‘Hamilton’ drives Tony Awards telecast to its best ratings in 15 years
Broadway’s acclaimed smash “Hamilton” pushed the ratings for the annual Tony Awards telecast Sunday to its highest level in 15 years.
The ceremony from the Beacon Theatre that aired from 8 to 11:15 p.m. averaged 8.73 million viewers, an increase of 35% over the 2015 ceremony. The preliminary figure from Nielsen does not include the last 15 minutes of the broadcast, which aired outside of prime time.
The Tony Awards telecast is a must for theater fans but has typically been a modest ratings attraction when compared with other major awards shows. But it clearly received a boost from offering performances by the cast of “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking hip-hop musical on the nation’s founding that has become the most coveted ticket on Broadway.
Lin-Manuel Miranda closes out the night with a smile
Hours after the Orlando shootings, the Tony Awards gave comfort and joy
“History has its eyes on you,” Christopher Jackson’s George Washington sang in one of the most anticipated moments of the highly anticipated Tony Awards on Sunday night.
The general was facing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton, but he could have been addressing the nation he and Hamilton helped form. Reeling from the news of the deadliest mass shooting in our history, many had spent the previous hours wondering what was to be done in this time of seemingly endless gun violence, of terrorism perpetrated by Americans against Americans.
Hope, and a reminder that we have overcome times even worse than these came from the most unlikely place: the Tony Awards.
What those 11 Tony Awards for ‘Hamilton’ mean for Broadway and the art of theater
“Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s landmark musical about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, had its coronation Sunday at the 70th Tony Awards. As expected, the show won for best musical, capping a triumphant season that seized the attention not just of Broadway but of the entire nation.
The ceremony, which was held at New York’s Beacon Theatre, was muted by the devastating attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Host James Corden prefaced the evening with an expression of sympathy for all “affected by this atrocity.”
He went on to affirm the theater as “a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced and is loved.” References to the tragedy were contained, but Miranda, in accepting the award for best original score, addressed the heart of the matter in a sonnet he wrote for his wife that reminded everyone that “love is love is love is love” and “cannot be killed or swept aside.”
A beacon of diversity, “Hamilton” was the right recipient of adulation on this somber night. The musical deploys the language of hip-hop to interpret America’s founding as an immigrant tale. The historical roles — all those illustrious freedom fighters we first encountered in our social studies textbooks — are performed by actors of color.
The sincere and real Tony Awards rebuke the Orlando shooting with laughs, music and love
“What is it that makes this year’s Tony Awards different from other years’?” is the opening line I’d prepared for this review. The answers were going to be “Hamilton” and host James Corden, because he is new. Those answers are still correct, and we will get to that.
But what also, unfortunately, unexpectedly distinguished Sunday’s ceremony and its CBS broadcast was that it came on the heels of the shootings in Orlando, Fla., that targeted a community central to and inextricable from the life of the theater. There was a question of how this would be addressed in the ceremony. We will get to that too.
First, I find the Tonys reliably the most moving, exciting, inspirational and well-paced and the least pretentious of awards shows. Not every year is equally well written or ably hosted, but it always feels sincere and real and somehow representative of the fans, who get seats in the room, as well as the people they’re fans of.
Why the Tony for lead actress in a musical was Cynthia Erivo’s to win
The extraordinary talents competing for lead actress in a musical must have left Tony voters bewildered by the task of selecting only one winner. Jessie Mueller’s performance in “Waitress” might make her the musical theater performer of her generation. The exquisite work of Laura Benanti in “She Loves Me” has us all eager to find out what this sublimely mellifluous actor’s next role will be. Their performances on the Tony telecast were two of the best I can recall on the show.
But the winner, Cynthia Erivo for her portayal of Celie in John Doyle’s revival of “The Color Purple,” was a revelation in her Broadway debut. And she took the roof off the Beacon Theatre in her performance on the telecast. It was an impossible choice but an inevitable one.
Team ‘Hamilton’ talks backstage about their night of triumph and tragedy
After a golden night with 11 trips to the winners’ stage, the “Hamilton” cast and behind-the-scenes team spoke backstage about the show’s amazing run, the tragedy Florida and more.
Producer Jeffrey Seller on the show’s origins: “We told Lin-Manuel [Miranda], if you’re going down that road, we’re going with you. As he started to write songs and formulate what he thought was going to originally be a concept album, we were getting more and more excited. ’This will be a pretty good show.’ Every passing week, we were astounded by the way ‘Hamilton’ has reached out its tentacles and roots and affected so many people in America.”
