Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of 'Hamilton' perform onstage during the 70th Annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre in New York City, June 12, 2016.
Theo Wargo—Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
By Sarah Begley
June 13, 2016

From tributes to the victims of the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando to a big night for Broadway hit Hamilton, the 2016 Tony Awards show was packed with action. Here are some of the highlights from the night.

James Corden’s Hamilton spoof

The host of the show (and of CBS’s Late Late Show) kicked off the awards with a quick tribute to the victims of the Orlando shooting, followed by a parody of the opening number of Hamilton—but instead of being about the founding father, it was about Corden: “How does an upstart Briton best known for sittin’ and jesting from a desk in the middle of of a forgotten slot on late night, far from Manhattan, chattin’ with Hollywood phonies end up being the guiding host of Tonys?”

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s sonnet

The Hamilton star and creator accepted the award for best original score with a sonnet dedicated to his wife and acknowledging the victims of the Orlando shooting: “Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.”

Frank Langella’s acceptance speech

When the star of The Father won for best leading actor in a play, he read a quote relating to the shooting in Orlando: “When something bad happens we have three choices: we let it define us, we let it destroy us, or we let it strengthen us.” To those affected by the attack, he said, “I am standing in a room full of the most generous humans on Earth, and we will be with you every step of the way.”

The Hamilton performance

The cast of the hit show, who were introduced by Barack and Michelle Obama as well as Common, performed “History Has Its Eyes On You” and “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down).” Out of respect for the victims of the Orlando shooting, they left their prop rifles at home.

The political jokes

Andrew Rannells dressed up as Donald Trump and Glenn Close dressed up as Hillary Clinton. Referencing A Chorus Line, she sang: “I really need this job, oh God I need this job, I’ve got to get this job!”

Hamilton wins best musical

Producer Jeffrey Seller said it all when he quoted the show in his acceptance speech: “Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now.” The show failed to match (or beat) the record 12 wins set by The Producers, but surely 11 awards feels sweet to the cast.

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