‘Hamilton’ and ‘The Humans’ Big Winners at 2016 Tony Awards

By Paul Riegler on 12 June 2016
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The 70th Tony Awards took place Sunday night at the Beacon Theater in New York City in the shadow of the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. The awards program was dedicated to the victims of the massacre, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

James Corden opened the ceremony 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.”

What did win, however, was “Hamilton,” the hip-hop musical about the life of Founding Father and first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, which was inspired by the 2004 biography of Hamilton by historian Ron Chernow. The show, which is known as much for its performance as the high price and unavailability of tickets, captured a total of 11 Tonys, not a record although the show did set a record for Tony Award nominations this season.

The show won a best director for Tony for Thomas Kail, as well as one for best book, orchestrations, and original score. Leslie Odom Jr., who plays Hamilton’s nemesis Aaron Burr in the show won for Best Actor Daveed Diggs, who plays both Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette won the Tony for best featured actor in a musical and Renée Elise Goldsberry, who plays Angelica Schuyler Church, won the Tony for best featured actress.

Frank Langella, who gave a memorable performance in “The Father,” won the Tony for best actor in a play, while Jessica Lang)”Long Day’s Journey Into Night”) won best actress.

“The Humans,” an engaging play about one working-class family’s Thanksgiving dinner as it struggles with illness, disappointment, and financial woes, won best play. Reed Birney, who plays Erik Blake, the father, won best-featured actor and his on-stage spouse, Jayne Houdyshell, won best featured actress. The show also captured for best scenic design for a play.

The Tony Awards are a joint venture of the American Theater Wing and the Broadway League, the trade association that represents Broadway theater owners and operators as well as show producers. Over 800 actors, writers, producers, designers, and critics are eligible to vote.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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