How many musicals did you spot in James Corden‘s opening number at the 70th Annual Tony Awards last night (June 12)?
We got 17. That’s (deep breath) Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Lion King, Grease, Sweeney Todd, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Sound of Music, Funny Girl, Guys and Dolls, Annie, Cats, A Chorus Line, Evita, Fiddler on the Roof, Funny Girl (again), Dreamgirls, Gypsy, and (phew!) 42nd Street.
And what better way than Broadway to lift our spirits? The joyous opening number set the tone for an awards ceremony defiant in the face of the day’s news from Orlando and determined, like every musical ever, to celebrate life, love and inclusion.
Hip-hop musical Hamilton surprised no one by winning 11 of the 16 awards it was nominated for, including Best Musical. Its creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda accepted the award for best original score with—what else?—a sonnet, which included the lines: “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.”
Nor did the awards show disappoint when it came to diversity. For the first time in Tony Awards history, all four musical acting awards went to people of color: Leslie Odom Jr, Daveed Diggs and Renée Elise Goldsberry, all of whom won for Hamilton, and Cynthia Erivo from The Color Purple, which also won best revival of a musical.
The evening’s other big winner was the play The Humans, which scooped four awards, including Best Play and acting awards for two of its stars, Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell. Seasoned performer Jessica Lange beat off competition from Lupita Nyong’o in Eclipsed, Michelle Williams in Blackbird, and Sophie Okonedo in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible to win Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for her role in Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Acting, she said, “fills me with happiness even on such a sad day as this. The great thing about this community is that we do it all together.”
The other expected big winner went home empty-handed, however. Shuffle Along, a musical about the making of a largely forgotten but influential 1921 musical of the same name, won none of the 11 awards it was nominated for.
The show’s only criticism, it seemed, came from James Corden‘s own dad. “It’s great, mate,” he said when his son asked for his opinion on the show so far, “but it’s going on a bit, isn’t it?”Read More