Broadway Star Takes Swipe At DeSantis | Column

Photo by the Tony Awards, via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo by the Tony Awards, via Wikimedia Commons.

Stand aside Inspector Javert, Broadway has a new villain.  



A reference to Ron DeSantis drew one of the biggest responses during the 76th Tony Awards.  

Actress Denée Benton took a thinly veiled swipe at DeSantis as she was presenting the Excellence in Theater Education Award during the annual awards show on June 11.  

In recognizing South Plantation High School teacher Jason Zembuch Young for the award, Benton called DeSantis “the current grand wizard” of the Sunshine State, adding she was sure he would be changing the name of Plantation immediately.  

The audience loved it, applauding with glee.  

Benton, a Florida native, has starred in several Broadway shows, most notably the musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 and is a member of the cast of HBO series The Guilded Age.  

DeSantis did not respond to Benton’s remarks. Florida Representative Michele Rayner didn’t think Benton was too far off base, tweeting: “But. Did. She. Lie?”  

Meanwhile, DeSantis took his Great American Comeback Tour down to the southern border in Arizona, where he accused the Biden administration of dereliction of duty. 

The tour also made a stop at a rodeo in Oklahoma. Issue-wise, DeSantis condemned the “weaponization of federal law enforcement” and offered condolences on the death of longtime anti-gay televangelist Pat Robertson. 


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