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Interview: L Morgan Lee On Making History As The First Openly Transgender Tony Award Nominated Actress

Lee is nominated in the Actress in a Featured Role category for her role as Thought 1.

A Strange Loop

A Strange Loop's L Morgan Lee was making history nightly at the Lyceum Theatre when the production opened on Broadway, making her just the second openly transgender woman to originate a named role in a Broadway show. (The first was Head Over Heels' Peppermint as the production's Oracle in 2018.)

Now Lee has achieved another milestone for transgender performers on Broadway, becoming the first openly transgender actress to receive a Tony Award nomination.

Lee's nomination for Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical puts her in the company of Mr. Saturday Night's Shoshana Bean, The Music Man's Jayne Houdyshell, Girl From the North Country's Jeannette Bayardelle and Company's Patti LuPone and Jennifer Simard.

At an event for nominees this morning at Sofitel New York, Lee spoke to BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge about the nomination. When asked her reaction she said "I am over the moon and still in disbelief. I am still trying to wrap my feet around even getting to be on Broadway, so to have this new layer... it's cracked the glass ceiling, even for my expectations. I am moved, and excited, thrilled and scared. I feel a responsibility. It also really signals the hope that growth can come, that it is possible. "

"It means everything to me, it's the reason that I do what I do. I want for some kid, some young person... generations of people who have been trying to get through [to see] - so having one, or two, or three get a chance is a big deal."

A Strange Loop is directed by Stephen Brackett, choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly, and produced by Barbara Whitman, along with Page 73 Productions, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Playwrights Horizons.

The Broadway cast of A Strange Loop features Jaquel Spivey, in his Broadway debut, as Usher. He joins original cast members Antwayn Hopper (Thought 6), L Morgan Lee (Thought 1), John-Michael Lyles (Thought 3), James Jackson, Jr. (Thought 2), John-Andrew Morrison (Thought 4), and Jason Veasey (Thought 5). Understudies include Edwin Bates, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Jon-Michael Reese, and Mars Rucker.

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