On Sunday night, the theatre community celebrated its biggest night of the year, the Tony Awards. Most of your Broadway experiences are probably limited to seeing Wicked on a class trip or sleeping through the movie of Les Mis, but we’re here to catch you up on all the important moments from Sunday’s show.
First off, things were a little somber because of the horrific tradgedy in Orlando. The show was dedicated to the victims, and most of the attendees wore silver ribbons to honor them. In case you didn’t connect the dots, Broadway kind of has a lot of gay people, so this attack hit pretty close to home. Many of the winners acknowledged the tragic events in their speeches, but none was more moving and emotional than Lin-Manuel Miranda, who read a sonnet that he wrote for Orlando while accepting one of his awards for Hamilton.
Speaking of, the most important thing to know is HAMILTON. If you haven’t heard about it by now, it’s a crazy hip hop musical about the Founding Fathers, and tickets are impossible to get unless you’re willing to pay literally $10,000. After huge fans Barack and Michelle Obama introduced the cast performance, Hamilton won (almost) everything, including three out of four acting awards and the biggest prize, Best Musical. Werk.
In one of the best moments of the night, Alpha-Betch Jessica Lange, whom you probably know from ‘American Horror Story’, finally won her first Tony, for Best Leading Actress in a Play. Jessica got a standing ovation, and now she’s only one win away from the EGOT. Warm up those pipes, Jessica, you’ve got to win a Grammy next.
If you’re sitting there thinking that the Tonys are like a less important version of the Oscars, think again. Just months after the Oscars were universally trashed for their lack of diversity, the Tonys saw black actors win every single musical acting award. Like, 100%, 4/4, all of them. In addition to three wins for Hamilton, British Betch Cynthia Erivo won for her performance in The Color Purple. There were plenty of other nominees of color, so Hollywood now has some serious catching up to do.