Seller on the shooting in Orlando: “I think we all have dealt with tragedy in a personal way — as a gay man, as a part of that community, as a citizen of this country. It has reminded me yet again of how all of our lives are intersections of joy, and tragedy. The tragedy has dampened [the Tonys] a little bit, made it tougher. I’ve lost my good friend [composer] Jonathan Larson on the day of our first preview of ‘Rent.’ [Seller chokes up and then goes on.] And the only way to honor Jonathan was to go, and the only way to honor what has transpired is to go on.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda on Orlando: “I hadn’t learned of today’s events until after the Tony rehearsal. We live in a world where beautiful and horrible things exist and sometimes happen on the same day. You can’t let that moment go by. Theater is a cornerstone of the LBGT community. Theater doesn’t exist without it.” Speaking in Spanish, he continued: “This lies heavily in my heart. This is a day of sadness, and we mourn the victims. But at the same time, it also a day of celebration, not only for me but for creative partners and my family.”
Leslie Odom Jr., Tony winner for his role as Aaron Burr in “Hamilton”: “When Phylicia Rashad won [in 2004], she said she wondered “What would it take?” [to win a Tony]. I wondered the same thing. And the most interesting thing was because only one person gets up to accept, I thought you get it for a solo effort. You were so fabulous on your own. I didn’t realize what a team of people it would take and all the people that I’m leaning on.”
Odom on giving up hope on his career: “You need to put your head down and ... try not to lose hope. Somewhere I lost the way, I lost this vision. Meeting this material awakened me again. This show has so helped me find some direction and some purpose. And this is what I always felt that I was meant to be doing and waiting for Lin to write it. That’s the gift.”
Daveed Diggs, winner for featured actor, about all the acting awards in musical categories going to actors of color: “Growing up I felt that there was no place for me here. But this place is so inclusive. Not just culturally but in terms of ability, and in terms of age. There is so much diversity on Broadway now. I’m so proud to be a part of it, so happy to see so many kids around. ... Theater feels more mainstream and lot more inclusive that it did when I was a kid. And that’s because ‘Hamilton’ allows us to put so much of ourselves into the show.”
Diggs on the celebrity attention “Hamilton” is getting: “People often ask me, ‘What is the most surreal moment?’ And I say, ‘Meeting Barack for the second time.’ The day we spent at the White House with them, the day they opened the White House to us. We were teaching workshops for kids. This president — it’s not going to happen again. ... Wherever you stand politically, they represent a kind of heart we need very badly right now. They manage to see themselves in what we’re doing.”
— Patrick Pacheco
Watch the cast of ‘School of Rock’ perform live at the Tony Awards
Jack Black would probably approve of this performance:
Broadway honors ‘Hamilton’ and diversity on a Tony Awards night dimmed by tragedy
An air of both celebration and sobriety hung over the Tony Awards on Sunday, as one of the biggest hits in Broadway history was honored hours after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” took 11 prizes, including director, score and the top honor of best musical. The hip-hop history piece, which began at downtown New York’s Public Theater in early 2015 and opened on Broadway last summer, capped its remarkable run with one of the biggest nights in Tonys history – though it fell just short of “The Producers’” high mark of 12 wins in 2001.
“Hamilton’s” presence could be felt throughout the evening, from a parody that introduced host James Corden at the start of the show to a swirling medley midway through to the final award of the night and a closing number that followed.
Watch the cast of ‘Shuffle Along’ perform live at the Tony Awards
Travel back in time to the 1920s with the cast of “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.”
In case you missed it: Watch James Corden’s opening number
Watch Tonys host James Corden’s showstopping opening number:
Hollywood actors celebrate ‘Hamilton’s’ big win
Although Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton” may not have broken “The Producers” record tonight, it still went home with 11 Tony Awards including best musical. Many in Hollywood took to Twitter celebrate the show’s big win.
James Corden, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Broadway paid tribute to the Orlando shooting victims at the Tony Awards
The mass shooting in Orlando was not far from people’s thoughts throughout the Tony Awards with presenters and winners alike offering powerful words as tribute to those affected by the events. Here are some of the most poignant messages of love, strength and hope sent during the awards show.
Your tragedy is our tragedy. Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, embraced and loved. Hate will never win.
— James Corden, host
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 hideous dose of reality. And I urge you, Orlando, to be strong. Because I’m standing in a room of the most generous human beings on Earth, and we will be with you every step of the way.
— Frank Langella, lead actor in “The Father”
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.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda, lead actor and creator of “Hamilton”
Like all of us, it’s stayed with me all day. None of us can stop thinking about it. It’s been devastating. I’m just glad to be a part of ‘Hamilton' that is about life and life going on.
— Paul Tazewell, costume designer for “Hamilton”
Let me just say this, no child was ever born to hate. The only way to take on these appalling acts is to continue with what we believe, that arts have always been so ahead and we must continue to pursue what we most believe in.
— Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer and presenter
Leslie Odom Jr. hangs it all on love
Leslie Odom Jr. seemed genuinely surprised taking the stage after his Tony win for lead actor in a musical for “Hamilton.” “Thank you so much,” he said, looking around the room, which was erupting with applause.
