NEW YORK (AP) – “Hamilton,” the hip-hop stage biography of Alexander Hamilton, won the 2016 Tony Award for best new musical, capping an emotional night in which many in the Broadway community rallied to embrace the LGBT community after a shooting at a gay Florida nightclub.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical biography about the first US treasury secretary won 11 Tonys, just short of breaking the 12-Tony record held by “The Producers.”
Jeffrey Seller, producer of “Hamilton,” quoted the show’s lyrics when accepting the best musical crown. “Look around, look around. How lucky we are to be alive right now,” he said.
Broadway’s boast of being more diverse than the Oscars was proved, with black actors winning four awards in the acting categories – a history-making sweep of the musical categories – and whites winning the remaining four for plays.
“Hamilton” went into the night with 16 nominations and, in addition to taking the musical award, won best score, best book, direction, orchestration, choreography and best featured actor and actress statuettes for Renee Elise Goldsberry and Daveed Diggs.
Leslie Odom, Jr., who plays Aaron Burr, won best actor in a musical and cheered Miranda for “a new vision of what’s possible.” He also thanked his wife, actress Nicolette Robinson and his parents.
The show earlier won awards for costume and lighting but lost scenic design to “She Loves Me,” meaning “Hamilton” couldn’t break the record haul by “The Producers.” Still, few shows get introduced by a sitting president, as Barack and Michelle Obama did for the performance by the show’s cast.
The awards show unspooled with a heavy heart a night after a gunman killed 50 people at a gay Florida nightclub, prompting a Broadway tribute to the victims at the top of the show and a smattering of references to tolerance throughout it.
Host James Corden dedicated the night to celebrating the diversity of Broadway. “Hate will never win. Together we have to make sure of that. Tonight’s show stands as a symbol and a celebration of that principle,” he said.