The musical phenomenon “Hamilton” won several major prizes, including best musical, at the 2016 Tony Awards, as actors of color won all the musical acting prizes for the first time in several decades, and as many paid tribute to the victims of Sunday's Orlando mass shooting
“Hamilton,” which was written and composed by and stars Lin-Manuel Miranda and tells the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, won the best musical prize and Leslie Odom Jr., who portrays Aaron Burr in the show, took the prize for Best Actor in a Musical. His co-stars, Daveed Diggs, who portrays the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, and Renee Elise Goldsberry, who portrays Mr. Hamilton’s sister-in-law and Angelica Schuyler, won awards for Best Featured Actor and Best Featured Actress, respectively. Thomas Kail won the award for Best Director of a Musical. Mr. Miranda won Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score.
Meanwhile, Cynthia Erivo won the award for Best Actress in a Musical for her appearance in the show “The Color Purple” and “The Humans” won the award for Best Play, while “A View From the Bridge” took the award for Best Revival of a Play. “Purple” won the award for Best Revival of a Musical.
Jessica Lange won the award for Best Actress in a Play for her work in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” while Frank Langella won the corresponding actor award for his appearance in the play “The Father.”
“The Humans” actor Reed Birney won the award for Best Featured Actor in a Play; his co-star Jayne Houdyshell won for Best Featured Actress in a Play for the same show.
Ivo Van Hove won the award for Best Director of a Play, for “A View From the Bridge.”
Many at the show referenced the recent shootings in Orlando, with Miranda, for one, using part of his acceptance speech to read a poem he had written. “When senseless acts of tragedy remind us/That nothing here is promised, not one day,” he read, “This show is proof that history remembers. We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger/We rise and fall, and light from dying embers/Remembrances that hope and love last longer/And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love;/Cannot be killed or swept aside.”
Following news of the shooting, those behind “Hamilton” had made the decision to stop using muskets during their Tonys performance of the songs “History Has Its Eyes on You” and “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down).”
Meanwhile, this year’s ceremony saw actors of color win all the musical acting prizes for the first time. The wins by Mr. Odom Jr., Ms. Erivo, Mr. Diggs, and Ms. Goldsberry were the first time this had ever occurred, prompting CBS’s “Late Late Show” host James Corden of to call the Tonys “the Oscars, but with diversity.”