My thoughts on the 2016 Tony Awards

As you may have assumed, the cultural phenomenon Hamilton cleaned house at the Tony Awards. I imagine that those nominated in musical categories probably knew the cast would walk away with several awards. But I really loved how the audience responded with every Hamilton win with huge applause and standing ovations. It was clear that this particular community truly believes the cast completely deserves each accolade.

Host James Cordon opened the show by addressing the horrific shooting in Orlando. He simply stated that a night full of music, performances and celebration would not overshadow how the collective group’s heart goes out to all affected by the atrocity. I thought he did an incredible job, considering the circumstances.

Then the lights dimmed — and this happened:

…and then this:

I may have cried. I definitely laughed.

Here are some other things that happened when I watched the show:

  • School of Rock is 100-percent live. That means those kids are actually playing the instruments. It was delightful.
  • Andrew Lloyd Weber played a tambourine as Lin-Manuel Miranda sang, Sara Bareilles played the piano and Steve Martin strummed a banjo. Come on.
  • Renée Elise Goldsberry won for best actress in a musical for Hamilton. She looked stunning in her yellow gown. She was my vote for best-dressed fo the night
  • There’s a musical called Shuffle Along or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. That title is a social media director’s nightmare.
  • Daveed Diggs won for best actor in a musical for Hamilton. He thanked his mom, who gave him permission to not perform in his preschool play because he wanted to do a duet. He thanked his dad for being said duet partner. Hamilton is his Broadway debut. #winning
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda won for best original score for Hamilton. Instead of a speech, he wrote a sonnet for his wife and encouraged the audience to fill the world with music and love. Then he hugged Carole King (who presented him with the award) like she was a life preserver.
  • Meg Ryan introduced the musical She Loves Me which is a version of You’ve Got Mail. It stars a lot of people you know, including my crush Zachary Levi and Jane Krakowski, my pretend best friend. She is 47-years-old and executed a FLAWLESS split that made my groin hurt. Seriously. About 13 different parts of my body snap or pop when I stand up. Jane makes me want to do yoga. Or bend over to touch my toes every once in a while.
  • Thomas Kail won for best director of a musical for Hamilton. He said he does all this to try and impress his wife. He looked at her, winked and asked, “How am I doing?”
  • Josh Groban was in his high school production of Fiddler on the Roof (we saw a clip!) and will perform in the play again this fall on Broadway. He definitely has the beard for it.
  • Oprah introduced The Color Purple. The cast brought us all to church. It was a spirited performance. YOU deserve a Tony. YOU deserve a Tony. YOU deserve a Tony. And they got one! For best revival of a musical.
  • James Earl Jones’ voice is like butter.
  • Get On Your Feet is a musical based on Emilio and Gloria Estefan’s life. Gloria made an appearance (alongside the woman portraying her) and killed it. They could be mother daughter. The dude playing Emilio was a little aggressive with his lyrics during the rap part of “Turn the Beat Around,” but he was so hot that I forgave him. Emilio would also like you to know that all the cast members have their papers. They are legally in the country.
  • James is the master at carpool karaoke.
  • Cate Blanchett is awesome. Her dress is not.
  • Frank Langella, winner of best actor in a play, decided to not thank the list of people who helped get him where he is today. Instead, he read this: “When something bad happens, we have three choices: we let it define us, we let it destroy us or we let it strengthen us.”
  • Who knew that there was a revival of Spring Awakenings? Isn’t that the musical about the two kids from Glee making out on stage all night long? Why yes it is. But the new revival is a little different. It’s still saucy as all get out, but now it featured both hearing and deaf actors. It’s spoken in English and sign language.
  • Chicago is the longest running musical of all-time, celebrating 20 years as an international hit. It received a 20-second tribute.
  • Neil Patrick Harris is bald.
  • Leslie Odom, Jr. is enchanting. So is Cynthia Erivo.
  • James warned the audience that medical staff was on standby for those who may pass out from seeing Barbara Streisand take the stage to announce best musical. Babs loved the attention. “You’re making me verklempt!” She wore an outfit inspired by Hamilton — which won. She didn’t even open the envelope. She just announced it. Then everyone stood in line to breathe the air that Barbara breathes before the cast of Hamilton sang over the closing credits.

What did you think of the Tony Awards? Have you seen Hamilton? When was the last time you did the splits? I’m going to stretch now…


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