*As expected by most observers, the 2016 Tony Award for best new musical went to “Hamilton,” the hip-hop stage biography of Alexander Hamilton. It came on a night filled with emotion as the Broadway community came together to support the LGBT world in the wake of a massacre at a Florida gay nightclub.
The musical created by Lin-Manuel Miranda about the first treasury secretary of the US won 11 Tonys, just short of breaking the 12-Tony record held by “The Producers.”
“Hamilton” had 16 nominations and, in addition to taking the musical award, won best score, best book, direction, orchestration, choreography and best featured actor and actress honors for Renee Elise Goldsberry and Daveed Diggs.
Leslie Odom Jr., who plays Aaron Burr, won best actor and thanked Miranda for “a new vision of what’s possible.” He also thanked his wife, actress Nicolette Robinson and his parents, reports theAP.
The show earlier won awards for costume and lighting but lost scenic design to “She Loves Me,” meaning “Hamilton” couldn’t break the 12-statuette record haul by “The Producers.” Still, few shows get introduced by a sitting president, as Barack and Michelle Obama did for the performance by the show’s cast.
The awards show unspooled with a heavy heart a night after a gunman killed 50 people at a gay Florida nightclub, prompting a Broadway tribute to the victims at the top of the show and a smattering of references to tolerance throughout it.
Host James Corden, his back to the audience, spoke to viewers when he dedicated the night to celebrating the diversity of Broadway. “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,” he said.
But for much of the telecast, the mood was light and typical of an awards show.
Miranda, the star and creator of “Hamilton,” won for best score and book, and read from onstage a sonnet, referencing tragedy and urging “love and love and love….”
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Thomas Kail won the Tony for directing “Hamilton.” He thanked Miranda, a frequent collaborator, and celebrated the diversity of Broadway this season. “Let’s continue to tell stories,” he said.
English actress Cynthia Erivo won the Tony for best actress for her Broadway debut in “The Color Purple.” She thanked her cast for “making me a stronger woman on that stage.” Her show, which failed to beat “Jersey Boys” for the best musical Tony Award in 2006, won the best musical revival award in 2016.
For MORE of theAP’s report on “Hamilton ” and other Tony Awards winners, click HERE.