2016 Tony Awards Empathize Orlando Shooting

By PS Staff

2016 Tony Awards: Leona Lewis is wearing a Nili Lotan gown (bias-cut velvet slip dress) and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry

“The show must go on,” a statement which we ascribe to stage plays is what happened during the Tony Awards. As expected, the awards began on a somber note with the tragedy which happened in Orlando looming large during the ceremony.

James Corden opened the show by stating, “Your tragedy is our tragedy. Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality, and gender is equal, embraced, and loved. Hate will never win.” Many of the winners echoed that sentiment and audience members and winners were clearly touched by the love and empathy the elite of the theater world showed for the victims of the mass shooting.

Then quite possibly for a small fleeting moment, people were able to smile again. The night saw some of the most buzzed about and thoroughly entertaining Broadway shows take home well-deserved awards. At the top of the mountain emerged Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. Hamilton managed to take the theater world and pop culture by storm over the past year and went into the Tony awards with 16 nominations, winning 11.

Another play which deserved two Tony Awards was The Color Purple. When a story is as rich and captivating as Alice Walker’s book and subsequently Steven Spielberg’s movie, you know that it has no other choice but to be a beautiful and captivating play. Although the casting director harnessed a bit of star power in the form of Jennifer Hudson playing Shug Avery, the night was to go to Cynthia Erivo. Ms. Erivo won Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.

Even though the Tony Awards gave many people the opportunity to see a lifelong dream realized, a somber air hung heavy over the show. The winners were clearly elated with their accomplishments but they kept the victims in their hearts and on their minds. The Tony Awards balanced tragedy with triumph and the show did go on.

View 2016 Tony Awards photos here: 2016 Tony Awards

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