From Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’ hit roles to ‘A Bronx Tale.’
BY SUSAN JOHNES
Ariana Debose, currently starring as Jane, is the leading lady in the Broadway musical ‘A Bronx Tale.’ The 26-year-old star moved to the Big Apple in 2011, when she was just 19 and has been on the fast-track since joining.
‘A Bronx Tale’ is based on the 1993 movie. It depicts life in an Italian-American community during the turbulent era of the 1960s. The production is directed by Robert DeNiro, a two-time Academy Award winner, and Jerry Zaks, a four-time Tony Award winner.
DeBose joined the team after her successful run in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, which is an American Musical that broke box office records and changed the course of musical theater.
Hamilton received an unprecedented 16 Tony Awards nominations. It won 11 awards, including Best Musical. Additionally, Hamilton won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Grammy Award for Best Theater Album.
DeBose says she had a lifetime experience, getting involved with the show from its early stages during the developmental workshop.
DeBose added that it was her joy to join the cast of ‘A Bronx Tale’ and work in close collaboration with DeNiro and Zaks. She said that it was incredible to cooperate with both of them as they proved a great team.
Before DeBose’s role in ‘A Bronx Tale,’ she was cast primarily as a dancer and as an ensemble member. When she arrived in New York at 19 years old, DeBose figured out quickly that she could often work if she got involved in doing a lot of different things.
She said, “If I could not just dance, sing and act, I could as a young person, be in their ensemble. I could work, and be more valuable if I could also play a part-time lead. That’s how I look at understanding it. It is like you are a part-time lead,” she said.
DeBose is currently focused on her role as a leading lady. She has eight shows a week and limited time to explore other opportunities. She added that she is taking her time to enjoy every bit of the work.
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