“Lin-Manuel, God bless you, man,” he said to the production’s creator (and his competitor in the category). “You’ve given us a new vision of what’s possible. I thank God for your mission, for your calling in life.”
Then he referred to the cast of the production about America’s Founding Fathers, adding: “I wanna talk about my Cabinet, which was this brilliant group of actors,” he said, later adding, “You are limitless.”
Odom said there were “a lot of question marks” at the start of the production. “And what cleared it away was love,” he said. “I could hang this whole performance on love.”
‘Hamilton’ counter: 11 out of 13 possible wins, falls just short of ‘The Producers’ record
“Hamilton” has won 11 Tony Awards in total, falling just short of the record set by “The Producers” in 2001.
It won the big prize of the night for musical and also racked up victories in the categories for lead actor in a musical (with Leslie Odom Jr. beating Lin-Manuel Miranda in a minor upset), choreography (Andy Blankenbuehler), orchestrations (Alex Lacamoire), book of a musical, best score of a musical (both to Miranda), costume design (Paul Tazewell), lighting design (Howell Binkley), featured actress (Renee Elise Goldsberry), featured actor (Daveed Diggs) and direction (Thomas Kail).
The musical lost in just two categories, scenic design and lead actress in a musical.
Hamilton’s Jeffrey Seller: ‘How lucky we are to be alive!’
Accepting the evening’s final and most anticipated prize, best musical, for “Hamilton” (yeah, we we saw it coming, but still), producer Jeffrey Seller gave a shout out to the country’s titular founding father.
“Alexander Hamilton was a dreamer,” he said, adding, among others, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to the list. “I stand on this stage tonight, and in this theater, surrounded by dreamers.”
Among those dreamers, he also mentioned the production’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the “supportive” audience and the “Hamilton” company for “sharing their vision of America.”
That vision, he added, “embodies the best values, the best impulses that make our nation a beacon to the world: inclusiveness, generosity, ingenuity and the will to work hard to make our dreams come true.”
That sent the room into roaring applause.
But the noise was not loud enough to deter Seller, who emphatically added one last comment that seemed especially resonant this evening.
“Look around, look around,” he said, quoting a lyric from the show, “how lucky we are to be alive right now!”
Actors of color made Tony Awards history tonight
Actors of color made Tony Awards history tonight, taking home all four musical acting categories. Cynthia Erivo won lead actress for “The Color Purple,” while Leslie Odom Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry and Daveed Diggs -- all from “Hamilton” -- won lead actor, featured actress and featured actor, respectively.
The last time a feat like this was achieved was in 1982, when three actors of color -- Jennifer Holliday, Ben Harney and Cleavant Derricks -- won three of the four musical performance awards for their work in “Dreamgirls.”
This feat comes just months after the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite trended, critiquing the film academy and broader Hollywood’s lack of diversity.
‘Hamilton’ cast performs ‘History Has Its Eyes on You’ and ‘Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)’
The cast of “Hamilton” performed two numbers from the smash-hit musical at Sunday’s Tony Awards ceremony, “History Has Its Eyes On You” and “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down).”
Both are big ensemble numbers, meaning viewers at home were able to catch glimpses, however brief, of Tony-nominated performers including Lin-Manuel Miranda (Alexander Hamilton), winner Daveed Diggs (Marquis de Lafayette), Phillipa Soo (Eliza Hamilton) and Christopher Jackson (George Washington).
The songs appear late in the first act of the musical, as Washington counsels Hamilton about his legacy and the American Revolution on the eve of the final major battle.
Broadway to Donald Trump: Drop dead
Is anyone surprised that the New York theater community really, really hates Donald Trump? On Sunday, Broadway expressed its unfiltered contempt for the Republican presidential candidate no fewer than three times during the Tony Awards.
Host James Corden kicked off the evening with a jab at Trump on the subject of diversity and immigration. The comedian quipped that the Tonys are so diverse that Trump wants to build a wall around the theater.
The joke was a reference to Trump’s assertions that he would like to see a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, paid for by Mexico.
Later in the evening, actor Nathan Lane took his own shot at Trump.
Winning an award means everything, said Lane. “It’s the first lesson I learned at Trump University.”
Near the end of the ceremony, actor Andrew Rannells appeared in Trump drag as a character from “The Book of Moron.” (Not “Mormon.”)
“Hello! My name is Donald Trump! And I would like to build a wall that goes straight through your house,” he sang.
He was followed by Glenn Close impersonating Hillary Clinton in a send-up of “A Chorus Line.”
In 1970, Trump made a bid at Broadway glory with the long-forgotten comedy “Paris Is Out!” The 23-year-old Trump was a producer on the play, which flopped and remains his sole Broadway credit to date.
