Ariana DeBose Dazzles as She Sings and Dances to Kick Off 2024 Tony Awards: 'This Party's for You'

Ariana DeBose hosted the Broadway awards ceremony previously in 2022 and 2023, marking her third year in a row

Third time’s the charm when it comes to hosting the Tony Awards for Ariana DeBose!

The Oscar winner opened the 2024 show with a bang at the Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater in New York City on Sunday, June 16. DeBose, 33, co-choreographed with Julius Anthony Rubio the high-energy number, which kicked off with dancers holding a newspaper announcing on its front page her third time hosting.

The lyrics in the high-energy number honored theater makers and the art that inspired them, with DeBose — in a glittery gold ensemble — and an ensemble of performers belting, "This party's for you!" The West Side Story actress ended the number by dropping backwards off a platform. Stepping out to deliver an inspiring opening monologue, DeBose revealed with a smile she was wearing "vintage Bob Mackie."

"Truth is told onstage every night — and twice on matinee days," she quipped. "The theater is a safe place for us all. 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."

<p>Theo Wargo/Getty</p> Ariana DeBose onstage at the Tony Awards June 16

Theo Wargo/Getty

Ariana DeBose onstage at the Tony Awards June 16

She also promised that the night's ceremony and all of its musical production numbers will be "live, right in front of you," with "no VR glasses needed, 'cuz we don't do that here."

Related: Ariana DeBose Says She's Learned to 'Be Present' Through Love and Loss: 'I Keep My Feet On the Ground' (Exclusive)

DeBose was thrilled when she was offered the emcee role of Broadway’s most prestigious awards show for the third year in a row, which was announced in March.

“I couldn’t pass up the chance to host the Tonys one more time at Lincoln Center," the actress said at the time. "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."

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Ariana DeBose at the Tony Awards June 16
Ariana DeBose at the Tony Awards June 16

Related: Alicia Keys, Jim Parsons and More 2024 Tony Awards Hopefuls React to Their Nominations: 'This Is Wild'

Stereophonic has the most Tony nominations of the plays considered. It takes place in 1970s California as a rock band inches towards its big break and includes original music composed by Arcade Fire's Will Butler. Stereophonic is up for best play, best direction, best featured actor and best featured actress.

The jukebox musical Hell’s Kitchen, which was inspired by Alicia Keys’ life and is set to her music, was nominated for best musical, best performance by a leading actress in a musical and best choreography, among other awards.

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<p>Theo Wargo/Getty </p> Tony Awards logo in 2023

Theo Wargo/Getty

Tony Awards logo in 2023

Related: Alicia Keys Talks 'Cathartic' Experience of Watching Her Life Story in Broadway’s Hell’s Kitchen (Exclusive)

Major television and film stars were also nominated. Sarah Paulson, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Redmayne, Gayle Rankin, Jessica Lange, Jim Parsons, Amy Ryan, Liev Schreiber, Jonathan Groff, Daniel Radcliffe, Bebe Neuwirth and Rachel McAdams are among those who could leave the award show with a Tony in hand.

This isn’t the first time DeBose has made headlines opening an awards show. At the 2023 BAFTAs, she kicked off the London-based ceremony with a rap dedicated to other female nominees, in which the lyrics “Angela Bassett did the thing” broke the internet overnight.

The Hamilton actress also hosted the Tony Awards in 2022 and 2023, most recently flinging herself down a flight of stairs in her opening number.

The 77th Tony Awards are airing live on CBS and Paramount+.

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