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Tony Awards Honors Florida Victims; 'Hamilton' Wins 11 Categories

Amidst the darkness looming over the nation following Sunday's shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Broadway's brightest stars shone at the 70th annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

Host James Corden and the night's biggest winners paid emotional tribute to the 50 lives tragically lost and the more than 50 people wounded.

Earlier in the day, organizers had released a statement saying that the show would go on and be dedicated to the families and friends of those affected by the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.


"Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando," the organizers said.

Corden, host of The Late Late Show opened the ceremony with a brief message about the mass shooting:

"Good evening. All around the world, people are trying to come to terms with the horrific events that took place in Orlando this morning. On behalf of the whole theater community and every person in this room, our hearts go out to all of those affected by that atrocity. All we can say is you are not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy. 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. Tonight's show stands as a symbol and a celebration of that principle. This is the Tony Awards."

Leading up to theater's biggest night, the buzz had been all about Hamilton, a hip hop musical about Alexander Hamilton that had received a record 16 nominations. The smash hit play, which casts people of color as the nation's Founding Fathers, won 11 awards, falling short of a record haul by two.

Among its wins were the coveted best musical award for creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, presented by the iconic Barbra Streisand, who was making her first Tony appearance in 46 years. One of the musical's stars, Leslie Odom Jr., also took a top prize, capturing best actor in a Leading Role. It was his first Tony.

Also winning her first Tony was Cynthia Erivo, taking the nod for best leading actress in a musical for her performance in The Color Purple.


Jessica Lange won leading actress in a play for Long Day's Journey Into Night, while Frank Langella copped his fourth Tony in a career that spans 50 years on Broadway, for best leading actor in a play for his role in The Father. In accepting his award, Langella said he'd forgo "thank you's," and focused instead on Orlando, Fla.

"When something bad happens, we have three choices. We let it define us, we let it destroy us or we let it strengthen us. Today in Orlando, we had a dose of reality. ... I urge you, Orlando, to be strong," Langella said.

Another winner of note was Stephen Karam's The Humans for best play, the pre-show fan favorite for that award. A View From the Bridge won Best Revival of a Play, while The Color Purple took the Tony for best revival of a musical.

The event featured its customary performances from nominated musicals by cast members, including master composer Andrew Lloyd Weber on tambourine and a bellyful of laughter thanks to host Corden. But amidst all celebration, there were constant reminders of the bleeding hearts across the U.S. in the wake of Sunday's bloodshed.

Perhaps, the most power tribute came from Broadway's man of the year, Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose musical clearly dominated. During his acceptance of the Tony for best original score for Hamilton, Miranda delivered his thank you in "sonnet-style."

In it, he honored victims of the mass shooting reciting in part, "And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside. ... Now fill the world with music, love and pride."

Here's the list of nominees, with the winners highlighted:

Best MusicalBright StarHamiltonSchool of RockShuffle AlongWaitress

Best PlayEclipsedThe FatherThe HumansKing Charles III

Leading Actress in a MusicalLaura Benanti, She Loves MeCarmen Cusack, Bright StarCynthia Erivo, The Color PurpleJessie Mueller, WaitressPhillipa Soo, Hamilton

Leading Actor in a MusicalAlex Brightman, School of RockDanny Burnstein, Fiddler on the RoofZachary Levi, She Loves MeLin-Manuel Miranda, HamiltonLeslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

Leading Actress in a PlayJessica Lange, Long Day's Journey into NightLaurie Metcalfe, MiseryLupita Nyong'o, EclipsedSophie Okonedo, The CrucibleMichelle Williams, Blackbird

Leading Actor in a PlayGabriel Byrne, Long Day's Journey Into NightJeff Daniels, BlackbirdFrank Langella, The FatherTim Pigott Smith, King Charles IIIMark Strong, A View from the Bridge

Best Direction of a MusicalMichael Arden, Spring AwakeningJohn Doyle, The Color PurpleScott Ellis, She Loves MeThomas Kail, HamiltonGeorge C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along

Best Direction of a PlayRupert Gold, King Charles IIIJonathan Kent, Long Day's Journey Into NightJoe Mantello, The HumansLiesl Tommy, EclipsedIvo Van Hove, A View from the Bridge

Featured Actress in a PlayPascale Armand, EclipsedMegan Hilty, Noises OffJayne Houdyshell, The HumansAndrea Martin, Noises OffSaycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed

Featured Actor in a MusicalDaveed Diggs, HamiltonBrandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle AlongChristopher Fitzgerald, WaitressJonathan Groff, HamiltonChristopher Jackson, Hamilton

Featured Actress in a MusicalDanielle Brooks, The Color PurpleRenee Elise Goldsberry, HamiltonJane Krakowski, She Loves MeJennifer Simard, Disaster!Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along

Featured Actor in a PlayReed Birney, The HumansBill Camp, The CrucibleDavid Furr, Noises OffRichard Goulding, King Charles IIIMichael Shannon, Long Day's Journey into Night

Best Revival of a PlayThe CrucibleA View From the BridgeBlackbirdLong Days Journey into NightNoises Off

Best Revival of a MusicalThe Color PurpleFiddler on the RoofShe Loves MeSpring Awakening

Best Book of a MusicalSteve Martin, Bright StarLin-Manuel Miranda, HamiltonJulian Fellowes, School of RockGeorge C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along

Best ChoreographyAndy Blankenbuehler, HamiltonSavion Glover, Shuffle AlongHofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the RoofRandy Skinner, Dames at SeaSergio Trujillo, On Your Feet

Best Original ScoreSteve Martin, Edie Brickell, Bright StarLin-Manuel Miranda, HamiltonGlenn Sltater, Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of RockSara Bareilles, Waitress

Best OrchestrationsAugust Eriksmoen, Bright StarLarry Hochman, She Loves MeAlex Lacamoire, HamiltonDaryl Waters, Shuffle Along

Scenic Design of a MusicalEs Devlin & Finn Ross, American PsychoDavid Korins, HamiltonSanto Loquasto, Shuffle AlongDavid Rockwell, She Loves Me

Best Scenic Design of a PlayBeowulf Boritt, Thérèse RaquinChristopher Oram, HughieJan Versweyveld, A View from the BridgeDavid Zinn, The Humans

Costume Design of a MusicalGregg Barnes, Tuck EverlastingJeff Mahshie, She Loves MeAnn Roth, Shuffle AlongPaul Tazewell, Hamilton

Best Costume Design of a PlayJane Greenwood, Long Day's Journey Into NightMichael Krass, Noises OffClint Ramos, EclipsedTom Scutt, King Charles III

Lighting Design of a MusicalHowell Binkley, HamiltonJules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle AlongBen Stanton, Spring AwakeningJustin Townsend, American Psycho

Best Lighting Design of a PlayNatasha Katz, Long Day's Journey Into NightJustin Townsend, The HumansJan Versweyveld, The CrucibleJan Versweyveld, A View from the Bridge

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