J. Harrison Ghee, a Fayetteville native, made history today, becoming one of the first nonbinary-identifying actors to ever be nominated at the Tony Awards.
Ghee is a graduate of E.E. Smith High School, and has had a successful career as an actor and stage performer. They are nominated for Lead Actor for the role of Daphne and Jerry in the Broadway adaptation of the 1959 film “Some Like It Hot.”
“I’m thrilled! It has been a fantastic journey to portray Jerry/Daphne, and I’ve been overwhelmed — in a good way — to see how audiences have received these characters,” Ghee said in a statement. “I’m thankful to every member of this production for creating such an affirming space where I get to show the complexity of this human and go on a beautiful ride every time the curtains go up. I’m grateful to the committee for recognizing this work. It’s a moment I will cherish forever.”
Ghee has serious competition in the Tony Awards Best Actor category, with Josh Groban (“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”), Brian d’Arcy James (“Into the Woods”), Ben Platt (“Parade”), Colton Ryan (“New York, New York”) and cast-mate Christian Borle (“Some Like It Hot) also nominated for Lead Actor.
“Someone else’s labels or limits are not going to bound me and my ability to do anything,” Ghee told Elle Magazine in an interview earlier this year. “My artistry and the work will speak for itself. What anybody claims or puts on is extra, and they’re trying to place someone else’s experience on me. I’m here to be intentional about my ministry and my work.”
“Some Like It Hot” was a smash on Broadway, and leads all nominees with 13 nominations. It is up for Best New Musical, Best Leading Actor (x2), Best Featured Actor, Best Featured Actress, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, Best Orchestrations, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical, and Best Lighting of a Musical.
The 76th Tony Awards are scheduled for June 11 at United Palace in New York City, and will air on CBS at 8 p.m.