Tony Award Winner J. Harrison Ghee Will Be Out of ‘Some Like It Hot’ for Six Weeks – Hollywood Reporter

Tony Award winner J. Harrison Ghee will be out of the musical Some Like It Hot for the next six weeks. 

The actor, who won a 2023 Tony Award for their portrayal of Jerry/Daphne in the musical, will take a break from the show as they undergo surgery “to address some issues that have arisen,” over a time span that they say could last “at least” six weeks. Ghee, who uses he/they pronouns, announced the news on Instagram, which was confirmed by the production, and encouraged audience members to come see their understudy DeMarius Copes in the interim. 

“I’m OK. I will be OK. I am so at peace and grateful for this moment of restoration, of healing to come,” Ghee said on Instagram. “And I hope that you will continue to support the incredible cast of Some Like It Hot at the Shubert Theatre and go see the incredible DeMarius Copes, who will be taking over the role while I am out.”

Ghee made history at the 2023 Tony Awards as first openly non-binary performer to win a Tony Award for leading role in a musical. Alex Newell, who also identifies as non-binary, similarly made history that night after winning a Tony Award for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical for their role in Shucked. 

In the musical, which is an adaptation of the MGM film, Ghee’s character begins the show as a man named Jerry, who disguises himself as a woman named Daphne while on the run from the mob. Later the character finds greater joy and authenticity in that gender expression than they did as a man. Ghee has been developing the role since the musical’s first reading in 2019. 

“It’s so special. I love the opportunity to be a mirror for people so that they can free themselves to see themselves in much bigger and different places than they ever imagined for themselves. And I think there’s a little Daphne in everybody. You’ve just got to give yourself that permission to be free,” Ghee told The Hollywood Reporter after the nomination. 

The show, which features a book by Amber Ruffin and Matthew Lopez, a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw, has been running at the Shubert Theatre since Nov. 1, 2022.

The cast includes Christian Borle, Adrianna Hicks, Kevin Del Aguila, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Adam Heller and Mark Lotito.

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