All of the LGBTQ+ theatre icons who smashed it out of the park at this year’s Tony Awards

Sarah Paulson and Jonathan Groff with their Tony awards

The 2024 Tony Awards proved a monumental night for LGBTQ+ theatre stars.

The 77th annual Tony Awards ceremony, celebrating the best of the year’s theatre, took place at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City on Sunday (16 June).

With “Angela Bassett Did the Thing” queer icon Ariana DeBose hosting for the third year, the Tonys proved a star-studded night with numerous LGBTQ+ winners. 

Jonathan Groff — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Jonathan Groff on stage accepting his Tony Award
Jonathan Groff won Best Leading Actor in a Musical. (Theo Wargo/Getty)

Finally! Glee star and theatre prince Jonathan Groff is the proud winner of a very overdue Tony Award.

The 39-year-old won Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his performance as Franklin in Merrily We Roll Along.

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Groff broke down in tears as he accepted the Tony Award with an emotional speech where he thanked his parents for his upbringing. 

“Thank you for letting me dress up like Mary Poppins when I was three. Thank you for letting me act out scenes from I Love Lucy on my 10th birthday.

“Thank you for always allowing my freak flag to fly without ever making me feel weird about it. Even if they didn’t always understand me, my family knew the life-saving power of fanning the flame of a young person’s passions without judgment.”

Groff added that “musical theater is still saving my soul.”

Groff’s Merrily We Roll Along co-star, Harry Potter alum and trans rights supporter Daniel Radcliffe, won Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: and Groff tearfully thanked Radcliffe as well, calling him his “soulmate”.

Sarah Paulson — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Sarah Paulson on stage accepting her Tony Award.
Sarah Paulson won Best Leading Actress in a Play. (Theo Wargo/Getty)

American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson won a Tony Award following her first-ever nomination.

The 49-year-old queer icon won the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for her performance as Toni in the play Appropriate.

She was up against Betsy Aidem, Jessica Lange, Rachel McAdams and Amy Ryan.

Paulson’s date to the Tonys was her actress girlfriend Holland Taylor, 81. The pair took to the red carpet in coordinating black and white looks ahead of the ceremony.

When the news of Paulson’s nomination broke Paulson’s long-term partner shared the news on her Instagram page alongside the heartwarming caption: “Permanent Post. So worthy – of all good things. And of all my love.”

Paulson replied: “I love you completely.”

Paulson also honoured Holland in her acceptance speech, she began: “Holland, thank you for loving me.”

She went on to note that it was a “childhood” dream of hers to win a Tony award.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins — Best Revival of a Play

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins posing on the carpet with his Tony Award
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins won the Best Revival of a Play award. (Eugene Gologursky/Getty)

American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins accepted the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play for Appropriate

The darkly comic production, starting Paulson, centres on a white family discovering some disturbing artefacts in their late father’s estate that leave them to confront their family’s past.

The 39-year-old has a hugely impressive career; he is a MacArthur Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, an Obie winner, and a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Six years ago, he married the actor and cabaret artist Cheo Bourne, whom he met by chance at a performance of Bootycandy, a collection of sketches that interconnect to portray growing up gay and black. The couple have a daughter who was born in 2021.

David Adjmi — Best Play

David Adjmi posing with his Tony Award
David Adjmi won the Best Play award. (Kristina Bumphrey/Getty)

American playwright David Adjmi took home the coveted Tony Award for Best Play for Stereophonic.

The three-hour production, which follows a fictional band in the 1970s trying to record a hit album, became the most nominated play in history with 13 Tony Awards.

Premiering Off-Broadway in 2024 the show transferred to Broadway, at the John Golden Theatre, in early 2024. 

Out of the 13 nominations, Stereophonic took home five wins as well as Best Play: Best Featured Actor in a Play, Best Direction of a Play, Best Scenic Design and Best Sound Design.

David Adjmi is also the author of a memoir, Lot Six, which vividly portrays his growing up as a gay man in Syrian Jewish Brooklyn.

Tom Scutt — Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Tom Scutt won a 2024 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club.

A designer in the theatre world, speaking to Playbill, Scutt shared his intention behind this production was to balance “ferocity of spirit and queer joy.”

Reflecting on growing up queer, Scutt noted he “found there was more going on in me than the sorts of worlds that I’ve been brought up into could offer. I’m always looking for ways to subvert things within the confines of what we are given.”

Well done to all of these LGBTQ+ trailblazers who won big at the 2024 Tony Awards!

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