Tonight’s most surprising Tony Award win
The award that surprised me the most and made me happiest: Ivo van Hove for his direction of “A View From the Bridge.” This revival of Arthur Miller’s drama was stunningly fresh, offering an X-ray into the work while reconceiving the surface reality. I feared that the Belgian deconstructionist might have been too envelope-pushing for Tony voters, but like Broadway audiences they seem to have been energized by his astringent aesthetic.
Andrew Lloyd Webber on Orlando attacks: ‘No child was ever born to hate’
Let me just say this, no child was ever born to hate. The only way to take on these appalling acts is to continue with what we believe, that arts have always been so ahead, and we must continue to pursue what we most believe in.
— Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer
The Obamas pay tribute to ‘Hamilton’
It’s only fitting that “Hamilton,” the musical about the Founding Fathers, got an introduction from the president and first lady.
In a videotaped message, the Obamas paid tribute to the blockbuster musical, recalling how composer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda had performed a piece from what would become “Hamilton” for them seven years ago.
“ ‘Hamilton’ has become not only a smash hit but a civics lesson our kids can’t get enough of,” said President Obama. “One with fierce musical energy, one where rap is the language of revolution and hip-hop its urgent soundtrack.”
First Lady Michelle Obama continued: “It’s a musical about the miracle that is America, a place of citizenship where we debate ideas with passion and conviction.”
After the Obamas’ remarks, rapper-actor Common introduced the cast of “Hamilton” for a performance of “History Has Its Eyes on You” and “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down).”
Orlando shooting made Frank Langella feel ‘disgust, anger and tremendous pain’
Frank Langella said backstage at the Tonys on Sunday that he decided to tear up his prepared speech after hearing about the Orlando shooting after today’s matinee of “The Father,” for which he won the Tony Award for lead actor in a play. The news made him feel “disgust, anger and tremendous pain,” he said. “I’m now a 78-year-old man and I react to things much more profoundly than I ever did at 60. The constant violence and sense of madness that is invading this country is terrifying to me.”
He noted that his brother, whom he referenced in his Tony acceptance speech, “is very much alive in me every time I play Andre. I’m not alone in this. People come backstage and sit on the floor and weep, and not because of my performance but because they are dealing with this reality [dementia]. When somebody doesn’t know who you are. ... It’s heartbreaking.”
Jessica Lange backstage: Thank you, Ryan Murphy
After not even being nominated for her past Broadway appearances in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “A Glass Menagerie,” Jessica Lange won lead actress in a play for playing Mary Tyrone in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” -- and she said the role was “nearest and dearest” to her heart.
“I’ve played Blanche three times, Amanda in ‘Glass Menagerie’ twice, and now Mary twice, and she is my favorite role,” Lange said.
She noted that she has Ryan Murphy to thank for it. She had told the “American Horror Story” producer that she wanted to revisit Mary Tyrone, whom she’d played 16 years ago in London. (Lange won an Emmy for her role in Murphy’s limited series.)
“He secured the rights, and then we took it to Todd Haimes and the Roundabout Theatre,” she said. “So I am here by his friendship and good graces.”
Tony-winning ‘A View From the Bridge’ headed to Los Angeles in September, then Washington
The Young Vic’s production of Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge” won big at the Tony Awards on Sunday, taking home prizes for play revival and director Ivo van Hove.
The play closed months ago on Broadway, but Tony telecast viewers curious about the production’s oddly minimalist design -- it resembles nothing close to Red Hook, Brooklyn -- will have another opportunity to catch the unconventional staging when it comes to the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in September.
Van Hove, who works in Amsterdam and hails from Belgium, will restage “A View From the Bridge” with a different cast, to be announced later. It will run at the Ahmanson from Sept. 7 to Oct. 16, followed by a run at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., from Nov.18 to Dec. 3
The revival production opened at the Young Vic in London in 2014, then moved in 2015 to the West End. The drama later transferred to Broadway, opening in November and closing earlier this year.
Mark Strong starred in the London and New York production as Brooklyn longshoreman Eddie Carbone.
French actor Charles Berling played Eddie when Van Hove staged the play in Paris last year.
One of the most in-demand directors on the international theater scene, Van Hove staged the current Broadway revival of Miller’s “The Crucible.”
Frank Langella: ‘I urge you, Orlando, to be strong’
“Hello,” Frank Langella said somberly, taking the stage to accept his award for lead actor in a play for “The Father.”
His address began with a nostalgic but humorous look back.
When he journeyed to New York City in 1960, he said, he consulted an astrologer. Forecasting his future, the astrologer “told me my greatest success would come later in my career,” said the veteran actor, who has seen seven Tony nominations in about 50 years of acting on Broadway.
