The best and brightest of the Broadway world came together in New York last for the Tony Awards. James Corden hosted the event for the second time, kicked things off with a nine minute opening number. Ali Stroker made history on the night, by being the first wheelchair using actor to win a Tony Award, for her role in Oklahoma.
Ali Stroker, a 31-year-old New Jersey native, was two years old when she lost the use of her legs in a car accident. She has been active in theatre since she was seven, when her next-door neighbour cast her in the title role for a backyard production of “Annie.” Her disability has by no mean held her back, telling the New York Times:
I find it to be fascinating that often people don’t think I can dance. Who says that dance isn’t turning on wheels? Who says dancing isn’t throwing your arms up in the air and grabbing someone else’s arms to be propelled across the stage?
— Stephanie Radke (@StephARadke) June 10, 2019
— Madelyn (@MaddyGayle113) June 10, 2019
— broadway.com (@broadwaycom) June 10, 2019
And Oklahoma! becomes the first musical of the night to do exactly the right number. That's Ali Stroker who you'll all be talking about tomorrow.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) June 10, 2019
Still crying in this audience after watching @ALISTROKER win ten minutes ago. Can’t pull it together. What an incredible person, an incredible moment.
— Alex Wyse (@alexwyse) June 10, 2019
Hadestown was the big winner on the night, taking home 8 awards from 14 nominations, including Best Musical.