(NEW YORK) — To the surprise of no one, Hamilton was the big winner at the 2016 Tony Awards, broadcast live from New York City’s Beacon Theatre on Sunday night, with 11 trophies, including Best Musical.
The mega-hit ended up just one award shy of breaking the record of 12 Tony Awards, set by The Producers.
While Sunday was a night for celebrating the best of Broadway over the past year, the evening didn’t go by without acknowledging the mass killings that took place at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend.
Host James Corden opened the show with a heartfelt speech to Orlando residents, assuring them, “Your tragedy is our tragedy. The theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced and is loved. Hate will never win. Together, we have to make sure of that.”
Winner for Best Original Score for Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, addressed the killings in his acceptance speech, noting that “senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day.” He became visibly choked up as he declared, “Love is love is love is love is love. It cannot be killed or swept aside.”
Jessica Lange, who took home her first Tony for Best Leading Actress in a Play for Long Day’s Journey into Night, said the victory “fills her with happiness, even on such a sad day as this.”
Four-time Tony winner Frank Langella, winner for Best Actor in a Play for The Father, also acknowledged the tragedy, noting in his acceptance speech, “Today in Orlando, we had a hideous dose of reality, and I urge you, Orlando, to be strong, because I’m standing in a room full of the most generous human beings on Earth, and we will be with you every step of the way.”
Before announcing Hamilton as the winner for Best Musical, Barbra Streisand told the audience, “Tonight our joy is tinged with sorrow, but we’re here to celebrate Broadway and the beauty that artistry can bring into this world.
“The artists that write the plays, the composers and the lyricists who write the songs, and the actors who bring them to life. Art can entertain us and educate us, and in times like these, console us.”
Also of note, the cast of Hamilton did not carry muskets, normally part of the prize-winning musical, during their performance of “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down),” due to the Orlando shooting.
Of course, with Corden at the wheel, there were also plenty of funny moments. Hamilton stars Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos and Okieriete Onaodowan introduced the Late Late Show host. However, Alexander Hamilton was replaced by “James Corden.”
During a brief monologue, Corden noted, “Think of the Tonys as the Oscars, but a little more diverse.” Indeed, the Tonys later noted that for the first time, all four musical acting awards went to people of color.
Corden also promised that “tonight’s show will not be all about Hamilton, joking, “There will also be some commercial breaks.” Next, he launched into a musical number honoring Broadway’s biggest musicals, featuring the 20 nominated musical actors.
In another comedy segment, Corden joked that the success of shows about historical figures have been so successful, more are being planned for later this year. He introduced Book of Mormon star Andrew Rannells, who portrayed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the fictitious play “Book of Moron.” Glenn Close played presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a Chorus Line parody titled “A Clinton Line.”
The night’s other winners included:
Reed Birney — Best Featured Actor in a Play/The Humans
Daveed Diggs — Best Featured Actor in a Musical/Hamilton
Renée Elise Goldsberry — Best Featured Actress in a Musical/Hamilton
Leslie Odom, Jr. — Best Lead Actor in a Musical/Hamilton
Cynthia Erivo — Best Lead Actress in a Musical/The Color Purple
Jayne Houdyshell — Best Featured Actress in a Play/The Humans
The Humans — Best Play
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