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Ariana DeBose to host Tony Awards again


Ariana DeBose is to host the Tony Awards for the third year in a row.
The 'West Side Story' actress "couldn't pass up the chance" to take the reins again at the annual ceremony, and will also serve as producer and choreographer for the opening number at the event, which will take place at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City on 16 June and honours excellence in theatre.
She said in a statement: "I couldn’t pass up the chance to host the Tonys one more time at Lincoln Center. I’m excited to collaborate with the team to create an incredible celebration of this season’s achievements on Broadway for our community and for everyone at home."
Ariana has been praised for her "unique sense of artistry, creativity and talent".
Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theatre Wing and Jason Laks, interim president of The Broadway League, said in a statement:
“We are incredibly honoured to welcome Tony Award-nominated actress Ariana DeBose as this year’s host for Broadway’s biggest night, taking place for the first time at the iconic Lincoln Center.
"Ariana’s unique sense of artistry, creativity and talent continues to elevate the show and captivate nominees and viewers alike."
Once again the broadcast will be split into two parts, with Paramount's free streaming service PlutoTV airing 'The Tony Awards: Act One', which will feature the pre-show and selected awards presentations. The main broadcast will then air live on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.
Last year's Tony Awards saw Ariana given the added challenge of running the show without a script because of the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) strike.
She opened the show with a silent acrobatic dance performance, that included leaping down flights of stairs at the United Palace theatre, before ad-libbing introductions.
She also said: “I’m live and unscripted, you’re welcome."
At the time, it was uncertain as to whether the ceremony would even go ahead as the Writer's Guild wouldn't grant the Tony Awards a waiver for the televised ceremony, but WGA eventually agreed not to picket the event and organisers agreed to go ahead without a script.
Tony Award nominations will be announced April 30.