I was sitting at the Broadway revival of Spring Awakening, and Ali Stroker wheeled onstage and stole my heart. This girl can dance, act and sing anything. Whoever plays Ado Annie in Oklahoma! risks being seen as irritating or unfunny—two words no comedian (or actress) ever wants to hear. But she took the role and made it iconic.
Ali’s success tells us that the rules have changed. That through hard work, training and fearlessness, future Broadway actors and actresses with disabilities can also take center stage. And while there is no doubt she has inspired her community, she has inspired me as well. I was there in Radio City when she accepted her Tony Award. Through her training and love of the art, Ali will continue to change the face of musical theater. We love her and she is ours. Brava, diva!
Chenoweth is a Tony Award–winning actor