Ariana DeBose Reveals She Once Snuck into Tony Awards Afterparties, Shares Throwback Snap

Broadway star Ariana DeBose commented "Look how far we've come" after musical director Benjamin Rauhala shared a snap of them from eight years ago

Ariana DeBose Once Snuck into Tony Awards Afterparties Before Being a Host: 'Look How Far We've Come'
Photo: Benjamin Rauhala Instagram

Ariana DeBose is reflecting on her journey in the Broadway world!

Just hours before hosting the 75th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, the Oscar-winning actress took her fans down memory lane as she posted a story from her friend, musical director Benjamin Rauhala, about when she snuck into the Tony Awards afterparties.

"Eight years ago, @arianadebose were sitting on the couch in Harlem watching @thetonyawards and decided to throw on our best outfits and sneak into the afterparties. 😂," Rauhala wrote in the Instagram caption alongside a picture of himself and DeBose, 31, from the said night.

Ariana DeBose Once Snuck into Tony Awards Afterparties Before Being a Host: 'Look How Far We've Come'
Ariana DeBose Instagram

"Tonight's road map is…a little different. 😉," he continued. "Tune in at 8pm on @cbstv to see what she, @crodees1, and I have been cooking up with @thetobymarlow, @mucyloss, @sarahogleby, and @alacamoire. 🥰"

"We can't wait to share it with you!!!" he added.

DeBose also shared the post via her Instagram Story as she tagged Rauhala with the caption, saying, "LOOK HOW FAR WE'VE COME! LOVE YOU."

While speaking to PEOPLE this week ahead of her hosting gig at the Radio City Music Hall, DeBose shared that her mother Gina, partner Sue Makkoo and her best friend Jonathan Cobrda will be attending the show to cheer her on.

"Miss Gina will be there! My best friend, Jonathan Cobrda, [who was] my prom date, goes to everything," the actress said. "My partner will be in the house as well. She has designed the costumes for the opening number."

Ariana DeBose attends the 2022 TIME100 Gala
Udo Salters/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

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DeBose added, "She's a very talented costume designer. I'm excited for her work to be seen on stage."

All three were on hand when DeBose took home the Oscar earlier this year for her performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story. Her mother was the first person she hugged before taking the stage to accept her award, while Cobrda and Makkoo cheered from the audience.

Having them there to celebrate with her was "so special," she recalled. "What's crazy is that I didn't party like a rock star that night. I really didn't. I went to the Vanity Fair party. I had such a beautiful time there, and I thought I was gonna stay out to all hours of the night. And you know what I wanted? I wanted to get on the bus and sit with my people and hold their hand and eat pizza. And that's what I did."

"I haven't changed, that's the point," she added.

DeBose, who got her start in the theater — and even performed with two different shows, Bring it On and Motown, at the first Tonys she attended — is "still the same person" she's always been, just with "better hair" and "better clothes," she joked.

She admitted she "never thought" she would be the one from the Broadway community to represent theatrical artists in the mainstream. "Not the girl from the ensemble!" she said. "But I think it's cool that it is."

RELATED: Ariana DeBose is "Floored By Her Journey" from Small Town Theater to Acting in West Side Story

The 75th annual Tony Awards will air live coast-to-coast from the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 12 beginning at 8 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast live on both CBS and Paramount+.

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