VIDEO: Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee become first non-binary performers to win a Tony Award at Tony Awards 2023 KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Sunday, June 11, 2023

VIDEO: Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee become first non-binary performers to win a Tony Award at Tony Awards 2023

Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee become first non-binary performers to win a Tony Award at Tony Awards 2023.

“Thank you for the humanity. Thank you for my incredible company who raised me up every single day,” said leading actor in a musical winner Ghee, who stars in “Some Like It Hot,” the adaptation of the classic cross-dressing comedy film. The soulful Ghee stunned audiences with their voice and dance skills, playing a musician — on the run from gangsters — who tries on a dress and is transformed.

Newell, who plays Lulu — an independent, don’t-need-no-man whiskey distiller in “Shucked” — has been blowing audiences away with their signature number, “Independently Owned.” They won for best featured actor in a musical.

“I should not be up here as a queer, non-binary, fat, Black little baby from Massachusetts. And to anyone that thinks that they can’t do it, I’m going to look you dead in your face that you can do anything you put your mind to.”
Actors J. Harrison Ghee and Alex Newell have made history at this year’s Tony Awards, becoming the first openly nonbinary performers to win acting prizes. Ghee won lead actor (musical) for their performance as Jerry/Daphne in Casey Nicholaw’s “Some Like It Hot,” while Newell walked away with the featured actor (musical) statuette for their role as Lulu in Jack O’Brien’s “Shucked.”

In an interview with Variety, Ghee spoke about their decision to submit as lead actor at the Tonys and for this year’s Primetime Emmys for their performance in Fox’s anthology series “Accused.” “It’s not a gendered profession to me, and I was grateful to be asked for consideration on where I wanted to be viewed,” said Ghee. “Making that decision wasn’t hard on my spirit. It was just to be confident and intentional about my work and meeting the moment.”

The win comes with the Emmy nomination voting period opening this Thursday, June 15. Producer David Stone credited the musical’s writers for penning a magic trick, calling “Kimberly Akimbo” a “musical comedy about the fragility of life, so healing and so profound and joyous that is almost impossible.” The musical took home a leading five awards, including best book and score.

Earlier, Tony Awards history was made when Newell and Ghee became the first nonbinary people to win Tonys for acting. Last year, composer and writer Toby Marlow of “Six” became the first nonbinary Tony winner.

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