“I thought she meant 30! But the fact of the matter is, there really is no ‘late’ in an actor’s career, there’s just the journey and the now.”
Addressing the tragic mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., Langella then pulled notes out of his jacket pocket, his somber tone returning.
“When something bad happens we have three choices: we let it define us, we let it destroy us or we let it strengthen us,” he said. “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 of the most generous human beings on Earth and we will be with you every step of the way.”
‘Hamilton’ counter: 7 out of 8 (while Lin-Manuel Miranda is 2 for 2)
“Hamilton” is not going to throw away its shot.
With a win for Lin-Manuel Miranda in the musical book category, “Hamilton” now has seven wins in eight categories.
Miranda has two individual wins so far tonight. He previously took home the award for original score and could go 3-for-3 if he wins for lead actor in a musical.
Additional wins include costume design (Paul Tazewell), lighting design (Howell Binkley), featured actress (Renee Elise Goldsberry), featured actor (Daveed Diggs) and direction (Thomas Kail).
So far the musical, inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography, has lost in just one category, for scenic design.
Words of wisdom from lead actor winner Frank Langella
When something bad happens, we have three choices: We let it define us, we let it destroy us or we let it strengthen us.
— Frank Langella, winner of lead actor in a play
Cynthia Erivo and ‘Color Purple’ cast wow audience
Titus Andromedon steals the spotlight during the Tony Awards telecast
Titus Andromedon finally gets his moment on Broadway -- kinda. The charismatic character from the Netflix series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” who spends the majority of his time on the show trying to break into the Broadway scene, finally gets his wish with some clever commercial placement. Watch the commercial that has now aired multiple times throughout the Tony Awards broadcast that features Andromedon finally getting his audition for “Hamilton.” I don’t know about you, but I would cast him.
Jessica Lange finds the silver lining
Taking the stage in her royal blue dress, her voice occasionally cracking with emotion, Jessica Lange was short and direct, but sweet, in her acceptance speech for her role in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”
And she focused on the silver lining.
“This is a dream come true, and it fills me with such happiness even on a sad day such as this,” she said. “It’s a thrill and a joy to be in the theater and acknowledged by this community. I can’t tell you how grateful I am, how moved I am.”
What’s next for Tony winner Ivo van Hove? Maybe Hollywood!
Ivo van Hove, film director? The Belgian auteur, who won a Tony tonight for his direction of Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge,” said he’d love to direct a film here. He’s directed movies in the Netherlands, but “Holland is not very well known for that.”
Among his many projects will be directing Jude Law in “Obsessione,” based on the 1943 Luchino Visconti film inspired by James Cain’s “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” He also will be bringing “The Damned” to the Avignon festival in France in July.
After his Tony win for “A View From the Bridge,” Van Hove was asked about his “obsession” with Visconti.
“Visconti, like Miller, is one of the great artists of the 20th century, and their work is resonant in their times and in our times.” About “The Damned,” about the rise of Hitler in Germany, he said he was interested in “Luchino’s venomous connections between the extreme right wing and the financial industry. But he deals with it in a subtle and elegant way.”
“A View From the Bridge” comes to the Ahmanson in September.
The Tony Awards balance sympathy with perseverance
There is no right way to handle an event like an awards show in the wake of a terrible tragedy, but the Tonys should be commended for balancing discretion with heartfeltness, sympathy with perseverance as it went about the business of celebrating the best of the 2015-16 Broadway season on the same day of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
James Corden prefaced the telecast with the following statement: “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.”
References to the heinous shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., were contained, but the message that “love is love is love” and it “cannot be killed or swept away,” as Lin-Manuel Miranda put it in the sonnet he wrote for his wife, came across loud and clear. Grief was palpable, but the dominant note was joy in the life-affirming, democratic zone that is the stage.
Aww: Paul Tazewell on what he didn’t tell his mom during his ‘Hamilton’ acceptance speech
I called my mother, Barbara, just before I entered the theater, and I thanked her onstage. I said that she taught me how to sew. What I didn’t say is that she taught me how to think creatively.
— Paul Tazewell, winner of costume design of a musical for ‘Hamilton’
What do the Tony Awards and ‘Law & Order’ have in common?
In a hilarious bit before the introduction of Oprah Winfrey, host James Corden found it necessary to illustrate just how closely linked the awards show is with the popular television show “Law & Order.” He rattled off a long, long list of nominees who have had gigs on the show including “Hamilton’s” Daveed Diggs and Leslie Odom Jr.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is even the talk of Tonys commercials
A teaser trailer for Disney’s “Moana” aired during a commercial break for the Tony Awards and fans took to twitter to express their excitement for the film. Of special note was the Tonys connection with the upcoming film -- “Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda was tapped to write the music for “Moana.”
