(NEW YORK) — Tonight is the Tony Awards, and the red-hot hit Hamilton has earned a record 16 nominations, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Hamilton creator and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who’s now a huge celebrity. Idina Menzel, another Broadway performer who went from starring in a game-changing musical to becoming a household name, says she knows how Miranda must feel.
“I can see why…I saw it, it’s amazing, it’s groundbreaking,” Idina told ABC Radio when asked why people are so crazy about Hamilton, which tells the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton with a multi-racial cast and a hip-hop-flavored score.
“I’m an original Rent cast member,” noted Idina. “so I remember how that felt, to come from a show that seemed to really break ground in that way and change people’s perception of musical theater.”
“I’m also a friend of Lin’s,” Idina added. “And it’s just wonderful to see people have their moment, you know?”
Idina knows what that’s like, too: since her days in Rent, she’s gone on to star in a number of other Broadway shows, TV series and major movies, hit the top 10 on the Billboard chart with “Let It Go,” sung on the Oscars and become an Internet meme as “Adele Dazeem.”
Other well-known stars who are up for Tonys tonight include Lupita Nyong’o, Jessica Lange, Michelle Williams, Jane Krakowski, Frank Langella, Zachary Levi, Michael Shannon, Danielle Brooks, and Jeff Daniels.
In addition, Steve Martin, and singers Edie Brickell and Sara Bareilles are among the nominees in the Best Original Score category for the musicals Bright Star — which Martin and Brickell wrote together — and Waitress, respectively. On Your Feet!, the show based on the life of singer Gloria Estefan, received one nod.
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