Down the Rabbit Hole: Ariana DeBose
Look, we have all done it. Gone on YouTube for one video and all of a sudden it's five hours later — where did the time go?! All this week here at Theatrely we are buckling in and diving down the rabbit hole to celebrate this year’s Best Featured Actresses in a Musical nominees at the Tony Awards.
You're in for a special and unique treat today. Up today is the legend herself, Ariana DeBose, who is hosting the 76th Annual Tony Awards for the second time. We did our journalistic duty by scouring the internet for [redacted] hours to find our favorite clips of the iconic actress. Here's what we came up with:
I would feel absolutely WRONG if we didn't start with Debose's legendary performance from the BAFTA Opening 2023. This iconic video attracted a lot of media attention, and rightfully so. I must have watched this video a hundred times, and it has appeared on my TikTok For You Page more times than I can count. The inflections and lyrics are just so clever and catchy. Unquestionably, Ariana "did the thing."
Ariana certainly brought the house down with her rendition of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." DeBose not only embodied this timeless song, but she also transformed it into her own, and her confidence shines through the screen! It's easy to imitate someone else's style, but what's not as easy is finding ways to be unique — Ariana clearly worked hard to put her own twist on the tune.
How could we not include a clip from Ariana's iconic performance as Anita in the 2021 film adaptation of "West Side Story"? Ariana completely kills this number. Rita Moreno's performance in this role was certainly iconic, so she had a lot to live up to. DeBose not only excelled in this role, but she also managed to make it her own. During this iconic film, I swear I was sobbing in the theater!
Tears. Five stars. Nothing more to say.
I am a huge Saturday Night Live girly, and this skit is fantastic. Ariana is a natural comedic television personality with stellar comedic timing. Someone please cast Ariana in a revival of The Sound of Music! That is something I would pay good money to see.
Just take my word for it and watch this video. Nothing else can be said. Knowing how far Ariana has come, it's strange to see her in this eight-year-old video looking so young and meek! DeBose's comedic twists and acting choices make this mashup a lot of fun to watch and are definitely a Debose signature!
We MUST conclude with this powerhouse of a song! Ariana DeBose performing "The Wizard and I"? What could possibly be better? It is abundantly clear that Ariana has greatly improved in both confidence and skill when contrasting this video with the one that was previously mentioned above. I'm so excited to see what DeBose has in store for us on Sunday!