Thomas Kail gives writers (OK, Lin-Manuel Miranda) props
Giving thanks during his acceptance speech for direction of a musical for “Hamilton” (no surprise there), Thomas Kail thanked all the usual suspects: “Like so many of us I am the son of so many things, so many parts,” he said, thanking his family.
Then he gave a pointed shout-out to those with the ink-stained hands.
“And dear Lin,” he said, nodding to the production’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, sitting in the audience.
“When I don’t have the words, you do, when I don’t know where to go, I look on the page,” he said sweetly. The answers, he said, “are always with the writer.”
Is this the most powerful front row ever?
‘Hamilton’ counter: 6 for 7, with wins for director and original score
Taking into accounts wins for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s score and Thomas Kail’s direction, “Hamilton” has now won six of seven categories so far tonight at the Tonys.
The show has also won for costume design, lighting design, featured actress and featured actor.
Check out some of the show’s highlights
Want some unique Tonys history?
This Twitter account is trying to spread the word about historical wins during Broadway’s biggest night. Known as Broadway Black, the account is live-tweeting the show, dropping various bits of historical knowledge about past African American winners. April Reign, the creator of the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, serves as the digital publication’s managing editor.
‘Hope and love last longer’: Lin-Manuel Miranda channels his inner Shakespeare
It was no surprise at all that Lin-Manuel Miranda snagged the Tony for original score for “Hamilton.” What was a shocker? His acceptance speech. Or the way he delivered it.
Most everyone expected to hear rapping words of thanks from Miranda. Instead, he channeled his inner Shakespeare.
“I’m not freestylin’, I’m too old. I wrote you a sonnet instead,” he told the crowd, unfolding his notes.
The moving and personal words included thanks to his wife: “My wife’s the reason anything gets done, she’s a perfect symphony of one.”
And then he gave a moving tribute to the day’s tragic mass shooting:
"...When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised. Not one day. 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.”
His words culminated with a simple but powerful message: “And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda on love
Love is love is love is love.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda
Praise pours in for Audra McDonald, who performed while pregnant
Daveed Diggs wins featured actor in a musical for ‘Hamilton’
The other nominees were:
- Brandon Victor Dixon, “Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”
- Christopher Fitzgerald, “Waitress”
- Jonathan Groff, “Hamilton”
- Christopher Jackson, “Hamilton”
All the 2016 Tony winners
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical “Hamilton” won 11 Tony Awards on Sunday night, falling short of a record but still carving out its place in Broadway history on an emotional night in which speeches delved deeply into equality, freedom and the anguish related to the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.
Here are the 70th Tony Awards winners:
Lead actress in a musical
- Cynthia Erivo, “The Color Purple”
Lead actor in a musical
- Leslie Odom Jr., “Hamilton”
Revival of a musical
- “The Color Purple”
- “The Humans”
Revival of a Play
- “Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge”
Lead actor in a play
- Frank Langella, “The Father”
- Andy Blankenbuehler, “Hamilton”
Lead actress in a play
- Jessica Lange, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”
Book of a musical
- Alex Lacamoire, “Hamilton”
Featured actor in a play
- Reed Birney, “The Humans”
Direction of a musical
- Thomas Kail, “Hamilton”
Direction of a play
- Ivo Van Hove, “Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge”
Original score (music and/or lyrics)
- Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”
Featured actor in a musical
- Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton”
Featured actress in a play
- Jayne Houdyshell, “The Humans”
Featured actress in a musical
- Renée Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton”
Scenic design of a play
- David Zinn, “The Humans”
Scenic design of a musical
- David Rockwell, “She Loves Me”
Costume design of a play
- Clint Ramos, “Eclipsed”
Costume design of a musical
- Paul Tazewell, “Hamilton”
Lighting design of a play
- Natasha Katz, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”
Lighting design of a musical
- Howell Binkley, “Hamilton”
‘Hamilton’ counter: 4 out of 5 so far, no breaking of ‘Producers’ record
“Hamilton” has won four out its first five categories, picking up wins in costume design, lighting design and featured actress and featured actor.
The loss in the scenic design category, however, means that “Hamilton” cannot break the record of 12 wins set by “The Producers.” The best “Hamilton” can do is a tie.
‘Hamilton’ won’t be able to break Tony record
Here’s one record that “Hamilton” isn’t going to break: The blockbuster musical, which received a history-making 16 Tony nominations this year, won’t break the record for all-time wins.
Earlier this evening, David Rockwell won the Tony for best scenic design of a play for “She Loves Me,” beating “Hamilton” designer David Korins as well as Santo Loquasto (“Shuffle Along”) and Es Devlin and Finn Ross (“American Psycho”). This means that, because of multiple nominations in some of the acting categories, “Hamilton” can win at most 12 awards tonight. This would tie it with “The Producers,” which holds the record for all-time Tony wins. The musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda picked up two Tonys before the broadcast even began, with costume designer Paul Tazewell and lighting designer Howell Binkley winning for their work.
