Hamilton Wins 11 Tonys Out Of Its 16 Nominations

Jun 13, 2016
Originally published on June 14, 2016 1:45 pm
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Last night, the 70th annual Tony Awards were presented in New York City. And the events here in Orlando earlier in the day were addressed at the very beginning of the show by host James Corden.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JAMES CORDEN: 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.

GREENE: Jeff Lunden reports on Broadway's big night.

JEFF LUNDEN, BYLINE: The musical "Hamilton," to no one's surprise, dominated the night with 11 awards. That was one shy of the record held by "The Producers" in 2001. And while performances from other shows got introduced by major celebrities, "Hamilton's" excerpt was introduced by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MICHELLE OBAMA: It's a musical about the miracle that is America, a place of citizenship where we debate ideas with passion and conviction.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: A place of inclusiveness, where we value our boisterous diversity as a great gift.

(SOUNDBITE OF BROADWAY MUSICAL, "HAMILTON")

CHRIS JACKSON: (As George Washington, singing) I know that we can win. I know that greatness lies in you. But remember from here on in, history has...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) Its eyes on you.

LUNDEN: And in a concession to the events earlier in the day, the cast performed the battle of Yorktown without muskets in their hands. When author and star Lin-Manuel Miranda won the first of his two Tony's for musical score, he read a sonnet dedicated to his wife but alluding to the events in Orlando.

(SOUNDBITE OF 2016 TONY AWARDS)

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA: 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. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love - cannot be killed or swept aside.

LUNDEN: And the Tony's made history last night. All four winners of the musical acting awards went to people of color. Host James Corden joked...

(SOUNDBITE OF 2016 TONY AWARDS)

CORDEN: Think of tonight as the Oscars but with diversity.

(APPLAUSE)

LUNDEN: Stephen Karam's drama about an Irish Catholic family, "The Humans," took four awards, including best play. And the 36-year-old playwright had some advice for aspiring artists.

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STEPHEN KARAM: To anyone struggling with day jobs out there, in order to make work that comes from your heart and your gut, keep the faith. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

LUNDEN: Revivals for "The Color Purple" and "A View From The Bridge" took their categories. And Jessica Lange won best actress in a play for "Long Days Journey Into Night" while Frank Langella took best actor in a play for "The Father." For NPR News, I'm Jeff Lunden in New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF BROADWAY MUSICAL, "HAMILTON")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing) Work.

PHILLIPA SOO: (As Eliza, singing) Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.