The 70th annual Tony Awards show aired last night with enthusiastic and heartwarming host, James Corden. A night full of emotion, raw talent, and jaw-dropping performances, the Tony awards never cease to amaze the hearts of all theatre lovers.
James Corden joyfully opened the awards show with a Broadway medley, including songs from the Lion King, The Sound of Music, and other Broadway classics. Corden encouraged diverse people from all walks of life, inviting “boys, girls, and transgender too” into the accepting world of theatre. Corden’s heartwarming message of acceptance and diversity could not come at a more necessary time, particularly with the somber ambience at the theatre due to the violence occurring in Orlando.
The big winner of the night was (no surprise) newcomer Hamilton, nominated sixteen times but achieved 11 awards, including “Best New Musical.” Hamilton’s diverse cast helped to make Tony Award history, as all four major musical acting categories went to people of color, including three Hamilton cast members. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s moving acceptance speech for the “Best Book of a Musical” for Hamilton was especially moving, as he declared, “love is love is love is love is love is love.”
While viewers were treated to stylings of musicals from newcomers such as “She Loves Me” starring 30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski, we were also privilege to performances from revitalized classics such as Fiddler on the Roof. A-listers Jake Gyllenhal and Meg Ryan contributed their introducing cast members and award winners during Broadway’s most important night. Even Oprah Winfrey attended the star-studded event, as she introduced the cast of ‘The Color Purple’, as she starred in the film version in 1985. The Broadway production of ‘The Color Purple’ stars Orange is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks. Andrew Lloyd Weber, famous theatre composer, also made a few appearances, particularly during the performance of his new musical based on the film, School of Rock.
The 2016 Tony’s were filled with powerful emotional speeches as well as breathtaking performances. Broadway remains a powerful force in today’s culture, as its performers and creators are crucially influential.