Jonathan Groff Delivers Stunning & Emotional Speech After Winning First Tony

Jonathan Groff Delivers Stunning & Emotional Speech After Winning First Tony
Image: Source: IMDb

Following three nominations throughout his career, Jonathan Groff finally won his first Tony Award yesterday for the Broadway revival of Merrily We Roll Along, and delivered a deeply emotional speech.

Groff was first nominated for a Tony back in 2007 for the role of Melchior Gabor in Spring Awakening on Broadway, and again in 2015 for Hamilton as King George III. 

Now, Groff has finally secured the prestigious award for the highly acclaimed Merrily We Roll Along, which also won Best Musical Revival at the show. Taking to the stage to accept the award, Groff’s speech ensured that there would be no dry eyes left in the audience. 

He began by thanking his parents and reflecting on his life growing up in Pennsylvania: “Thank you for letting me dress up as Mary Poppins when I was 3, thank you for letting me act out scenes from I Love Lucy on my 10th birthday, thank you for always allowing my freak flag to fly without ever making me feel weird about it.” 

“Even if they didn’t always understand me,” Groff continued, “my family knew the lifesaving power of fanning the flame of a young person’s passions without judgement. I walk through life with an open heart because you let me know that I could; thank you, I love you.” 

“My family knew the lifesaving power of fanning the flame of a young person’s passion without judgement”

The actor then thanked his teachers back home, and reflected on his career so far – even shouting out everyone part of his first musical. “Thank you to everyone involved in Spring Awakening, who not only made that dream come true, but also inspired me to come out of the closet when I was 23.”

“I’m now 39, and musical theatre is still saving my soul,” he said.  

Groff expressed his gratitude while holding back tears to director Maria Friedman for casting him in the role of Franklin Shepard, and to castmates Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez, who he called “more than old friends; you are soulmates, and I’m looking forward to watching each other change for the rest of our lives.” 

With his final words, Groff told the audience that he used to record the Tony Awards as a kid and watch the performances, before concluding: “To be a part of making theatre in this city, and [be able] to watch the work of this incredible, incredible community has been the greatest gift and pleasure of my life, and I thank you. And thank you so much for this honour.”

Reactions to Jonathan Groff’s huge win

Musical fans were absolutely elated to see Jonathan Groff finally win his first Tony Award, which many described as the Broadway equivalent to Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning his Oscar back in 2015. 

BuzzFeed’s Spencer Althouse praised the highly emotive speech saying: “I’m gonna need every future award winner to take notes from Jonathan Groff’s Tonys speech, because damnnnnnn.” 

Others clearly felt the emotions, too. “Just cried my eyes out at work, you’re so beloved Jonathan Groff,” said one Twitter/X user

“I am so happy for Jonathan Groff! He seems like such a sweet soul and is so insanely talented,” said another user. “This is an absolutely lovely acceptance speech and yes, he had me in tears. Congrats!!”

User @oddieodelia echoed a similar sentiment: “God I was not expecting to be crying first thing in the morning when I woke up. So happy and proud of him, this is SO overdue. Jonathan is such a treasure.” 

The moment where co-star Daniel Radcliffe (also a Tony Award winner on the night) ran to embrace Groff on his way to the stage was additionally celebrated by fans. 

Congratulations to Jonathan Groff on his well-deserved, overdue Tony Award win!

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