Update: 6/11/23 — Alex Newell is the first non-binary artist to officially win a Tony Award. “I don’t have to be a weird, non-binary, fat, black, little kid from Massachusetts,” the artist said during his acceptance speech. “And to anyone who thinks they can’t do it, I’m going to look you dead in the face and tell you that you can do anything you set your mind to.”
Origin story: No doubt given! Alex Newell is making history with its 2023 Tony Award nomination.
Broadway star, 30, plays Lulu in new musical comedy astounded, which opened in New York City in April after its 2022 run in Salt Lake City. When the nominations for the 76th Annual Tony Awards were announced on Tuesday, May 2, Newell became the first gender non-conforming performer to earn a nod in the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical category.
“It’s a hot topic, isn’t it?” they teased during an interview with Diversity published a week before the announcement, indicating which category they chose to recognise. “I was basing on the English language. The norm has always been a man as an actor and a woman as an actress. And I don’t like that. Because when I say I am an actor, I mean it is my profession, the craft that I have studied, the craft that I am doing. Everyone who acts is an actor. He is genderless.
Newell said they “appreciate” the separation between actor and actress in order to give more actors “a real fighting chance” to take home the trophy. “If we can build that, we can build more lanes for other people who don’t want to stick to those two categories,” he said. “I think I’m choosing actors that, I hope, will have a spark to use that word as it was for the art of acting.”
While the singer called other non-stars “commendable” for considering the awards as a form of protest — such as yellow jacket, liv hewson Recently did – he also urged the industry to make changes. “This should be a wake-up call. Change is inevitable and it will happen, but we need to move a little faster.”
Shaked isn’t Newell’s first Broadway venture – but he’s never prepared for a Tony before. “My whole first time on Broadway was, ‘You were duped,'” he told Playbill in March, referring to the 2017 revival. once upon a time on this island, which garnered nods in all major categories except Best Actor. “Everywhere I went, and I was the same [hearing], No, ‘Hello, Alex how are you.’ It was always, ‘Oh, how awful.’ The rationalization I was given was, ‘Well, we didn’t know what category to put you in. You are completely different. Was it going to make me feel better or worse?
Newell celebrated his major accomplishment after Tuesday’s nomination was announced. “I went to the Met Gala at 8 PM and 13 hours later I was Tony nominated!!!! I’m sick!” They swept through Instagram. “Wearing @csiriano was iconic!!! With @alexander_armand on hair and @kellybellevue on makeup I couldn’t have asked for a better team!!! @jennyandersonphoto you know how to capture a mothershaking moment!!!! “
As astoundedKa Lulu – a headstrong whiskey distiller – Newell brings down the house each night with his show-stopping performance of “Independently Owned”, often earning a standing ovation halfway through the first act.
“I don’t notice it sometimes. … A few nights ago, there was someone in dead center, right behind the conductor who was making a queen and yelling ‘Yeah, Alex, you do better! You better sing!’ he recalled Diversity, “It was louder than me, and I had a microphone. It was tough because it was such a funny moment.
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Scroll down to learn more about Newell ahead of the 2023 Tonys in June: