Rising Broadway Star Earns First Tony Nomination, Takes the Theater World by Storm

May 15, 2023 : Bonnie Milligan, the talented actress who moved from a small town in Ohio to pursue her dreams in New York City, found inspiration in the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Upon her arrival in the city, she played the song “Not For The Life Of Me,” resonating with the character’s determination to live a fulfilling life. Fast forward to May 2023, and Milligan has made her mark on Broadway, earning a Tony nomination for her role in the musical “Kimberly Akimbo.”

“Kimberly Akimbo,” written by David Lindsay-Abaire with music by Jeanine Tesori, transports audiences to a pre-cellphone world in 1999. The story revolves around Kimberly Levaco, a New Jersey teenager facing unique challenges. She appears much older than her peers because of a fictional ageing disease. Additionally, she grapples with a dysfunctional family, including an alcoholic father and a hypochondriac mother. However, Kimberly finds solace in her friendship with Seth, a caring companion.

In the production, Milligan portrays Aunt Debra, a con artist seeking assistance for her grand scheme. Through her character’s anthem song, “Better,” she imparts valuable advice to Kimberly, encouraging her to seize opportunities and take control of her life. Milligan deeply loves Kimberly’s character and appreciates the connection she shares with her co-star, Victoria Clark.

Aunt Debra is a complex and multifaceted character, portrayed as a survivor who has faced adversity. As the story unfolds, a significant event prompts her to flee town, driving the urgency for a quick scam to secure the necessary funds. Milligan’s compelling performance has already garnered recognition, winning the 2022 Lucille Lortel Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination.

In a recent press event introducing the Tony nominees, Milligan reflected on her journey and expressed gratitude. When asked about her Tony Awards date, she expressed excitement while keeping the details under wraps.

Bonnie Milligan’s remarkable trajectory from a small town to Broadway, combined with her talent and dedication, has propelled her to the forefront of the theatre world. With her Tony nomination and captivating performances, she continues to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression on the stage.