"It's All Happening": Busy Bring It On and Motown Actress Ariana DeBose Blogs About Her First Tony Awards

By Ariana DeBose
10 Jun 2013

Ariana DeBose
Ariana DeBose

Ariana DeBose, who made her Broadway debut this season in the Tony Award-nominated Best Musical Bring It On and can currently be seen in Motown, performed twice at her first Tony Awards on June 9. She documented the evening for Playbill.com.


What a night!

I am still reeling from last night's incredible celebration of the Broadway community! I am so inspired by what I've experienced over the past 24 hours…starting with dress rehearsal. (I have never seen so many people excited to be awake at 6:45 AM.)

What is it they say about working in television? "There's a lot of, 'Hurry up and wait'!" It's true, but it was great to have the time to take it all in. I stood in our holding area with the casts of The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Cinderella and Pippin, and I have to say: Broadway has a great look right now. It's like a sparkly melting pot. So many styles of theatre are being featured on The Great White Way. Only here will you find circus people, cheerleaders, music moguls and showgirls hanging out in one place. (#earlymorningmusings.)

Tony Awards dress rehearsal led me straight to half-hour for Motown's matinee and then back to Radio City for the show. I have to say…I had the jitters all the way up until the downbeat of the opening number — which, by the way, was one of the best opening numbers I have ever seen (but maybe I'm a little biased, since it was written by Bring It On songwriters Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt)!

Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) is such a fearless host and fantastic showman. Hitting that passerelle (the walkway that extends into the audience) in the opening number with my fellow Bring It On principals was terrifying and exciting all at once, but there is nothing better than 120-something performers hitting the button of a number. (#fierce.) Looking out into the audience and seeing these faces I love and respect left me very misty.

I'm still mind-blown that I was standing on stage behind a curtain waiting to go on for Bring It On's performance as Judith Light made her acceptance speech! I was running on adrenaline and five cups of coffee, so trying to harness all that energy was nearly impossible, but listening to her speak with such love and genuine gratitude for everything around her was so heartening.


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