Tony Awards a needed beacon of hope on a somber day for America

Laughter, applause and sorrow
Opinion by Larry Murray

Theatre people are not perfect, despite the many awards for being the best, but of late the increasing diversity of the industry, from the Berkshires to Broadway, has been steady, and ever more noticeable. On stage as in the lives of theatre people, there is an embrace of inclusiveness that is a role model for the rest of America. And if I dare say so, the audiences that go to live theatre are less inclined to throw around hateful epithets that lead to sort of deadly hostility that broke out in an Orlando nightclub. And though the LGBT club-goers were primarily Latino and male out to celebrate,  make no mistake, it was diverse as well with women, white boys and believers of all faiths among the dead and injured. Assault weapons are, after all,  an equal opportunity automatic killing machine.

The theatre community, at every turn, refuses to let hate win. Through the AIDS crisis, through 9/11, through many unthinkable tragedies, the theatre community has said: We will not spread hate. All people are welcome here. When other communities say “your religion makes you a terrorist” or “your sexuality makes you an outsider”, we say: We love you. We want to hear your stories. We want to raise our voices together to affect change. Anyone who has ever actually read a history book knows: this action matters. Hate rhetoric creates more hate. Acceptance creates more acceptance. Despite the action of many citizens, I feel more hopeless all the time that gun control policy will change. But if I do have any hope at all, I have that hope because of the theatre. We are proud, we will not be silenced, we will affect change, we will spread love.” – Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Director of Programming at Feinstein’s 54 Below on Facebook

The tragedy in Orlando was noted last night by the host of the 2016 Tony Awards, James Cordon, but in the great tradition of show business, the show went on; and so, amidst our tears, a round of applause for the winners, please, including Hamilton with 11 Tonys.

Here are the winners of last night’s Tony Awards:

Best musical: “Hamilton”

Best revival of a musical: “The Color Purple”

Best play: “The Humans”

Best revival of a play: “A View from the Bridge”

Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical: Leslie Odom Jr., “Hamilton”

Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical: Cynthia Erivo, “The Color Purple”

Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play: Frank Langella, “The Father”

Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play: Jessica Lange, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical: Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton”

Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical: Renée Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton”

Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play: Reed Birney, “The Humans”

Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play: Jayne Houdyshell, “The Humans”

Best book of a musical: “Hamilton,” Lin:Manuel Miranda

Best original score: “Hamilton,” Music and Lyrics: Lin:Manuel Miranda

Best direction of a play: Ivo van Hove, “A View from the Bridge”

Best direction of a musical: Thomas Kail, “Hamilton”

Best scenic design of a play: David Zinn, “The Humans”

Best scenic design of a musical: David Rockwell, “She Loves Me”

Best costume design of a play: Clint Ramos, “Eclipsed”

Best costume design of a musical: Paul Tazewell, “Hamilton”

Best lighting design of a play: Natasha Katz, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Best lighting design of a musical: Howell Binkley, “Hamilton”

Best choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler, “Hamilton”

Best orchestrations: Alex Lacamoire, “Hamilton”

Special Tony Award for lifetime achievement in the theater: Sheldon Harnick, Marshall W. Mason

James Corden performs at the opening of the Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini)

James Corden performs at the opening of the Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s