‘Eclipsed’ creator congratulates winning costume designer
The night is off to a great start for the nominees from “Eclipsed.” Costume designer Clint Ramos won the award for best costume design of a play. Here, the show’s creator Danai Gurira tweets him congratulations. The show is nominated for five other awards tonight.
Jayne Houdyshell is reeaaaaally touched
Despite the day’s tragic news of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, the Tonys got off to a lively start with a rap medley about James Corden as presenter. Then he strutted out on stage: “I’m James Corden, and this is what I’m awarden,” he joked.
But introducing the best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play, Jake Gyllenhaal gave the show tone a feminist rigor, though a humorous one.
“As Hillary Clinton showed us this week, women can do anything,” he said before the room erupted in applause. “Including writing this speech, which my mother did.”
Accepting her Tony for her performance in “The Humans,” Jayne Houdyshell appeared deeply touched.
“I’ve never been one to rush into things, but at 62, 42 years into a career, that this should come my way!” she said. “All that means is the depth of my gratitude is really, really, really, really (there may have been one more ‘really’ in there) profound.”
Host James Corden: ‘Your tragedy is our tragedy’
You are not on your own. Your tragedy is our tragedy. Hate will never win. Together we have to make sure of that. Tonight’s show stands as a symbol and celebration of that principle.
— James Corden
Tonys host James Corden appeared on stage during the pre-show to tape a tribute to the victims of the Orlando shooting that would air at the top of the telecast. Turning around so that the audience would be behind him, he said that the night would be dedicated to those who suffered in the attack. Here is what he said:
“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 this 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, embraced, and 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.”
David Rockwell wins scenic design of a musical for ‘She Loves Me’
The other nominees were:
- Es Devlin and Finn Ross, “American Psycho”
- David Korins, “Hamilton”
- Santo Loquasto, “Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”
The award was handed out before the telecast began.
The complete list of winners and nominees
With latest Tony loss, costume designer Jane Greenwood is officially 0-20
It was loss No. 20 for costume designer Jane Greenwood, a Tony Awards bridesmaid for five decades and counting.
Greenwood lost her 20th Tony nomination on Sunday when voters picked Clint Ramos’ designs for “Eclipsed” over Greenwood’s work on the Roundabout’s revival of “Long Day’s Journey into Night.”
The award was handed out during a pre-broadcast ceremony at the Beacon Theatre in New York.
Greenwood received her first nomination back in 1965. Sometimes referred to as the Susan Lucci of the Tonys, she has boasted one of Broadway’s biggest losing streaks, having never won a competitive Tony.
The British-born designer remains one of the most widely respected behind-the-curtain talents in the New York theater world.
She has dressed stars including Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, Helen Mirren and Al Pacino.
Greenwood even worked on a previous New York production of “Long Day’s Journey” -- a 1988 staging with Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards.
She has received praise for the unadorned simplicity of her designs and for the sensitivity she shows actors. This season, she also created the clothes for the Steve Martin / Edie Brickell musical “Bright Star,” seen at the Old Globe in San Diego before its Broadway engagement.
In 2014, Greenwood received a special Tony for lifetime achievement.
But she also lost the same year when her work on Lincoln Center Theater’s production of “Act One” was beat out by “Twelfth Night” from Shakespeare’s Globe in London.
For Lin-Manuel Miranda, it’s all about showing off the subtle tuxedo details at the Tonys
Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator and star of the hit musical “Hamilton” and a nominee for lead actor in a musical, stuck to a classic one-button tuxedo.
However, a closer look shows he finished off his look with a rainbow pin — a rainbow being a symbol for the LGBT community — instead of the sheer ribbon many on the red carpet are wearing in remembrance of the shooting victims in Orlando, Fla., and in a nod to his musical background, he’s wearing treble clef studs.
Perhaps they will bring him luck at the Tonys for “Hamilton.”
Dame Angela Lansbury is ready for you, James Corden
Angela Lansbury isn’t just Broadway royalty, she’s officially a dame of the British Empire and knows it’s only proper to arrive in good time for a special occasion like the Tony Awards. Here, we see she’s already in her seat at the Beacon Theatre and is ready to assess what the “Hamilton” crew and that upstart host James Corden will bring to the stage.
By the way, our theater critic Charles McNulty sat down in 2014 with Lansbury in her Brentwood home and got her to vamp Mrs. Lovett style over some wilting flowers left from her 89th birthday: “Poor little things...”
While you wait for the show to start, read McNulty’s charming interview...
The Tony Awards’ strategy for drawing viewers? The right amount of ‘Hamilton’ (and James Corden)
During rehearsal sessions for the Tony Awards, theater seats are adorned with cardboard images of nominees’ names and faces. Broadway’s biggest night, which takes place Sunday at the Beacon Theatre, is an elaborate choreography, and directors want to know where everyone is seated so they can ensure maximum fluidity.
