Tony Awards Give Lesson in True Diversity


The 70th Tony Awards show took place last night, hosted by James Corden and featuring an amazing lineup of nominees that was one of the most diverse in history. Considering the disaster that was “Oscars so white,” it was a refreshing change of pace. Tony-winning producer Ken Davenport told The Huffington Post:

“Diversity is the theme for the entire season. It’s the most diverse group of artists and shows we’ve seen, especially when compared to the lack of diversity in Hollywood.”

James Corden opened the show with a moving statement regarding the shooting in Orlando early Sunday morning. The show then took a happier turn with a supremely entertaining opening number and performances from some of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows of the year, including Hamilton, The Color Purple, Shuffle Along, and Spring Awakening. James Corden was hilarious and entertaining, even getting audience members to volunteer for “commercial karaoke” during commercial breaks. One of my personal favorite bits was when Corden made several Broadway stars, including Claire Danes, Billy Porter, Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Danny Burstein suffer through their Law & Order roles. Seriously, he should host every year.

The front runner of the night was, to no one’s surprise, Hamilton, which went home with a whopping 11 Tony awards, including Best Musical – just one away from the record of 12 set by The Producers. The only categories Hamilton failed to win were Leading Actress in a Musical (Cynthia Erivo of The Color Purple bested Phillipa Soo), and Best Scenic Design of a Musical, which went to David Rockwell of She Loves Me. The Humans was the other big winner, taking home four Tonys, including Best Play.

The real winner, though, was diversity. The biggest winner, Hamilton, is a show that celebrates people of color and shows them that they have a place in American history. And for the first time in Broadway history, all four of the major acting awards went to people of color. If nothing else, this year on Broadway has shown children everywhere, of all backgrounds, that they too can live their dreams. And that is more important than any award they can give.

Tony Award Winners (in bold)

Best Play
The Father
The Humans
King Charles III

Best Musical
Bright Star
School of Rock
Shuffle Along

Best Revival of a Play
A View from the Bridge
The Crucible
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Noises Off

Best Revival of a Musical
The Color Purple
Fiddler on the Roof
She Loves Me
Spring Awakening

Leading Actor in a Play
Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels, Blackbird
Frank Langella, The Father
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, A View from the Bridge

Leading Actress in a Play
Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird

Leading Actor in a Musical
Alex Brightman, School of Rock
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton

Leading Actress in a Musical
Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

Best Director of a Play
Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Ivo van Hove, A View From the Bridge
Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed

Best Director of a Musical
Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
Thomas Kail, Hamilton
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along

Best Book of a Musical
Julian Fellowes, School of Rock
Steve Martin, Bright Star
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along

Best Original Score
Sara Bareilles, Waitress
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater, School of Rock

Best Featured Actor in a Play
Reed Birney, The Humans
Bill Camp, The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off
Richard Goulding, King Charles III
Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Best Featured Actress in a Play
Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Andrea Martin, Noises Off
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed

Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Christopher Jackson, Hamilton

Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Beowulf Boritt, Therese Raquin
Christopher Oram, Hughie
Jan Versweyveld, A View from the Bridge
David Zinn, The Humans

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Es Devlin and Finn Ross, American Psycho
David Korins, Hamilton
Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along
David Rockwell, She Loves Me

Best Costume Design of a Play
Jane Greenwood, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Michael Krass, Noises Off
Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
Tom Scutt, King Charles III

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton

Best Choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along
Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet!

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Justin Townsend, The Humans
Jan Versweyveld, The Crucible
Jan Versweyveld, A View from the Bridge

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Howell Binkley, Hamilton
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho

Best Orchestrations
August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along

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