Hamilton wins best musical at emotional and historic Tony Awards
Hip-hop musical took home 11 awards, many recognized Orlando shooting victims on stage
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."
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.
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 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.
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.
"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.
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."
"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).
A complete list of winners can be found here.