And the Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical goes to… L Morgan Lee!
(And also the fabulous Jennifer Simard, Patti LuPone, Jeannette Bayardelle, Shoshana Bean, and Jayne Houdyshell. But back to Lee…)
L Morgan Lee has made history today, May 9, 2022, as the first openly trans artist to earn a Tony nomination in an acting category. Her work in Michael R. Jackson’s “A Strange Loop” as “Thought 1” has received recognition since the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical premiered off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 2019. Now Ms. Lee is a part of the most Tony-nominated production of the season having earned one of the show’s eleven total nominations.
According to Playbill.com, Lee shared that she can’t stop crying. She said,
“this nomination is SO much bigger than me. I hope someone will see this moment and feel…that they will keep striving to love and embrace the fullest version of who they are.”
A Strange Loop
“A Strange Loop” has also been nominated for the following Tony Awards: Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Orchestrations, and Best Musical.
Lead actor Jaquel Spivey’s breakout performance was also nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Musical for his work as “Usher.” A recent college graduate in his professional performance debut, Spivey’s critically- acclaimed work is already deserving of much recognition.
Lee, on the other hand, is no stranger to the stage. Having already earned an Obie Award and the 2021 Mark O’Donnell Prize, Lee continues to ooze stardom. She is currently developing a musical adaptation of “The Danish Girl,” playing the titular role, in the U.K.
Visibility For Trans Artists
In her bio on the “A Strange Loop” website, Lee includes the quote, “She needed a hero, so that’s what she became.”
L Morgan Lee certainly is a hero. She is an inspiration to trans artists and everyone who has seen her work. This exciting nomination just proves what we already know: L Morgan Lee is not only paving the way, she’s here to stay. This level of trans visibility in the theater community will open doors for trans artists everywhere. The team of Broadway‘s “A Strange Loop” already knew she was a star. The rest of the world is about to see why.
Go L Morgan Lee!