On Thursday, it was impossible to walk the Beacon’s aisles and not bump into a name from “Hamilton.” The heads of 18 people (representing the musical’s record-setting 16 nominations) popped up everywhere. A reporter, seeking a less daunting spot to watch the proceedings, finally gave up and sat next to George Washington, a.k.a. Christopher Jackson.
The Lin-Manuel Miranda show is a once-in-a-generation phenomenon that could greatly expand the Tonys audience. Helped by a youthful and popular first-time host — the CBS late-night personality (and Tony winner) James Corden — a perpetually niche show could suddenly turn into a national event.
Cast of ‘Eclipsed’ turns heads on red carpet
“Eclipsed” is the first show written and directed exclusively by black women to be nominated at the Tonys. With this in mind, cast members have taken over the red carpet. The show is nominated for six awards.
‘Hamilton’ hits the red carpet
Lin-Manuel Miranda and the rest of the “Hamilton” crew arrive on the Tonys red carpet.
The overall mood as the awards get closer to kickoff: restrained but happy.
Nominee Jane Krakowski is a serious best-dressed contender in Michael Kors at the Tonys
Actress Jane Krakowski, a nominee for featured actress in a musical for “She Loves Me,” knows how to catch an eye.
For the Tonys, she hit the red carpet wearing a custom crimson paillette-embroidered gown from Michael Kors with a serious plunging neckline and, as a result, she has been receiving major social media love for her fresh, late spring look.
This is what history looks like
When Ali Stroker was cast in the 2015 revival of “Spring Awakening,” she made history as the first performer who uses a wheelchair for mobility to conquer Broadway. Fans of Stroker will remember her from the reality competition series “The Glee Project,” from which she won a guest starring role on the Fox musical dramedy “Glee.”
“Spring Awakening” is nominated for three Tonys: best revival, best lighting and best direction.
Overheard on the red carpet
Stars hit the Tony Awards red carpet
See more photos from the red carpet here.
Is ‘Hamilton’ the top Broadway musical of all time?
The Times asked me to cite my “five top musicals,” but I don’t have five. I have 25, 100, 250. This rich art has thrown off countless wonderful or admirable or brilliant shows, so we need to specify what makes a musical “top.” I define it as a work that caps an ongoing artistic development of its age while springing forward to the next age.
Where would you rank “Hamilton” among your top musicals?
— Ethan MorddenRead More
Scott Rudin nominated for six Tony Awards (but none for ‘Hamilton’)
Even by his own impressive standards at the Tony Awards, Scott Rudin has outdone himself this Broadway season.
The uber producer is nominated for six Tony Awards and serves as a lead producer on five of those productions. While none of those shows is the hit musical “Hamilton,” the clear front-runner with a record 16 nominations, Rudin could theoretically take home two awards on Sunday.
Rudin is a lead producer of the acclaimed new play “The Humans” by Stephen Karam, and the well-received revival of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge,” directed by Ivo van Hove.
The productions are the favorites to take home Tonys in the categories of new play and revival of a play, respectively.
But Rudin could be upset by the play “Eclipsed,” by Danai Gurira, and the Roundabout’s revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” both of which have their supporters.
Rudin is also lead producer of the nominated revivals of “Blackbird” and “The Crucible”; and the musical “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.”
He is also a producer of “King Charles III,” up for best play.
Last year, Rudin took home a Tony for play revival for David Hare’s “Skylight.” He was also a producer on “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” which won for new play.
He is also a lead producer of “The Book of Mormon,” which won nine Tonys in 2011.
A formidable presence on Broadway and in Hollywood, Rudin has produced such critically acclaimed movies as “Steve Jobs,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Social Network.”
He won an Oscar for best picture in 2008 for “No Country for Old Men.”
Rudin already has three highly anticipated shows lined up for the new Broadway season: an all-star revival of “The Front Page” with Nathan Lane, which opens in the fall, as well as revivals of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” with Sally Field, and the musical “Hello, Dolly!” with Bette Midler.
Unlike #OscarsSoWhite, the Tony Awards are diverse
Earlier this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced an all-white slate of acting nominees -- for the second year in a row. Immediately, #OscarsSoWhite started to trend. But don’t expect that at the Tonys, where a number of productions champion diversity. Take a look at some of the ceremony’s diverse representation:
- 14 individual nominees are actors of color, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lupita Nyong’o and Sophie Okonedo.
- “Eclipsed,” which is nominated for best play, is the first to be written and performed exclusively by black women.
- “Hamilton,” known for its diverse cast and hip-hop influence, is nominated for 16 Tonys. It has the chance to beat the record for most wins in one night.