Hamilton wins best musical at emotional and historic Tony Awards

Hamilton ruled Broadway's biggest night as the Tony Awards showed solidarity with victims of the mass shooting in Orlando and made history.

Hip-hop musical took home 11 awards, many recognized Orlando shooting victims on stage

The cast of Hamilton took the top award for best musical at the Tony Awards and closed out the show with a second performance. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

The hip-hop musical Hamilton ruled Broadway's biggest night as the Tony Awards showed solidarity with victims of the mass shooting in Orlando that killed at least 50 and injured another 53.

"Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity," Tony Awards host James Corden said in his opening message on stage. "All we can say is you're not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy."

James Corden performed onstage and off during the Tony Awards. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Hamilton, a history lesson in contemporary verse about Alexander Hamilton, one of America's Founding Fathers, cleaned up with 11 wins, including best musical. Barbra Streisand, who hadn't presented since 1970, gave the company the award.

Singer Barbra Streisand presented the night's biggest award at the American Theatre Wing's 70th annual Tony Awards on Sunday. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Among its other wins, the acclaimed and hugely successful production took home wins for best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical (Leslie Odom Jr.), best musical director (Thomas Kail), best featured actor in a musical (Daveed Diggs), best featured actress in a musical (Renée Elise Goldsberry) and best score (Lin-Manuel Miranda).

The cast of Hamilton, including creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, performs onstage during the 70th Annual Tony Awards. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

The musical, which had a record 16 nominations going in, was just shy of matching the 12-win record set by The Producers in 2001. 

But another record was broken, touting Broadway as a new bastion of diversity. For the first time in Tony history, all four musical acting awards went to people of colour.

Leslie Odom Jr., performing onstage at the Tonys, won for lead actor in a musical. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

When Miranda, who created and stars in Hamilton, won for best score, he recited a sonnet he wrote addressing the Florida rampage.

"When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day," he said. "This show is proof that history remembers. We live through time when hate and fear seem stronger."

He went on, visibly emotional.

Songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda accepts the award for Best Book of A Musical for his work in Hamilton onstage during the 70th Annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre Sunday in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

"We rise and fall and light from dying embers. And love is love, is love, is love, is love, is love, is love cannot be killed or swept aside."

Hamilton's powerful medley performance did not include prop muskets as planned out of respect. The company instead mimed the actions.

The company of Hamilton performed its medley on stage without guns. Here, Lin-Manuel Miranda mimes the action. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Frank Langella, who took home his fourth Tony for his role in the play The Father, decided to forego thanking a list of names to instead give "a dose of true reality."

Actor Frank Langella, who won best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play for The Father, made an impassioned speech dedicated to Orlando shooting victims. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

"When something bad happens, we have three choices," he said on stage during his acceptance speech. "We let it define us, we let it destroy us or we let it strengthen us. Today in Orlando we had a hideous dose of reality and I urge you Orlando to be strong because I'm standing in a room full of the most generous human beings on earth and we will be with you every step of the way."

The Colour Purple, based on the novel by Alice Walker, took home major wins as well, including best musical revival and best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical (Cynthia Erivo).

The cast of The Colour Purple accepts the award for Best Revival of a Musical onstage. (Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

A complete list of winners can be found here.


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