Up Next

‘Hamilton’ rules the night as Tonys honor victims of Orlando shooting

On Broadway’s biggest night, stars stress love, humanity and diversity

“When something bad happens, we have three choices: We let it define us, we let it destroy us or we let it strengthen us,” actor Frank Langella said Sunday night as he accepted the Tony Award for best leading actor in a play. “Today, we had a hideous dose of reality. I am in a room of the most generous people, and Orlando, we will be with you every step of the way.”

Sunday night was bittersweet. The Broadway community, like the country at large, was obviously still reeling from the news of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, even as it mounted a celebration of diversity in one of the few show-business arenas that actively welcomes queer actors, singers and dancers.

The broadcast opened with a tribute to the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

“Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity,” host James Corden said in his opening monologue. “You’re not on your own. Your tragedy is our tragedy. Hate will never win. We have to make sure of that. Tonight’s show stands as a symbol of that principle.”

Frank Langella accepts the award for leading actor in a play for "The Father" at the Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in New York.

Frank Langella accepts the award for best leading actor in a play for The Father
at the Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre on June 12 in New York.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

As expected, Hamilton, which earned a record 16 nominations, ruled the night with 11 wins, including best musical, and netted acting awards for stars Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs and Renée Elise Goldsberry. The show also won awards for choreography, orchestration and lighting. Cynthia Erivo won for best actress in a musical for The Color Purple, which means black actors swept the four musical acting categories.

Hamilton writer and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda won Tonys for best original score and best book of a musical. In his speech for best original score, Miranda highlighted the tragedy of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, where 50 people were killed. Miranda accepted the Tony for best score with a sonnet:

My wife’s the reason anything gets done
She nudges me towards promise by degrees
She is a perfect symphony of one
Our son is her most beautiful reprise

We chase the melodies that seem to find us
Until they’re finished songs and start to play
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
Remembrance that hope and love last forever

Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside
I sing Vanessa’s symphony
Eliza tells her story
We fill the world with music, love and pride


The complete list of 2016 Tony winners (winners in bold):

Best Play
Eclipsed
The Father
The Humans
King Charles III

Best Musical
Bright Star
Hamilton
Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Waitress

Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
Blackbird
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Noises Off

Best Revival of a Musical
The Color Purple
Fiddler on the Roof
She Loves Me
Spring Awakening

Best Book of a Musical
Bright Star
Hamilton
School of Rock — The Musical
Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Bright Star
Hamilton
School of Rock—The Musical
Waitress

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels, Blackbird
Frank Langella, The Father
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Alex Brightman, School of Rock—The Musical
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Reed Birney, The Humans
Bill Camp, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off
Richard Goulding, King Charles III
Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Andrea Martin, Noises Off
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
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

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Beowulf Boritt, Thérèse Raquin
Christopher Oram, Hughie
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
David Zinn, The Humans

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Es Devlin & Finn Ross, American Psycho
David Korins, Hamilton
Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
David Rockwell, She Loves Me

Best Costume Design of a Play
Jane Greenwood, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Michael Krass, Noises Off
Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
Tom Scutt, King Charles III

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Justin Townsend, The Humans
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Howell Binkley, Hamilton
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho

Best Direction of a Play
Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Best Direction of a Musical
Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
Thomas Kail, Hamilton
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Best Choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan

Best Orchestration
August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Soraya Nadia McDonald is the culture critic for The Undefeated. She writes about pop culture, fashion, the arts, and literature. She's based in Brooklyn.