The Beacon Theatre was definitely “the room where it happened” Sunday night, as Broadway megahit Hamilton scooped up 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical, on a night that celebrated a diverse Broadway season while also acknowledging a tragedy that happened only hours before.
For the first time in Tony history, all four musical acting awards were won by people of color—Hamilton cast members Leslie Odom Jr, Daveed Diggs and Renee Elise Goldsberry won best leading actor, featured actor and featured actress in a musical, respectively, while Cynthia Erivo of The Color Purple won leading actress in a musical.
Hamilton also won awards for book, score, direction, choreography, orchestrations, costume design and lighting design of a musical, while all four original musicals that were up against it (Bright Star, School of Rock, Shuffle Along and Waitress) went home empty-handed.
The Color Purple won Best Revival of a Musical, while She Loves Me received the award for scenic design.
On the play side, things were a bit more even-handed. The Humans won four awards, including Best Play—cast members Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell were named best featured actor and actress, and the play also won an award for its two-tiered set.
The critically acclaimed remounting of A View from the Bridge won Best Revival of a Play, and its director Ivo van Hove was also rewarded.
Oscar and Emmy winner Jessica Lange is now three-quarters of the way to an EGOT— she received the award for leading actress in a play for portraying Mary Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which also won an award for lighting design.
Two other shows got one award each—Frank Langella won his fourth Tony for playing a man suffering from dementia in The Father, while Eclipsed won a trophy for its African-accented costumes.
Cast members from all the nominated musicals and musical revivals performed, both on the stage of the Beacon Theatre and outside on the sidewalk (in a takeoff on Hamilton‘s viral #Ham4Ham lottery).
There were several references to the shooting in Orlando over the course of the evening—Corden started the show with a message of support for the victims, and several winners, including Langella and Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, mentioned the tragedy during their acceptance speeches (Miranda declared that “love cannot be killed”).
But the focus stayed on Broadway for much of the night—right after his somber message, Corden launched into an energetic opening number in which he auditioned for some of Broadway’s greatest hits like The Phantom of the Opera and Grease and paid tribute to everyone’s inner “theater kid.”