Tony Awards 2015: 'Fun Home' Star Sydney Lucas on Singing Sexual Discovery Song "Ring of Keys"

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Sydney Lucas

"People need to be allowed to be who they actually are," she told THR before the performance. "They can't be who somebody else wants them to be. How is it gonna hurt you? Just let them be who they want to be."

Sydney Lucas can't help it -— she's nervous about performing "Ring of Keys" from Fun Home at the 2015 Tony Awards.

"The sheer size of the venue! Oh my gosh, what's going on?" the featured actress in a musical nominee told The Hollywood Reporter of singing at Radio City Music Hall — a huge contrast from Broadway's intimated Circle in the Square Theatre and the Public Theatre off-Broadway. "But when I first got on that stage, I felt the presence of everyone who had performed there before me, and it made me feel a lot more comfortable."

Lucas portrays the youngest iteration of lead character Alison Bechdel in the Sam Gold-directed production about coming out, coming of age and coming to grips with the past. It is the first Broadway show centering on a lesbian protagonist, and it nabbed 12 nominations.

Despite the pressure, the 11-year-old isn't apprehensive about how her sexuality-discovering ballad from the critically acclaimed musical will play with audiences at home.

"People need to be allowed to be who they actually are," she said, frankly. "They can't be who somebody else wants them to be. I don't know why people care about, 'Oh no, you can't like this person.' I don't understand because I don't know what hurts someone else if a person likes somebody. How is it gonna hurt you? Just let them be who they want to be."

Composer Jeanine Tesori told THR of choosing that relatively subtle song for the televised ceremony, "To me, sometimes in an awards show, less is more. When you stop for one thing that packs a punch, I think it's a smart thing for us to do." Also, of the second-act song, "People misconstrue that as a love song, and it's not; it's identification. Perhaps someone will see themselves in her."

And what advice did she give little Lucas on delivering the production's major Tonys moment? "I told her what I tell all girls about anything: Everything to share and nothing to prove."

Hosted by Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming, the Broadway-lauding awards show also included a 10th-anniversary celebration of Jersey Boys as well as performances by the casts of Gigi, Finding Neverland, The King and I, Something Rotten!, The Visit, It Shoulda Been You, An American in Paris, On the Twentieth Century and On the Town.

Twitter: @cashleelee

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