those 36 new productions, along with three special events and 14 plays and musicals that just opened in the last three weeks.

“I mean, I’m a busy queen but y’all exhaust me,” she quipped.

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