With the 2016 Tony Awards in the books, it’s time to take a look back at the night and discuss the implications, performances, and more. (Just not the fashion. Not my thing.)
I really liked the opener James Corden sang. Not the Hamilton parody, the actual opener about dreaming you could be on stage. Corden knocked it out of the park, too.
My favorite performance of the night went to Cynthia Erivo who floored the audience with a great vocal from The Color Purple. A close second was the combined performance of Sara Bareilles & Jessie Mueller from Waitress. A pair of moving vocals stood out on a night full of great performances.
The folks from Hamilton chose two perfect songs for their performance number with “History Has Its Eye…” paired with “The Battle of Yorktown” and ending the show with “The Schuyler Sisters” singing about the “greatest city in the world” in the middle of NYC. I also was a huge fan of “You’re in the Band” from School of Rock.
Really? I didn’t think anything wasn’t great. Even the outdoor bumpers were great.
I was really pumped when Leslie Odom, Jr. won for his portrayal of Aaron Burr in Hamilton. Night after night he needs to create empathy for this iconic bad guy and if he performs with a portion of the intensity from the cast recording, the award was well-deserved. Renee Elise Goldberry (Best Featured Actress) and Daveed Diggs (Best Featured Actor) also won acting awards.
The only musical acting award to fall from Hamilton was the award that went to Erivo for Actress in a Lead Role. I love Phillipa Soo’s voice, but The Color Purple and Erivo’s performance were too much to overcome.
The funniest thing the entire night was the Law & Order bit Corden put on the screen showcasing all the talented Tony winners who have played small parts in the show, including Danny Burstein who has been on the show five times.
As was noted several times in the telecast, the Tonys showed more diversity than any TV or movie awards and broadcasts in recent memory. All four musical acting awards went to people of color and hip hop was celebrated in way that should hopefully cement its status on Broadway for years to come.
It was the most-watched Tonys in 15 years, which is great for the other awesome shows highlighted that aren’t named Hamilton. If folks are more open to Waitress now than they were before the ceremony, it’s a win.